In this post you’ll learn more about how to save fuel. Saving fuel is one of the easiest ways to permanently reduce your car costs. Despite becoming increasingly efficient, the fuel consumption of cars is still largely dependent on the driver. He/she can therefore play a very large role in reducing fuel costs. How? We would like to show you how with a few practical tips. And you know what the funny thing is? You won’t be a second slower (in some cases you will be even faster!).
How To Save Fuel: Quick Wins
These tips will help you to save fuel quickly. Turn these tips into habits and achieve a permanent reduction in your fuel costs:
- Cold engine = take it easy. A cold engine consumes more fuel than a warm engine, and it wears much faster. So go easy when the engine is cold, and try to reduce the engine speed until the engine is warm.
- Park your car in the direction of travel. Park your car in such a way that the next time you set off, you can simply drive away. As described earlier, a cold engine consumes more fuel, so if you need to reverse out of your parking spot, you will burn extra fuel.
- Do not carry any unnecessary weight. Remove any unnecessary baggage, as this will result in additional fuel consumption. For example, a roof box or a bike rack. Remove it immediately after use. Do not fill the car when the tank is half-full. This is unnecessary. You can drive perfectly well until the fuel warning indicator lights up. You can forget fake stories about “dirt in the bottom of the tank”.
- Combine trips. Do you travel a lot, or do you have to attend many external meetings? Try combining these as much as possible. It is not only a waste of fuel if you make an individual trip for each appointment, it’s also a waste of your time.
- Only start the engine when you are “ready to go”. Make sure you only start the engine when you are ready to drive away. Check things like: seatbelt buckled, navigation system, phone, snack and so on, and then start the vehicle. This means you can then drive away immediately. Allowing the engine to run without moving the car results in unnecessary fuel consumption.
- The correct tyre pressure. Make sure your tyres are always at the correct pressure. Low pressure in the tyres produces extra resistance and, therefore, higher fuel consumption. It also results in the tyre wearing out faster. This also counts for a tyre whose pressure is too high. Check the tyre pressure at least once every month.
- Use Cruise Control. Many cars today have cruise control as standard. This is not only a useful tool for relaxed driving, it is also good for your fuel consumption. Learn to use the cruise control. Even when used for a few hundred meters, it’s all worthwhile.
- Use the air conditioner wisely. Using the air conditioning can lead to an increase of fuel consumption by up to 10%. So, only turn it on when absolutely necessary. However, you still need to use it on a regular basis to ensure it does not stop working.
- Windows closed. Keep your windows closed as much as possible, and use the air vents in the vehicle. An open window has a negative effect on the streamlining of your vehicle and results in extra air resistance, leading to increased fuel consumption.
- Use electricity wisely. Do not use electrical devices, such as the rear window heater or heated seat, unnecessarily. This results in additional fuel consumption (as a result of the alternator being required to generate more electricity).
- Choose the right gear. Often this is a matter of feeling, but high revs can result in higher fuel consumption as much as low revs. Try to “feel” the middle way, and always try to ensure you select the right gear. Some vehicles also have a shift indicator or an eco-meter. If your vehicle has one, you are advised to use it.
Saving fuel: the modern approach
There are more and more solutions to ensure cars are used more efficiently through sharing or carpooling. Initiatives such as Green Wheels and BlaBlaCar are making the saving of fuel even easier.
Connecting your fleet offers you the possibility to track your vehicles and drivers whenever you want and wherever you are. Vehicle data is sent via GPRS signals to a server, the data is translated into dashboards and reports and allow you to obtain valuable informations on your fleet and their activities or statuses. Tracking your fleet through telematics software is a simple and time saving way to optimize your fleet management. Our fleet tracking solutions offer you numerous insights such as: GPS location, vehicle and driver activities, vehicle statuses, mileage, driver behavior, speed, fuel consumption and much more.
Save Fuel by Adjusting Your Driving Style
You should get used to the quick wins that we mentioned earlier. The tips below require you to adjust your driving habits, and therefore deserve a little extra attention and practise. These tips will have the greatest impact on driving behaviour.
This is the most important thing when driving. Not only for your safety and that of your passengers, but also to save fuel. After all, applying the brakes results in energy being wasted and unnecessary extra fuel consumption. So look ahead, and adjust your driving to the situation in front of you. Traffic lights. Take your foot off the accelerator. A bend or roundabout. Take your foot off the accelerator. Brake lights or flashing light in front of you. Take your foot off the accelerator. By looking far enough in front of you, you can drive in a more fuel-efficient, safer and more relaxed manner.
- Rolling in gear
If you allow your vehicle to roll, do it in gear and not in neutral. If you take your foot of the accelerator while still in gear, the engine throttle will be completely shut off and no fuel will be consumed. In neutral, the motor continues to run and the throttle is still open a little, which means your vehicle will be consuming fuel. Rolling in gear also means that you use the engine as a brake. This is, of course, favourable to using your brake pads and discs.
- Accelerate gently
Obvious, but very effective. Do not go crazy when changing gear, do it gently and in plenty of time. Rapid acceleration does not save time; it only results in higher fuel consumption.
- Do not allow others to rush you
Do not be rushed by other road users who are trying to push you down the road faster. Ignore them and allow them to pass when you have the opportunity.
- BONUS TIP: Traffic calming measures Take these with the maximum speed allowed.
A bonus tip for the advanced driver: if there are traffic calming measures such as a speed bump, stick to the speed limit. The road is made for this speed, so you can drive at this speed with confidence. The measures are intended for vehicles exceeding the speed limit.
Technical condition of the vehicle
Last but not least, the condition of the vehicle will also have an impact on fuel consumption. Carrying out the following technical operations, you can easily save fuel:
- Regular maintenance
Make sure your vehicle is maintained regularly. Periodically changing your oil, air filter, fuel filter and spark plugs will ensure that your car remains in good condition and that fuel combustion will always be optimal.
- The right oil
The right oil is important for good lubrication of your engine. It is best to use the oil described in the vehicle’s maintenance manual. Cheap is definitely not going to save you money.
- The right tyres and pressures
There are a lot of different tyres for sale. Do not choose any tyres, do a little research. The best tyres for you depend upon your usage.
- Alignment of the tyres
Proper alignment results in reduced rolling resistance and, therefore, lower consumption.
Save Fuel? What About Zero consumption?
The easiest way to save fuel is by using no fuel: take the bike for short distances (less than 5 km). A cold engine consumes more fuel and wears much faster than a warm engine. Driving many short trips is heavily discouraged. In addition, cycling is of course much healthier and better for the environment.