Fuel costs seem to be on an almost continuous upward march, and while new cars are more fuel-efficient than ever, there’s still plenty more you can do to improve your fuel economy. Follow our simple tips to extract every mile-per-gallon possible.
1. Set the right tyre pressures
If your car’s tyre pressures are too low, a larger surface area will be in contact with the road. That increases drag, and in turn reduces your fuel economy. Refer to your owner’s manual to check the correct pressures, and top up the air at a nearby fuel station.
2. Embrace a smoother driving style
Low revs reward patient drivers. Accelerating hard away from the lights is a sure-fire way to sabotage your fuel economy figures, so go steady with your right foot, change up through the gears sooner, then let off the gas and coast a while before next applying the brakes.
3. Lighten up
It’s easy to treat your car as an additional storage space, but every extra gram of weight will be costing you pennies. When not in use, get rid of anything that spoils your car’s aerodynamics (like roof boxes and bike racks), and move out weighty sports or maintenance equipment when you can.
4. Change the air filter
The air filter gets rid of unwanted airborne particulates, preventing them from entering the engine and ensuring the perfect fuel/air mix for efficient combustion. Over time it will become clogged, forcing the engine to use a ‘richer’ fuel-to-air ratio, in order to get the same amount of power from each rev. Replacing them is affordable and can be done as part of your annual service.
5. Turn off your air con
Air conditioning is well-known for sapping fuel economy, because it draws on engine power to operate. The effect can be as much as 20%. If it’s not absolutely necessary, refrain from using it - lowering the windows for a few minutes can be equally as cooling.
6. Plan your journeys
You’ll often see official MPG figures broken down into ‘urban’ and ‘extra-urban’ - or, ‘city’ and ‘not city’ to you and me. The stop-start pattern caused by heavy traffic and waiting at lights means you’re often driving in the lowest gears, at high revs. So plan your journeys to avoid the busiest roads and snarl-ups, perhaps by using a sat nav.
Speak to a member of the team at your nearest Inchcape Retail Centre to arrange scheduled maintenance of your car, or book online today. Our trained experts will be happy to help you find the most fuel-efficient version of any model you might have your eye on.