This year the world hasn’t just seen a global pandemic; it has also been forced to take a good hard look at its behaviour when it comes to the environment. The climate crisis is on the tip of everyone’s tongue, and it’s no longer good enough just to be aware of it, we need to take action. Our lives now need to become more eco friendly and more financially economical. Being responsible with both our cash and the impact we have on the world around us can sound challenging. However, there are lots of areas we can focus on which could save us both money and reduce our carbon footprint, one of the biggest of these is your car.
Fuel economy is incredibly important no matter how eco-driven you are. Saving money is one of the top demands of new car buyers, and manufacturers know this. They are producing more and more ways to get the most economical engines possible, without compromising on power. They are also being forced to make significant reductions in emissions, and we are seeing a rise in the number of hybrid and electric cars. Exhaust emissions are dropping, and the world has started to shy away from diesel-engined vehicles. The consumer also has more expectations of manufacturers. Gone are the days when large 4×4 vehicles could run a high fuel usage. Now we expect a reasonable MPG even from the gas guzzlers.
If you don’t have a new car, or the budget to invest in one, then there are multiple ways you can improve the economy of your vehicle. Making it better for the world, reducing your emissions and lowering the cost of driving year on year.
Use Less Fuel
It is possible to lower your fuel usage by planning ahead. Knowing your routes and what you are doing can help you make better choices which will save you a little money. Something as simple as choosing the route with the least traffic, even if it is slightly longer, will help you to burn less fuel and lower your emissions. It will reduce your acceleration and your braking. You should also make sure when you drive, you are really focussed. Braking slowly and smoothly helps you to save more fuel, you may even find if your observation skills are really high, you can reduce your braking by merely lifting off the accelerator to reduce your speed.
Sat Nav Isn’t Just For Directions
There are multiple apps now which can help you to plan the route to your destination. Google owns a fantastic app called WAZE which gives you real-time warnings about several issues on your journey, it enables users to use voice commands to inform other WAZE users of hazards in the road, including potholes and broken down vehicles. Waze also allows you to plan your journey around the most economical route. This may take slightly longer than other routes but will help you avoid large hills and areas with stop-start traffic. Most apps available are free to download, so they won’t add additional expense to your life. However, you will need to invest in a solid cradle to hold your phone, and it is essential to remember not to operate your phone when driving.
Give Yourself A Power Boost
It may sound counterproductive, however giving your car more power will reduce your fuel economy and make driving a little bit more eco friendly. Companies such as www.enginecarbondetox.co.uk offer remap or chips for most vehicles. They tap into the ECU system of your car – this is essentially the brain of your vehicle – and remap your engine to give you more hp, torque and power. Not only will you see performance gains, but you will also see economic gains. An increase in torque reduces the need for heavy throttle use, meaning you can reach your desired speed but burn less fuel.
No Burning Rubber!
You need to be very careful with your tyres and your tyre supplier. Firstly, looking after your tyres properly will give you more of a lifespan with them and will make driving safer. However proper maintenance of tyres is vital for economical driving too. You should check your tyre pressures often, especially if you are going on a long journey or doing a lot of motorway driving. Many tyre manufacturers claim that running tyres at the right air pressure can improve your fuel consumption. You should also be aware of the road surface and reduce your speed accordingly if there are lots of potholes. When it comes to changing your tyres, speak to a reputable dealer and ask them how they dispose of used tyres. Some companies specifically work with rubber recyclers to ensure that your old tyres are heading off to be repurposed or reused somewhere else.
Harsh braking is a waste of the energy used to get your car to your desired speed. Of course, we can’t always avoid it. Ensuring our focus is sharp, and keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front will allow more reaction time. This can reduce the need to brake hard. You can also gently coast if you are coming up to traffic lights, you may also find if you plan it right, you can continue to roll as the traffic lights turn green. This will reduce the amount of fuel you need to burn to get going again. Better for your pocket and the environment.
If you are a fan of Formula One, then you will understand the importance of aerodynamics and the impact that drag has on fuel economy and speed. You might not think you can do much about the aerodynamics of your car; however, if you drive with a roof rack or cycle rack on your vehicle, this will cause drag. By removing them on journeys that they aren’t needed, you will reduce the amount of fuel you use on your journeys. Did you also know that an open window will cause drag! So if your car has air conditioning, then it will be more economical to use that and keep your windows closed. Another thing to look out for is the bodywork on your car, if parts of your trim are hanging off or out of line, you may be burning more fuel than you need to.
Cleanliness is Close To Godliness
While the exterior of your car is going to get dirty on every drive, and having a super polished bonnet isn’t going to increase your economy, the interior of your vehicle does matter. The heavier your car, the harder your engine needs to work, which means all the excess baggage you are carrying could be costing you money! Make sure you only keep what you need in the car, remove any unnecessary items. You can even remove the spare wheel and replace it with tyre foam. This will save weight but ensure you can get home if you have a slow puncture.
Start Your Engines
Some of us head out to the car first thing and warm up our engines. Leaving the car running on the driveway as we finish off our final preparations of the morning. Some manufacturers may advise you need to warm the car up in certain conditions, so do take the advice given on your particular vehicle. However, the best way to warm up your car is to start it and drive immediately after turning it on. You just need to drive gently for a little while. This will warm up your engine a little quicker, reduce the potential of engine wear and tear and will lower your fuel consumption too. If you are worried about ice, then use an ice scraper instead of waiting for the car to defrost it. You should also rev your car as little as possible. Newer cars don’t need you to rev the engine, and they are capable of maintaining the correct revs to keep the engine running in the ultimate way. So don’t be tempted to pull up at the lights and pump the gas.
Every car comes with its own unique service schedule. If you have a used car and the manual has been lost over the years, then you can use google to research when the primary services are due, or you can pop into a main dealer and ask their advice. Regular and proper maintenance of your vehicle will help you prevent expensive trips to the garage and will ensure your car uses fuel and runs cleaner. Fresh oil and filters mean your engine is working at its most efficient and will give you a more economical drive.
There has been a lot of research into speed and fuel economy. There have been independent reviews on this, and also manufacturers spend a lot of time working out how to get the most economical figures from their vehicles to ensure they conform to global standards. If you reduce your speed on the motorway from 80mph to 70mph then you could save up to 25% of the fuel you burn on a journey, this is a considerable reduction. Reducing the speed to 60mph will see a further 10% reduction; this can have a massive impact on savings across the year. Many manufactures say that the most economical speed you can travel is 50mph.
Use these tips and see if you can save yourself money when driving and, be proud that you are having a positive impact on the environment.