Top Tips For Sustainable Driving
There are many myths floating around regarding as to what methods actually help fuel efficiency and which doesn’t. Below are eight useful tips to improve your fuel efficiency and sustain your driving.
Vehicle Air Conditioning
At low speeds having the air-conditioning on whilst driving can reduce your fuel efficiency by as much as 15 per cent when outdoor temperatures are above 26 degrees Celsius. However, at higher speeds of 50 mph or more, the effects aren’t nearly as noticeable. Be sure to run the air-conditioning at least once a week throughout the year to make sure the system stays in good health.
Changing up earlier
Revving up the engine may seem cool but really it’s just a biggest waste of fuel. Try changing up a gear when you hit 2,000 revs in a diesel car or around 2,500 rpm in a petrol car. And please, stop revving your car at traffic lights. In the future expect to see all cars fitted with a ‘Gear Shift indicator’ which will light up to show you the most efficient time to change gear.
Sticking to the speed limits
As you may already know, the faster you go the greater the fuel consumption and worst pollution. An example of this would be driving at 70 mph your car uses nine per cent more fuel than it would at 60 mph and up to 15 per cent more than 50 mph. This is an incredible saving which seems to make being stuck behind that lorry all the more bearable. Driving at 80 mph on the motorway is not just illegal, but also bad practice for fuel efficiency as it uses 25 percent more fuel than at 70 mph.
Become more aerodynamic
To become much more fuel efficient means that you should become more aerodynamic. This will reduce drag and make it easier for your car to be propelled forward at speed. 50 per cent of energy required to operate vehicles is spent overcoming wind resistance. Rooftop bike racks, car-top carriers and any accessories added onto your car will all affect wind resistance and affect your fuel efficiency. Washing and waxing your car can also help a little too.
Drive like you’re riding a pushbike
This is one of the things that my driving instructor taught me and it has stuck with me throughout the years. If you drive like you’re riding a pushbike it’s a lot easier to pick the right gear as well as save fuel. But don’t take it literally, don’t drive at the side of the road while going 10 mph, that will just infuriate others and could be potentially dangerous. When climbing hills your car will struggle to maintain speed a lot more going up than going down so give your car a rest and go up the hill slower, it will save more fuel. Your car uses the most fuel when in high-load situations like you would if you where riding a bike.
Avoid excessive idling
One of the simplest techniques to saving fuel, however it is also one of the most underused techniques. To put it bluntly when you are idling your car gets zero miles per gallon where if you turn your engine off you don’t use any fuel at all. When you know you are going to be waiting for over three minutes then turn your engine off. This is the reason the stop start technology has been introduced on newer models of cars. If your car isn’t fitted with stop start then you should turn off your engine if you are parked up.
Inflate your tyres
Tyres that are not pumped up to their recommended capacity are dangerous, they wear out faster and can waste fuel. Keeping them properly inflated could improve your fuel consumption by approximately three to four per cent. Your recommended tyre pressure will be found on the driver’s door, door pillar or on the sidewall of your tyre itself. Don’t exceed the recommended tyre inflation (psi) as over-inflated tyres can be just as bad as under-inflated ones and can be dangerous when driving.
Measuring fuel consumption
To calculate your average fuel consumption over any length of time just follow these steps.
● Fill the tank and record the mileage
● Keep track of any fuel purchases, you don’t have to fill the tank until you are ready to work out your mpg
● If you can, try to use the same pump at the same garage in which you first filled up and fill the tank to the same level again
● Now for the maths. Divide the total mileage since the first fill up by the total number of litres used and then multiply by 4.546 to get miles per gallon. For example, if you’ve driven 2000 miles and used 300 litres of fuel, your average mpg would be: (2000/300)x4.546 = 30.3 mpg.
By trying to follow some of these suggestions, you can really stretch your fuel pounds, making your car a more effective and an efficient tool.