10 Top Tips for Fuel Economy

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With ever increasing fuel prices due to the soaring cost of oil and various unrelated planned UK tax hikes, the cost of living is increasing ever higher.

There are many creative ways to improve fuel consumption; from chipping your engine management system to using magnets that are supposed to increase fuel burn by agitating fuel particles.  Some may work; others may be products preying on those desperate to save money on their monthly bills.  The fact remains that there are many less expensive and easier ways to save money when it comes to cutting your fuel bill.

Each of the 10 tips listed below may not increase fuel economy by much on their own but together they could you save a substantial amount of money on your fuel bill each month:

1: Keep your tyres inflated; fuel efficiency can be decreased by around 3% if they are below the manufacturers recommended pressure – also shortening their lifespan through increased wear.

2: Keep your car serviced; ensuring you replace your oil and air filters regularly and your engine well tuned will allow your vehicle to operate to its maximum level of efficiency.

3: Drive smoothly; Speeding away from traffic lights and junctions with rapid bursts of acceleration can use up to 60% more fuel than even paced and controlled acceleration.

4: Use your high gears; making sure you use the highest gear possible at all speeds (where safe and allowable) will improve your fuel economy as the engine will need to perform fewer revolutions to maintain its speed.

5: Stick to the speed limit; you will use much more fuel travelling at 80mph than at 70mph, in fact between 10-20% more in the majority of cases.  Not forgetting the fact that it is also illegal to travel at this speed.

6: Air con; you should only use your air conditioning when absolutely necessary.  At slow speeds and on urban journeys fuel consumption can be heavily effected.  Smaller petrol engines suffer more than their larger petrol/diesel counterparts.

7: Walk where possible; this may seem an obvious piece of advice but many of us drive to our local shops each day when we could be walking.  A cold engine can return half its usual fuel economy – go on, take a walk for that morning paper.

8: Don’t warm up in winter; hands up who’s guilty of leaving their car warming up on the drive in winter, we’ve all most probably considered it at some point.  The fact is, it not only increases engine wear and increases the risk of it being stolen, but also waste’s large amounts of fuel in a cold and idling engine.

9: Don’t rev your engine unnecessarily; sitting at traffic lights revving your engine to impress the car next to you wastes a large amount of fuel needlessly and also makes you look like a fool.

10: Watch the road ahead; keeping an eye on the road ahead for changing driving conditions which could mean you have to brake.  Easing off on the accelerator and maintaining a constant speed (cruise control can be handy for this) will really improve your fuel economy on long motorway journeys.

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