As fuel costs rise and show little sign of falling, drivers can try to mitigate some of the increased costs by making a few little tweaks to their driving routines.
Firstly, as drivers might to prepare for autumn and winter, having the car serviced to make sure that the car is running at its optimum level is a good place to start. A properly tuned and maintained engine means that from a mechanical perspective it will be running as efficiently as it can be.
Checking tyres regularly ensures that they are at the correct pressure according to the owner’s manual (or the sticker which is often displayed on the door sill) as incorrectly inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption. Some cars have a warning light to alert the driver that a tyre pressure is incorrect.
Inevitably, using the car’s air-conditioning or heater uses power which ultimately comes from the engine and therefore uses extra fuel. However, there is some comfort to be had from the knowledge that fuel economy automatically improves a little as the temperatures increase throughout spring.
Nevertheless, when a car starts from cold, more fuel is used than when it is warm and running efficiently. This means that making one journey to a few different stops in a warm car is more economical than going on repeated single journeys for which the car restarts from cold each time.
Once you are out though, as accelerating quickly uses more fuel, some cars also have an eco-mode which, if used, makes acceleration smoother and slower, reducing the amount of fuel used in turn – so it’s worth checking whether the car has one. If not, then mindful, slower and smoother acceleration can help as unnecessary speed uses unnecessary amount of fuel.
Likewise, breaking heavily uses more fuel, so looking ahead and decelerating smoothly and gradually should help. According to the RAC, changing up through the gears quickly, at the lowest revs possible (usually between 1500 – 2000rpm) so that drivers are in the highest gear they can be within that speed limit will achieve a more economical use of fuel.
And finally, taking any unnecessary items out of the car means that fuel is not being used to carry the increased weight. This also goes for roof boxes and roof racks if they’re not being used as they increase air resistance, again using more fuel to travel at the same speed than would be used without them, as is also the case if the windows are fully open.
Hopefully, using a few of these techniques when driving should help go some way towards countering the increasing cost of fuel.