As fuel prices soar to record high levels, we are all feeling the pinch at the pumps. The Russian invasion of Ukraine and other geopolitical factors have seen the Irish driver paying more for diesel or petrol than ever before. Despite Government reduction in duty, it seems that his is another ‘new reality’ that we must learn to live with. Driving is a necessity and not a luxury and while we all scan the forecourts and watch the pump prices, we have no choice but to purchase fuel. Did you know that there are a number of simple and easy ways to reduce the amount of fuel your vehicle uses? Here are a few quick and simple tips to make the tank go further.
The speed you drive at is arguably the most important factor in the amount of fuel your car will consume. Reducing speed and driving as smoothly and gently as possible can save you as much as 10% on fuel cost at the pumps. When driving, try not to lose momentum as you approach inclines and always try to anticipate what is happening ahead. This will avoid stop/start driving and having to use bursts of fuel to get you there. It is advisable to change gear before 2500rpm for a petrol vehicle and before 2000rpm for a diesel vehicle in order to achieve maximum efficiency. Steady speed and smooth roads are the way to go. Choose to drive at off peak times and avoid traffic jams as much as possible by picking alternative routes and travel times.
Maintaining your car with regular car services and attention to any issues will help the mileage and the smooth running of the engine. This will help save on fuel consumption. Clogged up filters and dirty old oil mean a hotter and less efficient engine performance and the burning of more petrol or diesel. If the engine is properly lubricated and has the right viscosity it will work to its optimum. Poor wheel alignment and badly adjusted breaks will also impact on the gas guzzling. Look after the car and it will save money in the long run.
Driving on tyres with incorrect pressure is another common reason that causes drivers to use excessive fuel. Believe it or not, you can save between 3-4% of your fuel usage by driving on correctly aligned and pressurised tyres. Life will be smoother and safer too.
Cruise control aids fuel economy when motorway driving. However, if you use it on Irish back roads it is likely to cost you more as it is slower than the average driver when reacting to changes in the gradient of the road. Interestingly, motorway driving is the most fuel-efficient as you can leave the car in top gear and cruise along using less gas.
The air conditioning blasting will see an increase in fuel usage. The heater uses less but still takes a toll on the overall consumption. Use them when you must but be aware of the costs involved. Dress for the weather inside the car and out and open a window if you need to.
Roof racks and roof boxes will cause wind resistance and cause the car to use more fuel. According to some sources, an empty roof rack adds 16% drag and a roof box adds 39% drag when driving at 80kmp making the drive much more expensive.
Unnecessary items in the boot won’t make a massive difference to fuel savings, but every little helps when the prices are on the up. Empty the boot.
Finally, there are a number of prices watching sites that can show you which garage has the cheapest fuel in your area on any given day. A simple Google search will lead you there.
A few simple steps can make the difference to energy and fuel savings. If you need any advice about your car and its fuel consumption, drop in and talk to the team at Sandyford Motor Centre. We are always happy to help