Fuel saving tips
Most drivers are wasting fuel by ignoring a few simple steps.
If you were a Hypermiler you'd be going to extreme measures to eek out as much distance from each drop of fuel so we'll cover some of the more extreme fuel saving options out there.
Keeping the engine properly serviced and clean will make a big difference to fuel economy. If fuel economy figures are way down on the manufacturers claim then you should really look first of all at the condition of the engine.
Oil selection does affect fuel. Minimizing the internal friction and reducing engine wear are two factors that a good quality oil will address.
TorqueCars recommend a high quality FULLY synthetic oil for most applications. Mineral oils tend to break down over the oil change interval. Synthetics are engineered to lubricate, clean and cool an engine and you should always use the specification of oil recommended by your manufacturer.
Running a quality fuel cleaner through the engine will help to keep the injectors and valves in good condition.
The only fuel cleaner that TorqueCars recommends at the moment are those made by BG - namely BG244 and BG44K. We have used both of these products and noticed an increase in power and engine efficiency.
Tire pressures will drop all of the time, so when the car is cold check the pressures and raise them to the manufacturers upper spec (considering the usual load). This should gain around 4 bhp and will allow you to determine if you have a puncture.
Tire type and size also impact on fuel. Grip causes friction and by minimizing grip through a smaller contact patch you also reduce friction. Energy efficient tires will generally give another 4-7mpg through clever tread design and tire compound and composition.
Carrying junk around will add to the work the engine has to do to overcome inertia. Clear out all unnecessary tools and items from the car.
Hypermilers will replace car panels with carbon fibre ones, fit lighter weight components and change the wheels for lighter thinner ones.
Hotter engines are more efficient so avoid short journeys on cold engines. Changing out the thermostat and blanking off part of the radiator are methods extreme hypermilers may employ.
Your driving style
The faster you go the more fuel you will use. Driving at 50-60 on motorways will dramatically decrease the fuel you use on a typical journey. Conversely driving at 70-80 will use much more fuel than you would at say 65.
Thinking ahead and avoiding braking and following another cars slipstream will also cut down the fuel you use. TorqueCars does not encourage dangerous tailgating though, you should always follow at a safe 2 second distance and leave sufficient braking time.
Planning your journey to stick to main roads and avoiding junctions will prevent delays and wasted fuel.
Turn off your engine when your car is idling in traffic if it is safe and legal to do so in your area. Modern cars fitted with stop start technology do this automatically.
Buying a more economical car is not usually a saving when you factor in the additional cost of the car and depreciation. For most drivers it makes more economic sense to keep an older car running for 10 years than to change car every few years.
Higher octane/cetane fuels will generally give better fuel economy if your engine is designed to benefit from them. On cars we've owned we see around 50 miles extra on a tank of premium fuel compared to the standard fuel. As it is more expensive the saving benefits are debatable.
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