Improving Car Fuel Efficiency
This new section is designed to provide a comprehensive list of fuel efficiency tips for your car. This list contains many ideas that the public have submitted. Please contact us if you wish to submit your own tip(s). The list below is intended to show you easy and effective ways to improve you fuel efficiency and so reduce your car fuel bill, and to decrease pollution emissions, help the environment.
The simplest (although not the cheapest) way to improve your fuel efficiency is to buy a car with low carbon emissions and a high MPG - we have our very own lookup table to help you find the most fuel efficient cars on the market today.
Use your gears wisely.
Driving in the highest gear possible without labouring the engine is a fuel-efficient way of driving. A vehicle travelling at 37mph in third gear uses 25 percent more fuel than at the same speed in fifth gear
Think ahead! By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Try to predict traffic at junctions and when in queuing to avoid accelerating and then braking. Research suggests driving techniques can influence car fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
Switch off your engine
There are two schools of thought on this one. Switching your engine off for short periods of time can actually increase fuel consumption, as it requires more fuel to get the engine started. Also your catalytic converter will no longer be running at full temperature and so your car will be less efficient, increasing the amount of pollution you cause. However if you are stopped for more than a few minutes then your car will simply burn less fuel with the engine stopped.
Drive off promptly to prevent wasting fuel
Don't leave your engine running when you first start up. Drive off straight away if you can, but drive gently until the engine has reached its normal operating temperature. This doesn't increase fuel efficiency as such, but it does mean your engine is switched on for less time.
Lighten your load
Think carefully about what you need on a journey. if you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption, and emissions, and the higher the fuel efficiency.
Tyres effect fuel efficiency
It is estimated that about 50% of tyres on the road are under inflated. Aside from increasing the rate of wear, this wastes fuel and decreased your fuel efficiency. Check your tyre pressures every fortnight. Worn tyres will also decrease fuel efficiency (and your safety!), so check the tread regularly. If you are replacing tyres then consider some of the newer 'Eco' tyres that are designed specifically to increase fuel efficiency.
Driving with your windows open drastically reduces your fuel efficiency, far more so than putting the air conditioning on when motorway driving. So in those hot summers(?) preferably keep the windows shut, and the air conditioning on if you want to keep cool. Of course the air conditioning decreases fuel efficiency too, so try not to over use it.
Leave the car at home!
Probably the best way to decrease the amount of petrol you burn, is to leave the car and home, and take a bike, bus, or train, or to walk. A quarter of all car journeys in Britain are less than two miles long, and walking or cycling are cheap and clean alternatives, and healthy too!
Invest in a new fuel efficient car
New cars come in all shapes and sizes, but it is possible to pick a new car that can greatly reduce your fuel bill, and your fuel emissions.
Choose an economical car - small cars use far more fuel efficient and produce lower emissions than large cars. You can also save up to£80 a year on your road tax.
Drive the most fuel-efficient car that meets your needs. Compare models and classes. Even similarly sized cars can vary in fuel efficiency by up to 45%. Fuel efficiency is shown as MPG.
Consider diesel engines (with a particulate trap), and LPG (Liquefied Petroleum Gas) and CNG (Compressed Natural Gas) fueled cars - all have lower CO2 emissions than standard petrol cars.
Consider 'hybrid' vehicles - they combine a conventional engine with an electric motor and battery. These offer reduced fuel consumption and CO2 with potentially lower emissions of all pollutants.
If your going to buy a diesel, ensure it is a new 'common rail' type, as these are approximately 10% more efficient than older diesels. also replace (or clean if applicable) air cleaner elements as often as is required by your vehicles servicing schedule.
One of the most common reasons for a drop in fuel efficiency is a dirty intake filter. This will decrease the amount of air entering the cylinders of the engine resulting in incomplete combustion. Check the filter regularly to ensure that it is clean.
Ensure your spark plugs are in good condition. Renew the plugs and wires at intervals specified by the owners manual. This will keep all cylinders firing properly resulting in higher efficiency.
Change the lube oil at intervals specified by the owners manual. Use the recommended oil only especially in newer cars. Use of an engine flush before changing the oil will help to get rid of a lot of the dirt that collects in the engine that a normal oil change will not remove. On older engines it is advisable to use an oil treatment agent. This basically thickens the oil which creates a better seal between the piston and the liner, preventing blow past and consequent loss of combustion pressure, resulting in higher fuel efficiency.
Exhausts alter fuel efficiency
Most cars have special sizes for the exhaust. When cars are reasonably old the silences has to be changed. The garage people always try to fit a size that they have in the garage it self. Which might not be the exact size recommended for the car. The wrong size a bigger or smaller silencer size effects on the MPG of the car and the HP of the car. It may be cheaper to put another size than your recommended size for your car but on the long run it will cost you in many ways, especially on fuel consumption. Always put the recommended size of the exhaust that is indicated in your car manual because the car company knows how to optimize the performance of your car.
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"I try to keep the revs below 2000 and use a gear which keeps revs as near to 1000 as possible without labouring the engine. Also, I put car into neutral a lot and freewheel downhills and to traffic lights etc."
"RUN IN PROPER GEARS: you must drive your cars in proper gears by the speed of your car.when you are in 20 km /hr,change the gear to 2nd GEAR. STARTING: START YOUR CAR SOFTLY.make your car to be in IDLE mode,when you start the car the first time in a day.then only you should put the 1 stgear to go."
NITHIN K JOSE
"dont have heavy junk floating around in your trunk/boot. extra weight is a sure fire way of using more fuel."
"I have found regular use of a fuel cleaning product such Redex Fuel System Cleaner or Redex Fuel Injector Cleaner helps increase my overall MPG. The fuel system on older cars gets clogged over time therefore needs a clean to stay performant. Also if your car is older it is worth keeping the petrol tank topped up at least above quarter; again for the same reason over time all sorts of impurties exist in your pertrol tank that clog up your fuel system hindering performance and fuel consumption."
"yes me, if you have car/engine/exhaust problems, than you would drastically decrease your car's fuel efficincy"
"Pick the right car for the job, a prius might do 60mpg around town but it can\'t compete on the motorway, there the aerodynamic diesels will outperform, for instance the new volvo S40 1.6drive does 85mpg extra-urban, if you primarily drive in urban traffic get one that\'s good on that count (probably lightweight), if you do mostly motorways get something slippery, weight matters much less there. Sadly there isn\'t anywhere on the web where you can list cars by urban or extra urban efficiency, only combined, one for \'whatprice.co.uk\' perhaps. "
"i have a 1999 1.2 corsa and at the minute my car is doing about 40 miles for £10 worth of petrol. my exhaust is blowing and a year ago, my car would do around 70 or 80 miles to £10. do you tihnk it is just the blowing exhaust that has caused this dip in petrol consumption?"
"I'm from the US so our Highway speeds are a bit lower than in Europe, but one thing that I know is that there is a highway speed threshold for each vehicle where increasing the speed by more even 5 miles per hour will drastically reduce your fuel mileage. For Example: I own a 2007 Chevrolet Colorado (mid-size truck). At 70-75 mph I would get roughly 22-23 miles per gallon. At 65-70 mph I would get roughly 26-29 miles per gallon. Weather conditions do play a factor (head wind/tail wind, rain, etc), but it is still a tremendous improvement. It may take more time to get where you're going, but some of that is made up for by stopping to refuel less."
"Good.you guys doin a great job"
"I think driving with your engine off is illegal, as you are 'not in full control' of your car. Coasting in neutral in a modern car uses more fuel than if you left the car in gear and just lifted off the accelerator. This is because the car's momentum keeps the engine turning so it doesn't use any fuel. If an engine is at tick-over in neutral it's still burning fuel. Just make sure that as you deccelerate, you change down gears to ensure your speed is keeping the engine turning. The computer will automatically shut the fuel off."
"2) While approaching the traffic light or a traffic jam switch to neutral gear instead of using the clutch. You have to spot the jam/light at some distance. At some crossings where the clock is displayed try switching to neutral and turning off the engine(petrol cars). 3) Investment on clutch plates is better than driving an inefficient car. 4) Never over brake when in higher rpm. 5) Find out the "sweet spot" RPM of the engine and try driving out around it. Most of the data is available in the form of graph sheets along with the car or websites."
"Please, do the service of car at proper time and after proper distance as indicated by manufacturere. This reduces keep the engine in proper tunning and your car gives better outputs with less wear and tear "
"Diesel Cars: You should disregard the comment about driving away as soon as you start your car. The opposite is true. You should NEVER drive away as soon as you start your car as the engine needs time to circulate oil to protect it - especially on turbo diesels.
Secondly a diesel engine when cold is inefficient as the injector point is retarded by the retard mechanism, once warm the engine will be firing in exactly the right point and will run smoother and more efficiently (thats why diesels are noisy on first startup). Running higher revs whilst the injector point is retarded will lead to prematiure wear on your piston rings, valve seals and big and little end bearings/bushes. Whats more you will get soot build up on your injectors and this will reduce your overall fuel efficiency.
Just let it idle for 30sec before driving off in the morning!"
"change the worst cluch disk so as to increase the car fuel efficiency."
"Who came up with this stuff? Driving off as soon as you start your car (before the oil has had time to rise to optimum temperature) is a good way of wearing out your engine prematurely."
"www.csicop.org/si/9801/powell.html Opinion at bottom of page is that there is no scientific evidence desite being 'invented' over 50 years ago."
"Does a magnetic fuel efficiency enhancer work really? If yes, how does it work?"