Top ten tips for improving fuel efficiency

In a world where the cost of motoring is ever increasing, we all look for ways to save some money. If you are looking for ways to save money, short of selling your car, we can offer a few pointers of how you can increase your car’s fuel economy.

Car refuelling following our top ten tips for improving fuel efficiency

Follow our ten top tips below to improve your efficiency, get the best MPG from your car and more importantly, save money!

Reduce drag

Any external carrying kits such as roof racks, roof boxes or bike racks can add extra drag to your car. This means it has to work harder to cut through the air due to extra wind resistances, which requires more fuel to do. When they are not in use, they should be removed to avoid excess drag.

Remove excess weight

Remember when you packed a shovel in your car just in case you needed to clear any snow in the winter? Did you remember to take it out when the weather warmed up? If the answer is no, get it out straight away to reduce any excess weight. Also, if you’re heading out without the kids, the pushchair can come out of the car.

Watch the electrical appliances

Keep an eye on the electrical appliances you have switched on in the car, including demisters, heated windscreens and air conditioning. Leaving these turned on unnecessarily can put a strain on the engine, causing it to burn more fuel. Unless you are uncomfortably hot or freezing cold, you should keep the air-con and heating turned off.

Be gentle with the pedals

Whenever possible, you should be gentle with the pedals. This means there shouldn’t be any harsh acceleration or slamming on the breaks (unless there is an emergency). You should also pay attention to your gear changing when you are driving. As a general rule, you should change up gear before 2000rpm in a diesel and 2500rpm in a petrol. Just make sure you don’t let the engine struggle at low revs.

Stick to the speed limits

This should be a given (as it is the law!) but research has found that doing 80mph uses up to 25% more fuel than doing 70mph, so keep an eye on that speedo.

Keep your car well maintained

Keeping your car well maintained with the basic checks and having it serviced regularly can help you to save fuel over time. Pump up your tyres to reduce resistance and have your car serviced regularly to ensure there aren’t any parts affecting your mpg (for example, dirty air filters can cause your car to burn more fuel).

Plan your journeys

Make sure you plan your journey, and avoid areas that will be busy with traffic at certain points of the day. Invest in a sat-nav to help you with diversions, stop you from getting lost and driving farther than necessary.

Read the roads

Look into the distance when you are driving and keep your speed fairly constant throughout your journey. Use gravity to your advantage and use the downhill momentum to help you get uphill, rather than accelerating into them.

Use engine stop-start

Many modern cars are now fitted with stop-start technology, which means the engine goes into a “sleep” state when you are stationary, such as in traffic or at traffic lights. Take full advantage of this by putting your car into neutral and taking your foot off the clutch when you are stationary, and you’ll save money.

Fill up in the morning, not the evening

Not necessarily a way of improving your mpg, but it can help you to get more fuel for your money. As fuel storage tanks are underground, the colder the ground, the denser the petrol will be. As petrol pumps don’t measure volume or density of the petrol, but rather the flow-rate of the fuel, it will assume the petrol is always the same density so will deliver the same amount of fuel in the same amount of time regardless.

If the fuel is colder, it will be denser and you will get slightly more for your money. For example, if the temperature is 10°C cooler in the morning than the afternoon, you can get around 2% more petrol earlier in the day. It may not sound like a lot, but it’s better to be in your tank than left in the pump!