Tips for smooth driving to improve economy
money-saving tips that motorists can try to extract the maximum economy from your car
Times are hard right now, and with costs going up across the board, we’ve compiled a few money-saving tips that motorists can try to extract the maximum economy from your car and save a few pounds along the way.
Maintenance – It stands to reason that to get the most fuel economy out of your vehicle you need to ensure that the engine and running gear are running at maximum efficiency. Missing regular car servicing may well cost you more money over time, as cheaper, minor maintenance jobs are likely to develop into more major issues if left unchecked for a long period of time.
Tyres – Easy to forget, but having tyres inflated to the factory settings is a must if you want to maximise efficient fuel consumption. Over-inflating tyres can be equally as bad for fuel economy as under-inflating, so it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s recommended settings, which can be found in your vehicle’s user manual, or often printed on the sticker inside the driver’s door frame.
Light right foot – Excessive speed is the biggest fuel guzzling factor, so having a light right foot and ensuring all acceleration is gentle is very important to fuel efficient driving.
Anticipation – don’t lose momentum. Keeping your car moving at a constant speed is essential to fuel economy. Obviously, this depends on traffic conditions and what’s happening on the road ahead, but slowing down and having to accelerate again naturally uses more fuel.
Try to anticipate what’s going to happen in front of you by looking well ahead. This way you’ll see traffic lights on red meaning you can ease back on the accelerator or slow down naturally and potentially keep moving as opposed to coming to a stop.
Drive as smoothly as possible, making use of accelerator, gearbox and brakes. When slowing down, it’s important to remain in gear as the fuel cut-off switch in a fuel injection engine is then activated, meaning virtually no fuel is used while braking.
Driving up hills destroys fuel economy. When you spot a hill coming up try to accelerate a little before you reach it, then ease off as you drive up. The extra momentum should be enough to minimise additional fuel consumption.
Minimise wind resistance – do you use a roof rack for holidays or weekends away? If you do, it will increase your fuel consumption, so if you are not using the rack, take it off.
Using air conditioning – The UK is not known for year-round hot weather, so turning off your air conditioning when you don’t actually need it will give you a welcome jump in your MPG figures.