Petrol has risen 30% in the last four years and yet people still aren't doing everything they can to improve fuel efficency in their cars. Make sure you're not one of them, check out these tips below:
Zen and the Art of Car Tyre Maintenance
Saving petrol will require a little more time and effort in terms of car maintenance but will reap dividends in the future. One of the main causes of burning more gas than you need is low tyre pressure. To avoid this problem buy a tyre pressure monitor (as with all gadgets tyre pressure monitor prices vary wildly. Don’t pick an expensive one, you’re trying to save money, remember? The $10 Michelin MN-4410B Pistol Grip Gaugeworks as well as any), and take a reading every week. If they’re slightly low then pump them up at the nearest gas station. You will find tyre pressure information for your make and model in your car’s log book. Warning: never over-fill your tyres as this could be dangerous leading to an increased risk of blow outs and steering problems.
Only Carry What You Need
Are you carrying excess items in your boot or trunk? You are? Well then you’re paying for them. All excess weight adds friction to your tyres, pulling down its fuel efficiency. Only carry what you need at any one time and don’t be tardy about taking down top boxes or cycle racks after vacations or days out, these do affect your vehicle’s aerodynamics, causing more fuel to be burnt.
Do You Really Need the Air-con on Today?
Air-conditioning is a complicated system consisting of a Condenser, a Compressor, an Evaporator, a Thermal Expansion Valve, and a Drier which works much the same way as a household refrigerator, sucking out the hot air and dissipating that heat through a series of refrigeration lines. Aircon effects your fuel consumption as the compressor is driven by the engine belt. According to fuel efficiency site Save Petrol, aircon puts your car under the most strain when you’re travelling at 30 mph or less whereas if you’re ploughing down the highway the difference is practically insignificant. So if you’re driving slowly, instead of automatically whacking on the aircon, enjoy the fine weather and roll down the windows.
You must have seen it yourself. You’re speeding down the motorways and suddenly you look at the petrol gauge and find you’re almost out. Why? The culprit is increased air resistance from travelling at a faster speed, which means your car has to work much harder to power forward, using up more fuel. To save petrol, keep your speed down, (though never go below any minimum speed limit and if there isn’t one, use your common sense) even on highways. Save Petrol estimates that the average car consumes as such as 38% more fuel when driven at 70 mph than at 50. In addition, if you’re driving more than 50 miles an hour cut down on wind resistance by closing your windows and always chose the right gear to keep revs to a minimum.