Economising on fuel – How easy is it?

If you already drive an eco-friendly vehicle, then good on you for taking the first step towards economising on fuel. More and more people are justifiably developing a passion for taking the right steps to easing the burden on our environment. However, if you find yourself wondering what factors contribute to the amount of fuel your vehicle emits then you’ll come away from this post more enlightened. In conjunction with Lookers, who specialise in providing a wide variety of servicing offers, we’ve compiled a guide detailing exactly how you can economise on fuel.

Have you planned your route in advance?

You might be surprised by just how much you can save on the fuel you use in your vehicle through the simple avoidance of unnecessary stops-and-starts. In fact, statistically it has been shown that harsh braking and acceleration can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 33%.

To be environmentally friendly you should try and maintain a steady speed. In order to plan this in advance, it’s of utmost importance that you are aware of your surroundings and the route ahead. One of the things this entails is predicting what’s coming up the road and adjusting your speed accordingly. This consequently demonstrates that it would be wise to plan your route in advance so that you’re aware of all possible encounters. If you’re approaching traffic lights for example, slow your car down in plenty enough time to avoid having to brake harshly.

Monitor your speed

Driving too fast poses a danger. Although you should monitor your speed for legal and safety reasons, there are other benefits to controlling your speed. Ensure to make the most out of your car if it has cruise-control. Remember to turn the vehicle off when stationary though (when it’s safe to do so) to further save on fuel. This feature allows you to maintain a steady speed and prevents too much speed fluctuation, which improves fuel efficiency. Research has shown that it can cost up to 25% more in fuel to drive at 70mph than it does when driving at 50mph.

Driving slowly is particularly dangerous in a car, although a common misconception is that it can never be deemed to be dangerous. If your vehicle is moving at below 15mph, this is when the most vehicle pollution is created. Pollution emitted lowers when accelerating to 60mph and then rises again after this threshold, in actual fact.

Fuel costs

Changing gears at lower revs and resisting the urge to roll down windows are just two of the ways through which you can economise on fuel. This technique (changing gears at lower revs) of driving prevents your engine from overworking and subsequently requiring more power. Suggestions are that when you’re behind the wheel, you should try to change gears when the rev counter hits 2,000rpm for diesel and 2,500rpm for petrol. This alleviates your engine from working too hard and reduces the risk of clutch and gearbox wear-and-damage (more unexpected costs you would be happy to avoid). This is particularly handy for those travelling over long distances.

It can impact on your fuel tank negatively if you roll your windows down on a warm day. This is because driving with the windows down can cause drag in your vehicle — requiring more energy to move the car. One study discovered that air conditioning may actually use even more energy than when the windows are open, so it’s not necessarily better.

Become an eco-driver and watch your savings grow!