Friday, 4 November 2016

Want to save money on fuel? Here are ten tips to burn (and spend) less...

Do you have that nagging feeling that you are spending too much money on your car’s fuel? Well, you probably are. In fact, most of us do things that waste fuel when we’re driving. Many of these things are habits that we get into and don’t know how to break. But it doesn’t have to be that way. If you pay more attention to the way you drive and the habits you have, you will be able to learn and change. It’s pretty simple to make the kinds of changes that could save you money.

It’s not just about saving money either. When you burn less fuel, you will be contributing less to the problem of global warming. It might be a small step, but every little change you make is a step in the right direction. All in all, there’s nothing to lose and a lot to gain by changing how you drive your car and use fuel. So, here are 10 great ways to burn and spend less.

1. Make sure you're driving the right car

Before you go any further, you should make sure that you have the right car. The fact of the matter is, some cars are more fuel efficient than others. This is something that you can’t escape from. Of course, as the ideas below will prove, you can make any car more fuel efficient. But that doesn’t change the inherent fact that some cars will always be pretty inefficient. If this applies to your car, you could have a look at cars on offer from dealers such as Spire Automotive. Switching cars might be your best option.

2. Don’t leave the car idle

Leaving your car’s engine running when it’s idle is a huge mistake. It wastes so much fuel, and you are not even getting any use out of that fuel, so it’s a complete waste of money. You can’t allow this to happen if you are serious about making your car more fuel efficient. So, whether you’re waiting for someone or just warming up the car, stop running the engine. It might seem like a good idea, but it’s really not. The truth is, modern cars really don’t need to have their engines warmed up before they hit the road. So, don’t do this because it just wastes money and fuel.

3. Avoid times of busy traffic

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It’s always best to plan your driving so that it happens at times when the traffic is not going to be busy. The benefit of doing this is that you won’t need to be starting and stopping your car all the time. This is a huge deal, so don’t underestimate its importance. When you are able to drive steadily without stopping all the time, you will use a lot less fuel. And you won’t need to leave your engine running as you sit in traffic jams. As was made clear above, leaving your car idle with the engine running is never a good idea if you want to save money.

4. Stop weighing your car down
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If your car weighs more than it needs to, you will have to burn more fuel to get it moving. This is one of the most simple laws of physics, so don’t ignore it. Lighter cars move faster. And even
a small reduction in the overall weight of your vehicle can make it more fuel efficient. So, when was the last time you had a real clear out of your car? If there is a lot of junk and unwanted items in the boot or the back seats, remove them. And don’t leave that roof box on the car for any longer than it needs to be there.

5. Combine your journeys

The less you drive your car, the less fuel you use. It’s a pretty obvious idea, but it’s easy to forget about it when you are going about your daily life in a busy and hurried manner. So, why not try to combine your journeys? That way, you can make less of them and make sure that you are not using up more fuel than you really need to. Instead of going to the shop and then coming home, before picking the kids up later, why not go to the shop after you’ve picked them up? It makes a lot of sense to do things this way.

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6. Minimise wind resistance

Wind resistance is one of those important things that not many drivers pay much attention to. It’s not just something that affects top-end racing drivers though. Wind resistance is a significant factor in how much fuel you use when you are driving. If your car is aerodynamic, you will use less fuel. That’s why you should not have the sunroof or windows down unless you need to. And you should also remove things like bike racks that might add to the wind resistance your car experiences.

7. Align your wheels and keep your tyres inflated

The wheels of your car are very important. One thing that every driver should do is keep them inflated so that the air pressure is at the correct level. But this is not where you should leave things. There are other wheel-related issues that can have an impact on the fuel efficiency of your car. For a start, you should make sure that the wheels are perfectly aligned. When you achieve this, your car will move more steadily without wasting energy.

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8. Change how you accelerate

Think about how you use the accelerator pedal in your car. Do you treat it harshly? Do you slam it down and then drastically pull off it? This is what many people do, but it’s not a good way to drive your car if your aim is to save fuel. The more gently you use the accelerator, the more efficiently driving your car will become. It’s impossible to drive in a fuel efficient way when you are forcing your car to speed up and slow down at short notice. The sudden speed changes cause the car to use more fuel than it should.

9. Try not to go faster than 55mph

There is a point at which your car’s fuel efficiency starts to dip. Of course, this differs depending on what car you are driving. But, generally speaking, the high point of your car’s fuel efficiency is around 55 mph. Once you pass that point, the fuel efficiency of the engine will become less. So, the best speed to drive at is around 55 mph. Of course, you should only do this as and when the road and speed limit permits. But try not to speed too much, even if you have the option to. It won’t help you save fuel.

10. Look after your car consistently

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You’ll need to ensure that your car is in great shape if it’s going to run and conserve fuel. When cars are allowed to get into bad shape, their engines become degraded. This means that they face problems, and these problems usually lead to the car having to use more fuel. Even doing simple things like changing the air filters will make a big difference. When cars don’t have the air that they need in their engines, they become a lot less efficient. This is a very real issue, and it’s one that you will have to keep in mind.

Now that you are armed with knowledge and great tips, you can start to make real changes to your driving in order to save fuel.

** This is a collaborative post

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