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ECO SAFE DRIVING - HOW TO SAVE FUEL!

With the rising cost of fuel at the pumps its important more than ever to consider how we drive and when we drive. I've outlined my top tips to help you save fuel.

ECO SAFE DRIVING:


  • Hazard Awareness & Planning

I've put this point at the top as this is the one difference that should be considered throughout the whole drive. The key factors that increase your fuel consumption are over use of the Accelerator and Brake. You need to be looking well ahead, throughout the whole drive. The move you keep the car moving the better your fuel consumption. If you plan in advance when you arrive at traffic lights, roundabouts, junctions actively looking for chances to go. You should not rush using speed as a means of making progress as this will use more fuel. The drive should be well planned and timed that you spend as little time stationary as possible.


  • Switch your Engine Off

There will be times when you need to keep your engine running, but if your vehicle is fitted with stop/start then use this feature. Check your owners manual to see how you activate this system. Don't worry if you don't have it fitted as standard as you can still switch the engine off. My advice though is to turn the ignition on so the safety features on the vehicle still operate. As a guide, if you can comfortably do this at traffic lights, queues of traffic then do so. You will also help the environment.


  • Plan the Journey

Planning every journey may seem obvious but you should consider looking at different routes to the same destination. It may mean a longer route is better for the fuel economy. Its worth trying an alternative to the same route to see if one works out better. Your vehicles trip computer can help. Also using the Sat Nav for all journeys to avoid long delays.


Try to link trips together. Also leave your vehicle facing the way you need to travel so you don't have heavy reversing to do at the start of your journey.

  • Cruise Control

If fitted to your vehicle its maybe time you started to use it more frequently. Don't use it if you cannot maintain a consistent speed, but system is designed to get the best from the engine at a fixed speed. It will also encourage you to plan ahead in advance.


  • Gear Changing

I conduct a lot of refresher driving lessons and one consistent problem I see is that many people have been taught to change through the gears. It can be hard to overcome an inbuild habit. But there is no need to use the gears to slow down, and would suggest you are not planning ahead well enough. The trick of fuel saving is to be in the correct gear for the right speed and limit the amount gear changes by maintaining an average speed. When drives slow using the gears they tend to need more gas to then reach the place they were initially approaching.


  • Engine Braking

In line with gear changing it is far better to use the engine to slow the vehicle than the gears. It will also make the drive much more pleasant. Modern engines will cut off the injectors. So if you are cruising at 70mph with your foot off the brake pedal, you are using the same amount of fuel as you would be sitting in traffic. Its also much better overall for the vehicles wear and tear.


  • Air Conditioning & Internal Changes

This will be a personal choice on what you feel you can compromise on. There is no point turning up for that important job interview sweating just to save a few pennies at the pump. Experiment with your vehicle. Do the same drive over 1 week with Air Conditioning and 1 week without. Perhaps use an average temperature period rather than a very hot week. Lighten the load. Remove items you don't need in the vehicle. Consider swapping the spare wheel for a tyre repair kit.


Keep your tyres inflated correctly.


Maintain your vehicles servicing and repairs.

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