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Wednesday, September 1, 2010
Save Money on Car Fuel Costs
With petrol and fuel prices continuing to rise it may be worth looking at your own vehicle and driving habits to see if you can save on your fuel consumption each week. Even if you can make small savings this can amount to a considerable amount over a year so it's worth taking a look to see what steps you can take.
First of all have a look in the boot or trunk of your car and remove anything that you do not need to carry. It's amazing how things can accumulate one after the other. Removing these will reduce weight from the vehicle. If you have a tow bar fitted you will have to decide how often you use it. If it's a heavy accessory used very sparely then you could remove it to reduce weight.
Check your tire pressure. You may need to consult your car manual for the recommended front and back tire pressure. Tires with not enough air in them will slow the vehicle down resulting in increased acceleration to compensate.
Cars will run at their most economical when they can move through the air with no areas of drag. Drag is resistance that will slow down the vehicle. Roof racks and storage boxes should be removed when they are not in use. Exposed ariels are standard on older cars and research has found that they also cause a level of drag. This is why on modern cars the ariel is built into the vehicle and out of sight. If you do not listen to the radio and prefer CD's or tapes then you can push down the ariel.
When you are driving in hot conditions you may be tempted to wind the windows down. This will also cause drag and resistance slowing the vehicle down. This will trigger you to increase acceleration thus using more fuel. Air conditioning also has an effect on your fuel consumption. The compressors add more load to the engine and this alone will cause you to use more fuel without even knowing it.
You also need to have a look at your driving habits. Try and pass through the gears in a smooth action and be gentle on the accelerator. When you approach traffic island and corners then you should allow the vehicle to slow down naturally. You need to stop using the brakes when necessary because you will use more fuel as you increase speed. The most efficient and fuel economical speed is 56 miles per hour so you should drive around this speed when the road and traffic allows.
One of the most dangerous ways to increase fuel consumption has to be road rage. There are many levels to this. The lowest level is just wanting to get ahead of another driver, you don't want to be second to anyone and will increase speed just to stop them overtaking. You will often find that you want to accelerate away from traffic lights quicker than the driver next to you so you are not left behind. More serious road rage is the chasing of vehicles. Maybe they have committed a minor driving error that has angered you or they have overtaken you and you feel it is your duty to chase after them so you can do the same to them. Actions like these will not just burn fuel dramatically but it may also cause an accident.
Saving money on your fuel costs is common sense and can be done by anyone with even the most basic driving skills. It is often found that the worst culprits are the ones with more driving experience.