On the Move…

There is a high cost to filling up the tank these days!  Petrol and Diesel prices have soared, how can we reduce this expense…by making that fuel last up to 30% longer!

Whilst electric cars are here for some and we’re all for EVs… the future has arrive! If you’ve not the wherewithal to invest in them just yet, let’s look at how to improve the efficiency of your motoring.

Weight a minute!

Think about what you are lugging around. Take a minute to consider what is in your car or van and take out what is not essential.

  • Is there clutter in the boot? That extra weight ups the fuel consumption! Tests show that reduction in weight by 45kg improves efficiency by 1% – 2%.
  • How about the roof? Leaving your roof box or roof rack on obviously adds weight but affects drag considerably too!
  • Do you maintain a full tank? Think again, as that means you are driving around with extra weight lowering your efficiency. A half full tank… well you may save as much as 25kg in weight.

Read the manual!

Are you making the most of your car’s economy? Over the past couple of decades manufacturers have been making their cars more efficient. Engines designed cleaner, tyres with less rolling resistance, and gadgets and electronic wizardry to enable the driver to choose to be economical. Dig out the owner’s manual and press that ECO button!

VW Stop/Start Pull-Away Assist button
  • Does your vehicle have an ECO mode or equivalent? These set up the on-board systems to automatically run with efficiency in mind.
  • Have you selected Stop – Start running? Many cars have this optionally. This cuts the engine out at traffic lights or in queues, however you may need to select this function.
  • Air conditioning – This imposes an extra load on the engine and so decreases the MPG.
  • Driving with the windows down also affects drag negatively. (Also flags!!)
  • Your MPG may be indicated on an in-car display, or you may be looking at leaves on a plant or tree indicating the green credentials of your driving style. Look out for what is there to help.

Smooth operator…

Check you rev counter. Many have a green or eco zone indicated to highlight efficient gear changing. Can be around 2000 rpm for diesel and 2300 rpm for petrol. If you are unsure listen to the noise your car makes, harsh noises tend to mean you are doing something wrong. Aim for smooth acceleration, the more you accelerate the more fuel is injected into the engine, so keep a light foot on the accelerator pedal. The idea is to eliminate unnecessary throttle use as if then you only brake hard soon after it is a waste of energy! Move to higher gears whenever possible as less revs are used when in higher gears.

Smoother driving not only reduces fuel but also vehicle maintenance costs like tyres and brakes.

E10 fuel was introduced last year, a more environmentally friendly blend with up to 10% renewable ethanol. If you are unsure, contact your franchise garage to check suitability on pre-2011 cars, although over 95% of those are fine with the mix.

Regular checks to make

Keeping vehicles properly tuned and serviced reduces fuel consumption and emissions. The following are routine checks that should be carried out:

  • Tyre pressure – under-inflated tyres cause drag and can be dangerous. Figures shared by the RAC suggest a tyre that is under inflated by 15psi can lead to a 6% increase in fuel consumption.
  • During a service the engine’s air intake is checked. A blocked air filter would affect consumption.