What are the steps you can take to make your car more efficient?
With prices of petrol and diesel hitting record highs as the cost of living crisis bites, you’ll notice that you’re paying noticeably more to fill up your vehicle than you were just a few months ago.
Some might be looking to change their car – even to an EV – while others will be choosing to use their car less to reduce fuel bills. But what are the steps you can take to make your car more efficient? Let’s have a look…
Take any excess weight out of the car
Simply put, the more weight that’s in a car the less efficient it will be.
That includes the number of people that are in the car, and while we’re not suggesting you should reduce the number of passengers you take, emptying anything out of the car you don’t need will help to save weight.
It’s in the boot where you’re most likely to store excess weight, such as deck chairs and assorted boxes. If you don’t need them, take them out and it will help to improve your car’s efficiency. It might not make a huge difference, but every little helps.
Remove roof boxes
If you’re driving around with removable roof bars or racks on your car that aren’t in use, you should take them off as they can really impact a vehicle’s efficiency.
That’s because they add extra ‘drag’ to the car, meaning the engine has to work harder than it would if they weren’t there.
For larger items, such as roof boxes, you’ll notice an immediate improvement in your fuel economy once they’re taken off.
Think about heating and your car’s windows
When driving a car, you want to make sure you’re at a comfortable temperature. However, it’s worth thinking about the impact this might have on your car’s efficiency.
Having the heater or air conditioning on full, for example, will require more fuel to be used. Similarly, if you have your car’s windows down at higher speed, this will also reduce efficiency.
Check your tyres are inflated correctly
Another way you can improve your car’s fuel consumption is by making sure your tyres are inflated to the correct levels.
You’ll be able to find the recommended amount by looking in your vehicle’s handbook, or it can often be found in the fuel filler cap too. Once at the correct levels, it will reduce the rolling resistance, and make the car more efficient in the process.
If you pump them up too much, though, it can reduce grip, so don’t go beyond what is suggested.
Keep on top of servicing
At a time when money is short, it can be tempting to skip on your car’s maintenance. However, if you do this it could cause more expensive problems down the line, and also make it less desirable to future buyers.
Skipping on maintenance can also increase your fuel consumption, as an engine that’s serviced using the correct parts and fluids will work better and be more efficient than one that has been neglected.
Accelerate and decelerate smoothly
One of the simplest ways to become a more efficient drive is by taking care when accelerating and braking.
Though the temptation to gun the throttle when merging onto a motorway or merging lanes, this is best avoided for efficiency stakes; being smooth with your throttle inputs will pay dividends here.
In addition, look ahead to anticipate traffic and this will help you to avoid later and harsher braking. It’ll also mean that you’ll be able to carry more momentum and save fuel in the process.
Keep to the speed limit
Keeping within the speed limits isn’t just the law, but also a sure-fire way of reducing fuel use.
You’ll see a much better MPG figure when travelling at 60mph compared with 70mph, and it’s the same again for travelling at 70mph instead of 80mph.
Cruise control can help with this. Slowing down and speeding up increases fuel usage iso letting by letting your car maintain the exact speed for you whenever possible is the most efficient way to drive.