Driving techniques that can help you save fuel consumption

20 March 2019 / Lindleys Autocentres

Unfortunately, for many of us, there aren't many alternatives to get to our destination without us driving our cars. With the main reason being that our daily commute requires us to drive to get to work, it can be frustrating knowing the cost of petrol and diesel contributes to a large part of our monthly expenditure.

Typically, this leaves many car owners with the question: why does fuel have to be so expensive?

Now although we do not have full control over the price of fuel, there are driving techniques you can incorporate that will help control the amount of fuel you burn. 

Small changes

It can be easy to fall into driving habits that contribute to increasing the amount of fuel used. However, there are a few small changes that can help prevent fuel costs from increasing unnecessarily.

One of the small changes you can make is to remove any roof racks or unrequired items within your car that weigh down your vehicle. By simply removing your roof rack you can save around 15-20% on fuel over the year. The logic behind this is that it helps keep your vehicle as aerodynamic as possible. This is why keeping your windows closed during high speeds can also help reduce fuel.

Another thing you should take into consideration is whether turning on your vehicle's air conditioning is necessary. What we mean by this is that, unless you are driving at high speeds, turning on your air-conditioner on a hot day is not actually required when you can just open your windows. By using your air conditioner, you are increasing your fuel consumption.

Furthermore, combine all of your short trips together because when your vehicle is already warmed up, it should burn less fuel then it would with cold starts.

Keep in mind that your tyre pressure can also increase the fuel consumption of your vehicle. To ensure this doesn't occur for you, find the correct tyre pressure required for your vehicle and make sure you maintain it.

Driving style

The way you drive will contribute to your fuel costs. In order to maintain fuel efficient when driving, you must have a strong ability to read the road ahead of you. You must be able to anticipate the car in front of you and other road user’s actions. Not only does this prevent potential hazards, but it will also allow for less braking and acceleration - ultimately reducing the amount of fuel used.  

In addition to this, the faster you drive, the more fuel you will burn. For example, although a speed limit sign displays 80mph, to save yourself money on fuel (and if it is safe to do so), drop down to 70-75mph. You will still get to your destination in an efficient amount of time, however, you will be reducing the amount of fuel burned over long periods of time. Likewise, when reaching up to these high speeds, you will also want to change to high gear as soon as you can.

Another thing to be mindful of is how you drive over speed bumps. Whenever you brake hard and accelerate fast to the next speed bump, you are essentially burning extra fuel. Instead, keep a steady pace or 15-20mph. Luckily, the majority of residential areas now have the speed requirements of 20mph, making it easier for you to achieve and maintain this speed.

Additionally, if you are the type of person who accelerates harshly, you are essentially increasing the amount of fuel used through this driving habit. The reason for this is because, the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you’ll use. Instead, ease your foot onto the accelerator.  

Vehicle maintenance

Looking after your vehicle, in general, will help reduce the chances of major repairs. And keeping on top of your vehicle maintenance can and will help you reduce the amount of fuel your vehicle burns. This is because car servicing helps improve the efficiency of your vehicle, which ultimately improves your overall fuel consumption.

If you have any enquires on what we have covered throughout this article, please feel free to contact us. Alternatively, book your car service today to make sure your car is in tip-top condition.

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