Monday, 3 June 2013

How To Make Your Car More Economical


In these tough times maintaining a car can be a costly business. Making your vehicle as economical as possible could help save some precious pennies…
Not everyone can afford a brand new super economical car like the Nissan Leaf. But with a few simple tricks you can reduce the cost of running a vehicle and reduce the impact it has on the environment.

Smarter driving helps you cut costs and reduces wear and tear on your vehicle. The Energy Saving Trust estimates you could save 15% of your fuel costs by learning fuel efficient driving. First off make sure your car is in good shape. Small changes can add up to big savings so:

- Lighten the load: remove any roof racks and junk from your car that you aren't using. Roof racks can cause drag so streamline your car by taking them off. The more weight your car is carrying the more fuel you will use. Surprisingly that means extra fuel too. Just 45kg can add 1% to your fuel bill so the cost conscious should fill the tank regularly rather than right to the top each time.

- Anticipate the road ahead: Smooth driving is the most effective fuel efficiency tip. By giving other road users room you can see what's happening up ahead and avoid excessive acceleration and breaking. But avoid 'slip-streaming' behind other vehicles in a bid to save fuel as this is extremely dangerous and can cause accidents.

- Maintain your vehicle: keeping your car in tip top condition will save fuel and money. Check car parts such as air filters and spark plugs which could become clogged up or worn out. Make sure your tyres are inflated properly. If they aren't you could be increasing your fuel consumption by up to 3%. And getting some air costs a lot less than more petrol. Making the effort to check these small things can add up to big savings.

- Use your gears wisely: Some motorists do things in the belief they are being more fuel efficient. But if you are one of those drivers who moves into neutral while driving, you could actually be using more fuel than if you chose the right gear for your speed. Modern fuel-injection systems will see a car in neutral as idling and therefore use more fuel. Shift up to a higher gear between 2,000 and 2,500 rpm. Driving your vehicle at a lower engine speed will reduce your fuel consumption by up to 15%. The most fuel efficient drivers maintain a steady speed in the highest gear possible. But that doesn't mean driving fast. The most efficient speed is 45-50 mph rather than the top legal speed of 70mph.

- Switch it off: When it comes to controlling the temperature inside your car, cold costs more than heat. Most car heaters recycle the heat from the car's engine so don't cost much to run. Air conditioning on the other hand is a costly drain on your energy. Of course if it is 100 C outside then you're going to need to cool that car down. But don't rely on air con all the time. Opening your window slightly won't cause too much drag on your car and could be enough to keep things comfortable. Equally if you are parked or in traffic jams for more than a minute switch of your engine. The fuel you'll save can be way more than the cost of re-starting your engine. Give it a try and see how much you could save.

Share your money saving tips for motorists below.