Tips and Advice for Drivers Looking To Go Green
With World Car Free Day on the 22nd September, drivers are encouraged to give up their cars for a day to take the heat off the planet. With the awareness day encouraging motorists to also reduce their emissions, it begs the question - how can we all play our part?
Reducing your car’s emissions is great for the environment, and a cleaner car will also provide increased fuel economy, better performance and will therefore be cheaper to run.
Whether you’re a city driver or a long distance driver, there are many ways that you can go green and not only reduce your emissions, but hopefully save money in the long run too! This guide gives some useful tips and advice on what will improve fuel consumption.
Your driving style really can have a huge impact on your fuel economy. In order to use less petrol or diesel on journeys, try to keep your driving smooth with gentle acceleration and use a higher gear than usual.
Rather than approaching a red traffic light in a rush, try to ease off the accelerator early if you are due to brake. This style of driving is known as eco-safe driving as it minimises rapid accelerating and ensures that gears are used efficiently.
Maintenance of your car is important and should never be forgotten about. Keep your car well maintained by ensuring it is in good mechanical shape with a regular service to keep it in tip-top condition and make sure you are using the correct fluids, lubricants and parts.
This also links back to filling up your vehicle with the recommended fuel type in order to get the best performance from your car and allow the engine to work more efficiently. This means that you should read your car manual as it will tell you to use standard unleaded fuel or fuel with a reduced octane rating.
Remove Excess Weight
Roof boxes, bike racks or any other bulky items can have a significant impact on your fuel economy, which is why it’s well worth having a clear out from time to time and only travel with what you need rather than packing everything but the kitchen sink!
When carrying more weight, your vehicle has to work harder to cut through the air and can therefore increase your fuel consumption.
Tyre pressure can also have a detrimental impact on your fuel economy, with incorrect tyre pressure of just 10 PSI under the recommended level increasing fuel consumption by 2.5%.
Keep monitoring your tyre pressure and pump up your tyres to reduce resistance. It’s also important to understand that the fuel efficiency rating of a tyre is another factor that shouldn’t be overlooked.
Plan your journey
Traffic! If you’re a regular driver, you’ll understand the pain of traffic slowing you down and leaving you at a standstill during your journey.
Try to reduce your fuel consumption by planning your journey and looking for routes which provide less congestion. Of course, it can help to avoid driving at busy times, although this isn’t always possible if there’s somewhere you need to be. Most sat nav systems and mobiles will show you the most economical route to get you to the same destination, using less fuel.
Air Conditioning Usage
Leaving your air conditioning, heated seats, heated steering wheels, heated windscreen, demister and other electricals switched on at all times can put a strain on your engine and inevitably use more fuel.
As a general rule of thumb, anything that can drain your battery, can also drain your fuel too, with air conditioning known as the biggest culprit of all!
Change Gear Early
Be gentle with your driving and change gear earlier rather than driving in high revs. Accelerate and brake gently to avoid the engine struggling. For a petrol car, you should change gear at 2500rpm, whereas a diesel car should be 2000rpm.
Driving 80mph can use between 10-25% more fuel than driving 70mph, as well as land you with an expensive speeding fine. Stick to the speed limits and use cruise control when driving at higher speeds. Speeding for 30 minutes on the motorway can not only cost you in fuel, but may also cost you in your licence.
When your car is stationary, try to avoid having the engine turned on if the car is stationary for some time. Even though you aren’t driving, your car is still using fuel. To be more specific, idling can consume between half a gallon to a gallon of a fuel every hour, whilst also pumping carbon dioxide into the environment.
Modern cars that benefit from “stop/start” technology can save fuel when stationary as the engine switches off when idle.
Build up momentum when going downhill to help keep you moving and support you when going downhill, rather than the need to accelerate. Ease off the accelerator and keep your momentum - you’ll be saving fuel and making your life easier!
Consider Buying a Hybrid
Alternatively, if you find petrol or diesel costs are becoming costly, you may be well worth investing in a hybrid vehicle which can reduce costs of fuel by using electric power when needed most. Some hybrids are also very affordable, with price points at around £10,000 for some used models. Otherwise, you may also wish to consider buying a second hand electric car.
Why Choose Us?
Here at Parklands Motors, we pride ourselves in making your buying process easy and hassle-free. For your peace of mind, all of our vehicles come with a minimum of 8 months MOT, up to date service, and also go through a rigorous 85-point pre-delivery inspection prior to the collection/delivery of the vehicle.
Contact us today for more information on our cars and services.