Fuel efficient driving tips
When people think of driving in a fuel efficient manner, most people think about smooth throttle control. For the most part though, vehicle maintenance, wheel alignments and keeping your vehicle clean will go a long way to getting the most from your tank.
In this article we’re going to look at the top 5 tips for economical driving.
1: Make sure tyres are inflated to correct pressure
Having tyres that are inflated to the correct pressures is absolutely essential to getting the most efficiency from your vehicle. As tyre pressure drops, the contact patch with the road increases and your tyres will generate more friction with the road surface.
This increased rolling resistance can affect your economy. A study in the USA by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) found that for every 10% under recommended pressures your tyres were, fuel economy was worsened by an average of 2%.
Checking your tyre pressure is easy, and is recommended to be done at least fortnightly. If you want help on how to do this, come see Barry and the team at Kogarah Tyrepower.
2: Ensure your car is balanced and aligned correctly.
Every vehicle has some adjustment in the suspension to ensure that all 4 wheels are pointing in exactly the right direction, as per the manufacturer specifications. Sometimes this alignment can be thrown out of spec by a pothole, a change in vehicle height or even hitting a curb while parking.
A poorly aligned car will handle in unpredictable ways because the tyres will be fighting each other over what direction to make the vehicle drive. As a result, fuel alignment can be up to 10% worse. Not to mention, causing premature tyre wear.
Get a wheel alignment check every 10,000kms, when you get new tyres fitted or if you ever hit a significant pothole or road debris.
3: Avoid start-stop traffic
As far as efficient driving goes, start-stop traffic is up there for one of the most noticeable ways to burn through a tank quicker than you’d like.
Your vehicle’s average economy is likely between 6-11 litres per hundred kms over a full tank, depending on the type of vehicle. Accelerating away from traffic lights up to the speed limit can see that number soar to well over 30-40 litres per hundred.
Using tools like Google Maps can help you to map out a more efficient route. You can see which roads have more traffic than normal, you might find a longer route with fewer traffic lights, intersections or traffic, all of which can save you big dollars at the bowser.
4: Combine errands so the car spends less time cold
Vehicles run in a very rich fuel mode when they are cold. When the engine is cold, air entering the engine is harder to ignite, so the car will add more fuel to help the engine run smoother. A rich burn also helps warm up o2 sensors and catalytic converters quicker, which need to be up to temperature to function correctly.
Combining trips and planning your days to avoid multiple short trips means that your vehicle only has to warm up to temperature once and is a great move for increasing mileage. Ultimately saving you money at the bowser.
5: Lose weight.
Okay, that was a bit cheeky, but hear us out. More weight in your vehicle means the engine has to try harder to get you moving up to speed every time, regardless of how smooth you are with the throttle.
Leaving heavy items in your vehicle like sports equipment, excess tools or office paperwork can add up. We often see vehicles loaded up with unnecessary items that are rarely used.
Remove excess weight in your vehicle, not only will your fuel economy thank you, so will your tyres and suspension.
Contact us today!
Tyrepower Kogarah are Sydney’s Premium Pirelli Dealer. Come visit us at our new workshop, located at 7 Lindsay Street, Rockdale.
We specialise in new tyres, wheel alignments and balancing as well as vehicle inspections and pink slips.
Contact us today on (02) 9587 3366 or use the contact form to send us a message!