You don't need an eco car to drive economically
With fuel prices rocketing and the government coming down hard on uneconomical cars, it's time to start looking at how to conserve fuel and maximise every tank full.
This guide should help you to drive more economically, to stop polluting the environment with CO2 as much, and to save a little bit of money in the process. You may not need an Eco Car if you follow our economical driving advice:-
Maintenance of your car
If you don't own an electric car it is likely you have a standard petrol or diesel engine. Looking after your cars engine is paramount in keeping it healthy and running as it should. If you leave oil changes for thousands of miles over the service date, your engine's components will be trying to force the sludgy, black oil around the engine, which causes friction and reduces power, both of which increase fuel consumption as the engine has to work harder than normal.
Check the oil
By changing the oil in your engine every 6,000 miles or according to the manufacturer's recommendation, you are giving it a new lease of life and ensuring that it will last a long time, not to mention lower fuel bills will be easier on your pocket.
Use correct oil
Use the correct grade of oil for the engine and the climate. Some oils are designed to work better when the temperature drops below freezing. Check with your owner's handbook to see what oil is recommended for your car's engine and where you live. With winters in the UK becoming colder every year, your car's engine might need a different grade of oil.
Check tyre pressures
Check tyre pressure every week. Having under inflated tyres is not only dangerous, as the tyre can fold and move around unnecessarily, but it increases the rolling resistance, which in turn increases the fuel consumption. Over inflated tyres are just as dangerous and cause rapid tyre wear. Ensure your tyres are inflated to the recommendation of the manufacturer, and adjust them when carrying extra loads.
Empty your car boot
Imagine carrying a backpack full of bricks around everywhere you go. You'll become tired and use up more energy than is necessary. If your boot is full of unnecessary 'stuff', take it out. By losing the extra weight, your engine will not need to try so hard and therefore fuel consumption will be lower.
Is the roof box necessary everyday?
If you have a roof rack or a storage box, make sure it is streamlined. If it's not needed, then remove it. The extra weight on the roof not only affects the handling of your car, but it increases the drag co-efficient which ruins the fuel consumption.
Plan your journey
Plan your route before you leave. If you're entering uncharted territories, have a map or sat-nav handy. If you get lost on the way, you're wasting fuel. By planning ahead you can ensure that you don't waste petrol in getting to your destination.
Do you really need to drive?
Do you really need to drive? Are you just popping to the shop to get a newspaper? Why not walk or ride a bike. Fuel consumption is at its highest on cold start-ups and when the engine is not allowed to get up to proper running temperature. Plus, getting out and about is great exercise, too.
Combine your trips together. If you are running errands, shopping and picking up the kids, try and combine all trips into one. That way you are cutting down on multiple trips.