Find your car using more petrol or diesel than it should? Try these tips to lower your fuel consumption

Find your car using more petrol or diesel than it should? Try these tips to lower your fuel consumption

Fuel-saving tip 1: Optimise your driving style

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Accelerate briskly, shift up in good time (at an engine speed of approx. 2000 rpm) and maintain the selected speed at low revs. Only shift down if the engine bucks or starts to hum.

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Read and follow the tips in your car’s owner’s manual and also keep an eye on the fuel consumption and gear shift indicator.

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Fuel-saving tip 2: Drive with foresight

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Braking wastes energy. Therefore, use the engine braking effect for as long as possible. Don’t take your car out of gear when approaching a red light. Most cars are equipped with an overrun cut-off that completely shuts off the fuel supply when overrun.

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Take your foot off the accelerator early and let the car roll towards a town, for example, for the last few hundred metres with the gear engaged, instead of braking abruptly just before it.

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Fuel-saving tip 3: Avoid short journeys

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A car consumes the most fuel when the engine is cold. In order to run smoothly, at least the petrol engine needs a richer mixture (with a higher fuel content) during the warm-up phase than at optimum operating temperature.

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For short journeys, it is, therefore, better to switch to a bicycle or combine several individual journeys into one longer trip. In winter, you should avoid warming up the engine while stationary – it is forbidden, pollutes the environment, costs extra fuel and damages the engine.

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Fuel-saving tip 4: Switch off the engine when idling

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As soon as the engine is running, it consumes fuel – even when the vehicle is not moving (about 0.5 to 1 litre per hour). Therefore: Switch off the engine if the idling time is expected to be longer than 20 seconds! This is even mandatory at level crossings.

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If you do not have an automatic start-stop system, you can also turn the key yourself. According to our findings, this additional load on the starter motor and battery is negligible, especially when the engine is warm.

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Fuel-saving tip 5: Switch off unnecessary electrical consumers

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Electrical devices in the car, such as control units, lighting, fans, air conditioning, safety and comfort devices draw their energy from the on-board power supply. The electrical energy is provided by the generator, which is driven by the combustion engine. Consequently, electrical devices and other consumers that are switched on cost fuel.

Read also: 5 Easy Ways to Clean Silver Rings At Home

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Unlike driving resistance, the electrical energy requirement does not depend on the distance travelled or the speed, but on the time, i.e. the duration of use.

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For example, depending on the vehicle model, technology and operating conditions, an air-conditioning system leads to additional consumption of about 0.3 to 1.5 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres.

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A parking heater costs about 0.2 to 0.5 litres of extra fuel per hour.

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Sensible use of these extras is good because a pleasant interior climate keeps the driver comfortable. However, so that the fuel bill does not become too high, you should limit the periods when the heater is switched on to what is necessary.

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By the way: Open side windows or sunroofs impair the airflow against the outer skin and can therefore also cost fuel. Windows open on both sides at 100 km/h, for example, result in about 0.2 litres more fuel consumption. Only at low speeds – in city traffic, for example – can open windows, therefore, bring a significant fuel consumption advantage over air conditioning.

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Fuel-saving tip 6: Reduce the load and thus the overall weight

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Whether it’s a road atlas, crates of drinks or various odds and ends: every extra item in the car means more weight and costs fuel. The reason for this effect is the so-called mass inertia, i.e. the energy input required to accelerate a mass to a higher speed.

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Are you experiencing lower fuel efficiency than previously? This could be a sign that there is an issue with your engine or other parts of the car. Make sure your vehicle is regularly serviced and inspected by a service professional. It is also worth investing in a car warranty – for the best car warranty UK shop around online to make sure you get the best deal for your circumstances.

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