Owning a car is expensive, but you can’t really avoid that cost because you need your car to get around. You can, however, cut the cost of car ownership if you find ways to slash your fuel costs. Improving fuel efficiency is a brilliant way to make savings that quickly add up over time.
The easiest way to save on fuel costs is to buy a more efficient car. When you are buying a used car, this is one of the most important things to consider. People make the mistake of buying a cheap car, thinking that they’re getting an amazing deal. The thing is, they don’t consider the fuel efficiency of the car and they end up spending a lot more money in the future. So, before you buy any new car, always check how efficient it is.
Even if you have a modern car and the fuel efficiency is pretty good, you can still make some big savings if you try these simple tips and tricks.
Reduce Weight In The Car
Extra weight puts more strain on the car and makes the engine work harder, so you use more fuel when you are driving. So, if you want to save money, you just need to remove some weight from the car. Start by opening the trunk and taking out anything that you don’t need right now. For example, you don’t need to carry your snow shovel around with you during the summer.
If you’re serious about cutting fuel consumption, there are some adjustments you can make to your car. Swapping out heavy electrical components for lighter options or changing some of the body panels can make a big difference. If you are willing to spend a bit of money, you can find lighter options for most of the components in your car. However, it all depends on how much time and money you want to invest and whether the money you spend will be worth it in terms of fuel savings.
Cutting back on drag is just as important as reducing weight. This isn’t always a problem but if you regularly use a roof box or bike rack on the car, you should consider taking it off when you aren’t using it. These bulky items create a lot of air resistance and slow the car down, so you use a lot more fuel.
Manage Tyre Pressure
Most car manufacturers recommend that you check your “tyre” pressure every few weeks, but most people don’t do it that often. It’s even more important to check the pressure regularly during the winter because they deflate a lot faster. Keeping your “tyres” pumped up is vital if you want to improve fuel efficiency because driving on flat “tyres” will use a lot more fuel.
It can also be incredibly dangerous, so make sure that you inflate them every few weeks. Check your owner’s manual and you will be able to find the eco option for the “tyre” pressure. Putting more air in the “tyres” increases fuel efficiency but it can have an impact on handling, so you have to be careful during the winter when the roads are wet.
When you are inflating your “tyres”, take the time to check the condition of your wheels and “tyres”. If they are in bad condition and they are wearing down, consider replacing the wheels and tyres to ensure that your car is safe. Looking after your “tyres” is one of the best ways to stay on top of your fuel usage.
Switch Off The Air Conditioning
People don’t always think about the impact that air conditioning has on fuel consumption. But any electrical items in the car put extra strain on the engine and use more fuel. So, if you’re trying to save the pennies, consider switching off the air conditioning unless you actually need it. That doesn’t mean that you have to sit in a freezing cold car in the middle of winter but get out of the habit of switching it on constantly, and only leave it on until the car has warmed up or cooled down, then turn it off again.
Consider Your Driving Style
The way that you drive makes a big difference to your fuel consumption. The biggest mistake people make is waiting too late to switch gears so the engine is struggling at low revs. You can save fuel if you accelerate and brake gently and change gears as early as possible. Ideally, you should change gears before 25000rpm in a petrol car and 2000rpm in a diesel.
If your car has it, using the stop/start feature is a simple way to save fuel as well. If you sit at the lights with your foot on the clutch, the engine will continue to burn through fuel. But if you take your foot off, the engine shuts off and you save fuel. It doesn’t seem like it will make much difference but if you consider all of the time you spend idling, it quickly adds up.
Plan Your Routes Better
You’d be surprised how much fuel people waste because they don’t plan their routes properly. They drive the way that they’ve always driven, even if there is a much shorter route. You’re covering more distance, so you’re wasting money for no reason. But if you actually take the time to use a GPS app, even for journeys that you have done countless times before, you might be able to save some time and money.
It’s best to use a GPS every time you drive because they can alert you to any traffic. Bypassing traffic means less time spent on the road, so you save money and get to your destination quicker.
Fuel is one of the most expensive aspects of car ownership. These are all effective ways to cut your fuel consumption and even though they only make a small difference on their own, when you combine them all together, you will save a lot of fuel every time you get behind the wheel. Over time, those savings will add up to a very significant amount of money.
Be safe out there.
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