Most modern vehicles are designed for optimum fuel efficiency. As with any machine, the way it is operated can make a huge difference. The way you treat and drive you vehicle will have a big impact on the fuel efficiency you get from your tank and your impact on the environment.
Care for your vehicle, care for the environment
Secure more fuel efficiency by giving your vehicle the care and attention it deserves. A small investment in servicing, maintenance and choice of fuel will quickly pay dividends.
Regular Servicing maintains the efficiency of your engine- a well tuned engine improves fuel economy.
Fuels and Liquids – by choosing the right fuel you will get more distance for your money. High quality motor oils help your engine operate more efficiently.
Correct tyre pressure – driving with under or over-inflated tyres will optimise your vehicle’s performance. For example, tyres under inflated by 15psi (1 bar) have increased rolling resistance which translates to an increase of approximately 6% in fuel consumption.1 Check your owner manual for the recommended pressures for ‘normal’ and for ‘loaded’ driving.
Perhaps more importantly, correct tyre inflation pressure will also increase your personal safety. It’s both simple and inexpensive to check your tyres. Do it now!
Battery condition – it is generally recommended that a battery is changed every three to four years. Apart from the obvious start-up issues, a battery in poor condition will cause the alternator to constantly try and charge the battery and reduce your fuel economy.
On the road – drive smarter
Lighten your load - extra weight means extra fuel so ditch any items you don’t need. The load weight of your vehicle will be carefully calculated but besides your official cargo, think about any personal items that you may have forgotten about – do you really need them?
Switch on to switching off - idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you’re in a queue or waiting for someone. As a rule if you stop for over 10 seconds, switch off your engine. Some cars now have a ‘stop and go’ system where the engine automatically switches off when you stop at lights, put your car in neutral and take your foot off the pedals.
The same rule applies to your battery - anything that puts a drain on the battery will put a drain on your fuel. Only use electrics such as air conditioning or windscreen demister when needed, otherwise switch off.
Watch those revs - the higher the gear, the lower your engine speed and this will improve fuel efficiency. So change up a gear whenever you can, without labouring the engine. Change gear in good time when you pull away or when you’re accelerating. Never ‘redline’ the rev counter.
Keep your speed down - not only will driving faster increase your fuel use but the extra wind resistance you encounter will also affect it.
Aerodynamics - designers invest time and money to streamline a car for fuel efficiency. Opening your windows or sunroof can heavily impact your fuel economy and roof racks should be removed when not in use.
Anticipate traffic flow - avoid stop-start driving to save fuel. Slow down early to let traffic lights change, rather than stopping completely, or speed up a little before you reach the foot of a hill. Leave a sensible distance between yourself and the car ahead to give you ample time to brake evenly. Driving in heavy stop-start traffic will negatively affect fuel economy. Avoid the rush hours if you can.
Harsh acceleration and harsh braking - this will occur when more force than normal is applied to the vehicle’s accelerator or brake. This is an indicator of aggressive or unsafe driving. At the very least this style of driving is wasteful and uneconomic.
In Vehicle Monitoring System (IVMS) - by using the onboard computer system, you are able to track how fuel efficient your driving is and this in turn will help you develop steps to becoming more fuel efficient.
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