As the price of petrol and diesel hits all-time highs, many drivers worry about the cost of getting from point A to point B. When walking or cycling is not an option , a car can be a crucial mode of transport, especially for those living in rural areas, people with disabilities and parents.
A heavy car consumes more fuel when driven. If you use your trunk to store anything unnecessary during the trip, now is the time to remove it. Items you may not need include the buggy in your cargo hold if they don’t join you on the trip, and heavy tools you might keep there as well. Likewise, if your car has a tool box, remove it. It’s excess weight but it also creates extra drag. Objects like these create wind resistance and a car has to work harder – and use more fuel – just to move it through the air.
In the short and long term, a well-maintained car will consume less fuel than a car with untreated problems. A car service is an expense in itself, but it’s necessary to ensure you don’t spend even more on excess fuel. Also, make sure your tires are properly inflated. If you drive with the wrong tire pressure, you waste extra fuel.
If your car has air conditioning, don’t be tempted to turn it on unless absolutely necessary. This puts extra strain on your engine, which leads to greater fuel consumption. Other electric add-ons will have a similar effect, including heated seats or steering wheels.
It sounds obvious, but plotting your route from A to B can be the most effective way to avoid burning too much fuel. Avoid areas that you know are traffic black spots: sitting in traffic will waste valuable fuel. Likewise, if you don’t need to reach your destination by a certain time, avoid traveling during peak hours. Not only will you get there faster, but smooth, obstacle-free driving is the best way to use as little fuel as possible: stopping and starting frequently will burn it.
If you live in a hilly area like Cork, be sure to pay attention to the aspect of the road you are driving. If you are descending, release the accelerator. Likewise, maintain a steady speed rather than accelerating and braking over and over again to be most efficient.