Fuel saving tips for today

CarsGuide ·

31 March 2011

Fuel saving tips for today
A few more, less common fuel saving tips...

The various automobile clubs, tyre companies and car manufacturers have responded by trotting out the usual economy tips such as drive slower and smoother, correctly inflate tyres and make fewer trips.

But we've heard it all before.

So, may we present these five radical ideas to reducing your fuel expense burden.


Cool idea
Turning off the airconditioning will provide a slight increase in fuel economy. However, when travelling on the highway, it is more fuel efficient to have the windows up and aircon switched on than having the windows down and create aerodynamic drag. Don't leave the aircon off for long periods as bacteria will build up in the system.


Light is right
So throw out not only the unnecessary baggage such as your golf clubs, but maybe even the spare tyre. A spare tyre can weigh 15-20kg in the average car. The US Department of Energy quotes fuel use as of 1-2 per cent for every 45.5kg, so that's at least 0.5 per cent saved. Conversely, NRMA tests show that loading a vehicle up to its rated maximum increases fuel consumption by 24 per cent. While you might be able to get away with taking the spare tyre out around town, we recommend you should always carry it on long trips, especially in the country.


Turned off
Switch off the engine at long traffic light stops. Modern fuel-injected cars start quickly without the need for any throttle. Car makers with stop-start technology that automatically switches off the engine every time the car is stopped quote fuel savings in traffic of 4-5 per cent.


Just cruising
Use cruise control more frequently. Most cruise control systems actually put the car's engine into an economy mode and will run more efficiently than most drivers as it accelerates more slowly. It is best used on the open road and not hilly terrain or stop-start conditions. While we could not find any official figures, some internet forums claim fuel savings up to 14 per cent.


The next time you buy tyres, choose from the new range of "eco" tyres with low rolling resistance. A California Energy Commission study estimated low-rolling resistance tyres could save 1.5-4.5 per cent on fuel consumption next time you buy tyres, choose from the new range of "eco" tyres with low rolling resistance.


Written by

Mark Hinchliffe

Published 31 March 2011

Published In

Car News

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