Improving fuel economy


Improving your car's MPG


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With petrol prices spiraling ever upwards here are some handy tip that could improve your fuel economy by up to 30%. One single fact controls most aspects of fuel economy:- The lower the engine revs, the lower the fuel consumption.

Stay in top gear: Try to get into as high a gear as quickly as possible, without labouring the engine. In top gear, the engine revs are less than they would be for the same speed in any other gear.

Accelerate slower: This is probably the best way to save fuel. Remember to try to try to get to top gear as quickly as possible. It may be possible to double shift up. e.g. go from second to fourth.

Reduce speed: Travelling at 75 mph on a motorway compared to 65 mph could mean a saving of around 15% on fuel. Up to 60 mph fuel use stays reasonably constant, over 60 mph and fuel economy starts to fall dramatically.

Constant speed. Statistics show that driving at a constant speed reduces fuel usage. So travelling on motorways is often more efficient than driving around town. (Have a look at the fuel consumption figures published for your car). In town try to maintain a constant speed by cruising up to cars in the queue in front or to red lights - who knows, the car may have moved or the light might have changed by the time you get there.

Avoid sharp breaking: As mentioned above constant speed is best. If you can slow down earlier by taking your foot of the accelerator rather than whizzing up to a red light/back of a queue and then breaking sharply fuel will be saved.

Turn off air conditioning and keep windows up: Air conditioning turned on can add 10% or more to the cost of the fuel you use, if you must use it, try to keep the temperature comfortable rather than Arctic. Opening windows increases the aerodynamic drag of the car, but is probably less costly than air conditioning.

Cut weight: More weight increases the fuel usage during acceleration. Remove unnecessary weight from your boot - we don't mean the spare tyre! Roof racks / roof boxes as well as adding weight increase the aerodynamic drag of the car, reducing fuel economy further.

Idling: If you are stuck in a queue that probably won't be going anywhere in the next minute and you don't have problems starting your car, why not turn the engine off.

In summary saving 10% here or there does not seem like much, but assuming an average of 35 mpg from you car when you do 12000 miles per year with petrol prices at £1.20/liter will cost you around £1900 per year, a 15% saving will save you nearly £300 per year.

Fuel Computer: If you have a car with a computer, the chances are it will tell you your miles per gallon. Try experimenting on a flat piece of road by resetting your computer and driving at various speeds to see the difference it makes. Use your computer to see the difference altering you driving style makes on a set journey, for example your trip to work.





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