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Tips to Help Your Fuel Last Longer

13 May 2015, 12:09

Fuel is one of those things which seems to run out as quickly as you top it up. If you find that your fuel consumption has increased recently and you don’t know why, or if you really need to save some money but can’t give up your car, these tips may help you to decrease your fuel consumption and save money on the cost of filling up your car.

Don’t get lost

It sounds incredibly obvious, but most people do not associate getting lost or taking de-tours with fuel consumption. If your journey is made longer than it should be, you will inevitably use more fuel. If you are a person who continually find yourself getting lost, investing in a Sat-Nav or GPS could actually end up saving you money. It may seem like a big expense to dish out in one go, but the accumulated savings that you would make by not getting lost would pay for the device and save you money in the future.

Driving style

Adjusting your driving technique can massively improve your rate of fuel consumption. Driving more smoothly, breaking less harshly and using the higher gears consistently can all have a huge positive impact on the amount of money you have to spend on petrol.

It is all about letting the engine work for you so you use as little fuel as possible to accelerate or brake. Among other things, you can brake using the engine, which means that you release the accelerator completely (and still stay in gear). When you do this, the engine won't be supplied with any more fuel until you accelerate or brake again.

The same is true by driving in as high a gear as possible, thereby letting the engine run the car rather than boosting the combustion yourself.

You can also make this easier by keeping a distance to the person driving in front of you, releasing the accelerator well before you have to turn, or getting up to speed quickly (possibly by skipping a gear) and maintaining the same speed. Many newer cars have a cruise control that keeps fuel consumption to a minimum.

Simple things like reversing into parking spaces will save you from having to put as much strain on the engine when it is cold and will end up saving you a considerable sum in fuel.

Don't weigh down your car

Do you have lots of unnecessary heavy items weighing down your car? If your boot is full of stuff just because you have never found the time to clear it out, you may be surprised to find that this could actually be costing you money. The heavier the car is, the more fuel it takes to drive it.

Carrying heavy items around when you don’t need them could be forcing your fuel bills up without you even knowing. If you regularly give people lifts, this could also be increasing the amount of fuel you use. If you rationalize taking other people with you on the basis that ‘you were going there anyway’ just remember that it will cost you more in fuel to take an extra passenger in your car. Maybe you should bear this in mind the next time someone offers you petrol money for taking them somewhere.

Car Service

Inflate your tyres

Roughly half of the cars on the road in the UK today have tyres which are under-inflated. If there is not enough air in your tyres, this actually increases the car’s resistance on the road, increasing the amount of fuel it needs to propel it forward.

The 50p it costs to use the air machine at the petrol station may now seem like a much better investment. Your driver’s manual will let you know the air pressure which your particular make and model of car needs in order to perform at its best. Driving with the right level of air pressure in your tyres will instantly save you money on petrol.

Close windows if you use air condition

Think about the way you cool down your car. The summer weather can have a huge impact on your car’s fuel bill as switching on the air conditioning and having the windows open can cause you to use more petrol.

A study found that in some models, using the air conditioning whilst driving uses up to 25% more fuel than driving without it switched on. This soon adds up to have a substantial impact on your fuel consumption. Driving with the windows open is more fuel consumption-friendly, but only up to speeds of 60 mph. After this threshold, the drag caused by having the windows open will end up costing you more than having your air conditioning switched on.

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