Fluctuating fuel prices are forcing many drivers to look for ways to make their vehicles more fuel-efficient. Some are even considering replacing their current vehicles with a hybrid or an all-electric vehicle as a solution. However, you are not helpless at least in terms of what you can do to reduce both the fuel cost of your vehicle and the effect your vehicle has on the environment!
First of all, you need to become a more conscious driver in order to reduce the fuel cost and the carbon emission of your vehicle. It is possible to reduce the fuel cost and the carbon emission of your vehicle by up to 25 percent. It’s great, isn’t it? So let's take a look at what you can do to conserve fuel!
1. What are the Factors that Increase Fuel Consumption?
There are many factors that determine the fuel consumption of your vehicle. Unfamiliarity with such factors not only may increase the overall fuel consumption of your vehicle, but may also result in increased fuel consumption regardless of the vehicle driver’s actions. If the fuel cost of your vehicle is higher than expected, there are some points you may want to pay attention to. What are those points?
- Neglecting the maintenance of both gasoline and diesel-powered engines may lead to a decrease in the fuel efficiency of the engine, causing it to burn fuel down rapidly. And this can significantly increase fuel costs.
- Turning on the air conditioning in a vehicle travelling below 80 kilometers per hour puts an extra strain on the engine, leading to an increase in fuel consumption. However, turning on the air conditioning of the vehicle travelling above 80 kilometers per hour makes more sense, since sliding down the windows in such speed creates aerodynamic resistance.
- Low quality fuel and engine oil may also cause a drop in the energy obtained from the fuel.
- Driving a manual vehicle in the incorrect gear may cause fuel wastage. Since in such case, the amount of energy required to keep the vehicle in motion increases. And this, in turn, reflects on the vehicle’s fuel consumption.
- Driving a vehicle at high speeds may put an excessive amount of strain on the engine and increase its fuel consumptions.
- The fuel economy of a vehicle decreases by 1.5 to 2 percent for each 50 kilograms of weight. The total excess weight carried by the vehicle must be determined according to the vehicle’s weight.
2. 7 Tips to Reduce Fuel Consumption
Minimizing fuel economy is not a dream! You only need to be a little more careful and follow certain rules to drive your vehicle in a more economic manner. Such rules range widely from carrying out the periodic maintenance of your vehicle to changing the way you drive. Here are 7 tips you may want to consider in order to reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption!
2.1. Don’t Leave your Vehicle Idling for Long Periods of Time.
It is not recommended to leave your vehicle idling for more than one minute. That is because your vehicle’s engine continues to spend energy and consumes fuel, even though your vehicle remains still. It is considered that an engine having a capacity of three liters consumes 300 milliliters (more than 1 glass) of fuel every 10 minutes of idling. As such, turning off your vehicle’s engine during short stops, like when taking a break from driving, is one of the most prominent factors to consider for more economic fuel consumption.
2.2. Carrying out the Periodic Maintenance of your Vehicle
Did you know that vehicles which maintenance is carried out regularly can save up to 30 percent of fuel? Now you know! You should not neglect the periodic maintenance of your vehicle if you don’t want to learn by experience that vehicles, which work with all their parts as a whole, can be much more costly to their drives when they are not maintained regularly. In this way, it is possible to intervene early in case of any deficient or defective parts.
2.3. Follow Speed Regulations
Many drivers fail to establish a correlation between the fuel consumption and speed performance of their vehicles. But there is such correlation! Driving your vehicle without exceeding speed limits and avoiding over-revving, especially during intercity journeys, can help you save fuel costs.
Vehicles travelling 100 kilometers per hour consume approximately 15 percent, and vehicles travelling 110 kilometers per hour consume approximately 25 percent more fuel. This means that, you may want to drive your vehicle more slowly. Moreover, in addition to pushing the relevant speed limit, traveling below such limits and keeping your engine in low gears may also prevent your fuel economy. In other words, it is best to travel between 50 to 90 kilometers per hours to achieve optimum fuel economy.
2.4. Use High-Quality Engine Oil
Choosing an engine oil of a quality that is recommended for your vehicle may allow you to increase your fuel performance by 1 to 2 percent per kilometers travelled. As an example, using 10W-30 engine oil with a vehicle designed for 5W-30 engine oil may cause wear on your vehicle’s engine. For a simple reason: the thicker the oil is, the harder it is for the engine to pump. So, knowing the recommended oil for your vehicle and acting accordingly is a meaningful step that will save you from high fuel costs.
2.5. Inflate Your Tires
Tires that are not inflated properly cause more friction and rolling resistance for every kilometer travelled. This, in turn, not only results in reduced fuel efficiency, but also shortens the life of your tires. Moreover, underinflating your tires by 10 psi may reduce fuel efficiency by 10 percent. In order to avoid this, you must check your tires every week and measure the tire pressure of your vehicle.
2.6. Avoid Hard Braking
Every use of your vehicle’s brakes has a negative impact on your vehicle’s fuel consumption due to the fact that the vehicle will have to regain speed after such use. Hence, it’s necessary for drivers to adopt a driving style that favors slowing down instead of braking hard. And perhaps the best way to achieve this is to maintain the safe following distance to the vehicle in front.
2.7. Minimize Driving Short Distances
The highest fuel consumption occurs when drivers first start their vehicles and during driving short distances. Since fuel efficiency drops considerably while driving for less than five kilometers, it’s recommended for drivers to carry out all their daily affairs in a single, longer trip that would otherwise cause them to drive multiple short distances.
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