Ten Top Tips to Increase the Fuel Mileage of Your Car
The best way to protect your bank balance is to spend less. But with the rising cost of petrol, everyone is feeling the pinch. By topping up your tank less, you can claw back some of the cost, but in order to do this you will need to increase your vehicles efficiency. Here we offer ten tips that will help you to increase the fuel mileage on your car and spend less money on petrol.
1. Limit your driving
There are a few ways to limit the amount of driving you do each week. If you can make your journey on foot, then do so. However if visiting the supermarket, for instance, you may need your vehicle to transport your shopping home. When you reach the supermarket, take the first parking spot you find. So many people waste time circling a car park looking for a space as near to the entrance as possible.
2. Keep your petrol tank above one quarter full
Always try to keep the petrol in your tank at least above the one quarter mark. Aim to fill up on fuel when its approximately half empty. If your tank is fuel injected, letting your petrol run low will put added pressure on the fuel pump.
3. Lighten your vehicle load
Every ten gallons of fuel weighs approximately 60 lbs in weight and weight is probably the biggest cause for loss of kinetic energy in non-hybrid cars. Whilst extra weight in the boot of your car is recommended throughout the winter to improve the traction of rear wheel drive vehicles, during the warmer months you should try to keep your car as light in weight as possible. If you never use your back seats, take them out. Remove your roof-rack if you are not using it. Don’t store heavy objects in the boot of your car. Every 100 lbs of weight increases your fuel consumption by approx 1-2%.
4. Drive slowly
The faster you drive, the harder your engine has to work. Fuel economy decreases rapidly above 60 mph due to the power needed to accelerate, so try to stay below this. Some cars will get a better mileage for your money when driving at a certain speed, this is often referred to as the “sweet speed”. For most cars the sweet speed is anywhere between 40-60 mph.
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5. Brake less
Accelerating after braking uses more petrol than driving at one constant speed. By braking you are, in effect, wasting energy from fuel that your engine has already burnt. If you see a red light or traffic jam in the distance then take your foot from the accelerator and coast slowly to a stop.
6. Don’t tailgate other vehicles
By driving too closely to the vehicle in front you will have to brake and accelerate more frequently. You will always be travelling no faster than the car in front of you, so pull back a little and maintain a single speed, and a healthy and safe distance.
7. Predict traffic lights
Traffic lights are one of the major causes for start/stop driving which is wasteful of fuel. On some sections of the road traffic lights are co-ordinated, so by sticking with the flow of traffic, you can usually pass through uninterrupted. Slow down when approaching a red traffic light and, if it turns green, you may not need to stop at all.
8. Avoid an idling engine
An idling engine is an obvious waste of fuel. A general rule of thumb is that if you are going to be idle more than about 10 seconds, turning off your engine until you need to drive off will save you fuel. For example, waiting in line at a drive-thru. But bare in mind that excessively starting your engine can wear the starter motor.
9. Buy the narrowest tyres available for your car
Narrow tyres reduce the aerodynamic drag on your vehicle. When your tyres need replacing select the narrowest tyres available for your make of car. Low Rolling Resistance tyres can also help with fuel economy. Check with an expert which tyre would be most suitable for your car before purchasing.
10. Plan your journey
Keep lists of things you need to accomplish throughout the day. This won’t increase your fuel mileage but it will help you to drive less which will cut your fuel consumption. If you find yourself stuck in rush hour traffic on the way home from work, leave later. You’ll not only be saving yourself fuel, but you’ll look like a star at work too!
What are your top tips to increase the fuel milage of your car? Let me know in the comments below.
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