Easy fuel saving

Without a doubt, most drivers seriously care about how much their SUV or Mini Cooper swallows when taken for a drive. And thanks to recent technological progress, there are some awesome low-consumption cars on the market. But even if your car is equipped with state-of-the-art technology, there are still many additional ways of saving on fuel. The mere fact that you’ll find online innumerable pages telling you the dos and don’ts of energy saving reflects a widespread concern. But all the tips and hints boil down to the top ten points you can ‘work’ on to economize on your fuel expenses. The first and the most difficult thing to start with, is to change your driving habits.

1. Slow down: One of the best ways of saving fuel is to reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases exponentially.[1] And at speeds over 100 km/h fuel consumption increases disproportionately high. On average, a car uses about 15% more fuel at 100km/h, and 25% more fuel at 110km/h compared to when it is doing only 90km/h.[2] If you tend to stick to the fast track, try driving the speed limit for a few days. You'll save a lot of fuel without your journey taking much longer.

2. Accelarate with care: Especially abrupt starts and stops, at traffic lights for example, are nasty fuel-wasters. You can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10% by anticipating traffic conditions ahead and adjusting your speed accordingly. The way you drive affects how often you have to fill up.

3. Start your car sensibly: When starting the engine, idle it no more than 30 seconds to warm it up. An engine will warm up faster on the road. However, avoid acceleration before the engine has warmed up sufficiently.

4. Change up quickly (overdrive): The engine runs most efficiently between around 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. To maintain these low revs you should change up through the gears as soon as possible and before the revs reach 2500 rpm.[3] So, contrary to what you may have been taught, “you need to shift up early and shift down late”.[4]

5. Drive at a constant speed: A constant speed keeps shifting to a minimum and it also aids economy, “as it takes much more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving”[5]. So do it like the trucks rolling along at the same leisurely pace.

6. Turn off the air condition: Air condition is another fuel drinker! At low speeds you can roll down the window just a bit and thus save fuel. Opening the windows at low speeds and using the air conditioner at high speeds gives you better fuel economy.

7. Turn off the car while wating: Any time you can foresee that you will not be moving for more then 30s or 1minute (e.g. long traffic light sequences or railroad crossings) you should turn off the engine to help your budget.

8. Check your tyres: Under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance and use more fuel (check the handbook and increase pressures for heavier loads as recommended). Check tyre pressures regularly and before long journeys![6]

9. Streamline your car: Get rid of accessories that are not absolutely necessary, such as roof racks and paraphernalia inside the car. The heavier your car is, the more fuel it uses. A ski-, bicycle- or luggage-rack on your roof increases the wind resistance of your car.

10. Use the correct grade of motor oil: If you use the wrong grade of oil, you may increase the friction of your engine, which will get hotter und use more gas.[7] And don’t forget to change the air filter regularly! It does make a difference.

Be on the lookout for innovative technology to save fuel Of course, there are lots of other possibilities of squeezing out extra kilometres. Filling up at the cheapest pump, postponing oil changes, carpooling, combining trips, you name it. They do add up and help economize! But if you are planning to buy a new car, be on the lookout for the latest low-economy innovations on the market. Especially European carmakers have kept their foot on the pedal to advance innovative combinations of eco-friendly and energy-thrifty cars.

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