We all know how costly owning and running a car can be. Apart from the unforseen repairs, there’s also the considerable expense of keeping the tank topped up. Thankfully fuel prices have continued to decrease into this year with petrol now averaging €1:339 per L* and diesel €1.199 per L*.
Under-inflated tyres are one of the leading causes of fuel inefficiency
However fuel for vehicle transport is a regular expense that all drivers would love to save on. So with this in mind, here are some simple ways you can save on your fuel bill.
Check your tyres
Under-inflated tyres are one of the leading causes of fuel inefficiency. Soft tyres increase resistance and add an estimated 2% to your fuel costs. That 2% can easily be saved by keeping your tyres inflated to the correct pressure. Get into the habit of checking your tyre pressure whenever you fill up.
...air conditioning decreased mileage by 5-10%.
Open your window
Your air conditioning uses energy supplied by the alternator, which in turn harnesses energy from the engine, which requires fuel from the tank.
The Society of Automotive Engineers tested the effects of air conditioning versus driving with the windows rolled down and found that the air conditioning decreased mileage by 5-10%. So the message here is, cool it with the air conditioning. Unless of course, you’re on a road where the drag created by open windows, on speeds over 45 MPH exceeds the efficiency drop.
Service your engine
Replacing an ineffective air filter can improve mileage by up to 10%.
Neglected engines will naturally under-perform. Regular car service checks keep your motor running smoothly, and a smooth-running engine is an efficient engine.
Regularly replace your air filter
Clogged air filters congest air flow and cause an excess amount of fuel to be burned for the amount of air. Replacing an ineffective air filter can improve mileage by up to 10%. And even better news is that filters are inexpensive and easy to replace.
Check your spark plugs
Dirty spark plugs are often responsible for a misfiring ignition system. As plugs wear down, their ability to transfer the required spark to ignite the fuel/air mix diminishes. This significantly, and unnecessarily, increases fuel usage – so get them checked.
Stay within the speed limit. Driving at 85mph uses roughly 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph.
Check your fuel cap
The chances are you probably don’t give much thought to the fuel cap on your vehicle, apart from when you remove it. But it’s worth checking that your fuel cap isn’t damaged or loose, which can cause fuel to vaporise. Faulty fuel caps can also allow dust and debris to get into the tank, which in turn affect the fuel filters.
We know that there’s a lot of folk out there who use their car as a second home or mobile storage unit. But all that unnecessary weight reduces your fuel efficiency. An extra 100lb can reduce efficiency by up to 2%. So, remove those unused roof-racks and empty the boot of those golf clubs.
Watch your driving technique
Stay within the speed limit. Driving at 85mph uses roughly 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph. While you’re at it, limit excessive idling, hard braking and sudden starts, and you’ll actively increase your vehicle’s fuel economy.
In other words, drive smart and #DriveSafer!
For everything you need to keep your engine in tip top condition, visit Motorparts.ie.
* Fuel prices source: CSO as at 9th September 2015