As the price of petrol continues to rise so are the measures that people are taking to reduce their fuel consumption. Buying electric or hybrid cars such as a Prius (who knows why), cycling to work or school or taking public transport. If none of those are on your to do list anytime soon then here are some easy tips that one can attempt to apply in your everyday driving style of your own car.
Tip 1: Air Conditioner or Open Windows
I am sure you all know that using your air-conditioner uses petrol and thus you avoid this by opening windows. If you really need either the AC on or the windows open, you should use the AC at speeds over 90km/h. Aerodynamic drag increases exponentially with speed and when you have your windows open, the drag increases drastically. If you drive with windows open at speeds over 95km/h then you will be using a lot more petrol than if you were to use your AC with all windows closed. Outcome: At lower speeds, the open window trick is the way to go otherwise use your AC. Click read more for tips 2, 3 and 4.
Tip 2: Cruise at Slower Speed (if you can)
This is directly related to drag as in the previous tip and most people know this already. The slower one can cruise, the better the consumption will be. This is because it requires less power to overcome drag at a slower speed than at a higher speed. Outcome: If you don’t need to hammer it on the highway, take a chilled cruise and watch your range climb high. Image below shows results from actual test.
This is the best tip I feel because you can have the pleasure of using your car’s performance without worrying about the efficiency and fuel consumption. I initially thought that the more carefully you accelerate the less fuel you will consume. Well this is slightly incorrect. Cars are designed to get better economy out of the higher gears and lower economy out of the lower gears. If you accelerate up to the speed you want slowly, it will use up more of your petrol than if you were to get to the same speed by accelerating harder. In a test that Popular Mechanics did, they found that taking 15 seconds to accelerate to 80km/h used less fuel than taking 30 seconds to reach the same speed. Outcome: Reach your most economical gear faster. See image below.
Tip 4: Coasting To Stop and Coasting Downhill
Since I have been driving, I have always though that leaving the car in neutral and just cruising down the hills would be best to save my precious petrol but I am indeed incorrect. Coasting downhill in neutral is actually illegal in most states in USA because it can become dangerous if the hill is too steep. Leaving the car in gear while coasting downhill actually is more efficient. The reason for this is because most of the new cars today use a computer controlled deceleration fuel cut off. What this does is when you lift your foot from the accelerator pedal while leaving the car in gear, injectors shut off automatically, and the car’s momentum and rotation of the tyres keep the engine turning. So, the engine consumes no fuel at all while the vehicle is coasting downhill. It is also evident to everyone who drives that coasting to a stop will be highly beneficial to the driver and passengers in terms of comfort, to the cars mechanical components and to the efficiency of the engine. If you can see that you will need to stop soon, rather let go accelerator and coast to a stop than hitting the brakes at the last second. Outcome: Leaving car in gear when coasting down a hill uses less petrol than if it were in neutral and attempt to look for situations where you can coast to stop from a larger distance away.
Can afford this car but cant afford petrol??
Hope that some of you use these tips and find them very helpful in reducing your fuel consumption and softening the blow to your pocket each month.