Vehicle Fuel efficiency: As fuel prices continue to soar, improving your fuel efficiency is the best way to protect your budget. Car maintenance is a vital aspect of owning a car and a great way to extend its lifespan. If you have teenagers whizzing around town in your old car, you know what we mean. We need to educate our kids about proper car maintenance and how it affects overall performance and fuel efficiency.
It’s no secret that when your vehicle operates the way it should that it will burn less fuel. And while vehicle fuel efficiency certainly depends on the car you buy, the way you drive also affects it. With that in mind, let’s look at how you can save money and fuel, improve performance and lower emissions.
Regular Tyre Checks
Tyres don’t last forever and they will naturally leak a bit of air over time. If your tyres are under-inflated, your car will use more fuel. In fact, properly inflated tyres can reduce fuel consumption by up to 3%. Your tyres also lose about 1 PSI per month and in winter that number is even higher. We recommend checking tyres at least monthly but preferably weekly, depending on how often and who drives the car.
It’s best to consult your vehicle owner’s manual for the appropriate tyre pressure. Overinflated tyres will also be an issue, so make sure to follow the recommended pressure guidelines for your vehicle. Regular tyre checks should include looking for visible damage, tyre pressure and tread depth. Use a quality pressure gauge to ensure your tyre pressure is right for the load or pop in at one of our Elite Garages nearest to you.
If you notice a foreign object lodged in your tread and appears to have penetrated the rubber, don’t just remove it. This can often lead to air escaping and you are left on the side of road with a flat tyre. Even more reason to teach our children the value of good car maintenance but also how to change a tyre. If you need expert assistance, we will safely remove the object, check your tyre for damage and if needed, repair the puncture while you wait.
The right amount of tread depth is also essential, not just for safety, but improved handling and fuel efficiency. If you suspect that any of your treads are worn, let a professional check it for you to be absolutely certain. When in doubt, bring your car to any of our branches for a FREE tyre check.
Driving Style And Vehicle Fuel Efficiency
There is no doubt that poor driving habits affect fuel efficiency just as the lack of car maintenance impacts reliability. According to the AA, if you drive at 70 mph, you will use up to 9% more fuel than driving at 60 mph and up to 15% more than at 50 mph. If you have a lead foot and drive at 80 mph, you can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70 mph.
A good driving style can make all the difference and here are a few simple tips even teenagers can implement:
- Drive smoothly and don’t accelerate too fast.
- Read the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking. Slamming on brakes really does affect vehicle fuel efficiency.
- Slow down smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time and leaving the car in gear. Contrary to popular belief, leaving the car in neutral does not save fuel.
- Stick to the speed limit for safety reasons but the faster you go, the more fuel you burn.
- Don’t over-rev the engine and try to change gears at around 2 000 rpm for diesel or 2 500 for petrol motors. As far as shifting into fifth and sixth gear (on new models), do so at the appropriate point.
- Drive at a steady 15-20 mph on roads with speed bumps. Braking hard, accelerating and more braking for each bump is detrimental to your fuel efficiency efforts.
Don’t assume that a smaller car uses less fuel either. Some cars with a 2.0L engine consume less fuel than the same car sporting a 1.6L motor. Besides driving style affecting the outcome, the main reason is that it struggles to pull the larger weight.
How To Lose The Extra Weight
Before you venture out into the world, consider all the extra weight your car might carry. Remember, extra weight means extra fuel. If you don’t need something in or on the car, remove it. Things like roof-racks are a prime example as they certainly add to fuel consumption. If you are using roof-racks, be sure to pack it properly to reduce drag as much as possible.
Air Conditioning or No Air Conditioning?
It’s not rocket science to understand that air conditioning puts additional strain on the engine which means using more fuel. This is especially the case at low speeds while driving faster on motorways has little to no effect. So unless it’s really cold or uncomfortably hot in the car while driving around town, leave the air con off. If you must have it on, consider using the recirculate button as it cools the air already inside your vehicle. This means that your car does not need additional power to cool air coming in from outside.
At Elite Garages, we offer the quality of dealership servicing with greater value and no hidden costs. You and your family are in good hands with our friendly and knowledgeable staff, always honest and transparent. We are here to assist in expert car maintenance from full servicing of all makes and models, tyres, batteries, MOT’s and more. If you have multiple vehicles in your household, our competitive prices will help you manage your budget. In addition, we also give you the Elite Price Promise.
“If you find a genuine printed cheaper price for the same product which is in stock we will meet or beat this price at time of purchase.”
If you’re looking for professional advice and friendly service, get in touch with a local branch near you. Why don’t you join us on Facebook and become a valued member of our online community? You can keep up to date on special offers, promotions, car maintenance tips and the latest industry news.