How to effectively reduce the fuel consumption of a car? The obvious way is to avoid sudden acceleration and movement at high speeds; however, the struggle for saving expensive fuel does not stop there. There are at least 5 more working options for reducing fuel consumption. Perhaps, novice or inexperienced drivers should read and remember – it will come in handy. Yes, and experienced motorists can, just in case, go over the text, refreshing their memory, possibly forgotten, life hacks.
Anticipate and observe what is happening around you
The basis for reducing fuel consumption is a smooth driving, which is impossible without observing the environment and anticipating the situation.
For example, when approaching an intersection, it is worth throwing a glance at pedestrian traffic lights or traffic lights directed to adjacent roads (if they are visible). In some cases, they will tell you that the red light is about to turn on for you or, conversely, green.
It is also important to maintain a safe distance from the vehicle in front.
By the way, remember that the Rules of the Road do not indicate the number of meters that drivers must strictly observe. Yes, and this is impossible for different driving conditions – night / day, dry asphalt / wet / ice / snow, city / countryside, and so on.
But it is generally accepted that a safe distance is half the speed of a car that moves in a stream of cars at the same speed.
So, keeping a distance is necessary not only for safety reasons – it will allow you to respond in a timely manner to the maneuvers of the driver in front of the car, which, for example, intends to turn onto an adjacent road.
If you track the situation correctly, do not press against the bumper of the car in front, then you may not need to slow down or brake at all, which will allow you not to dial it again, consuming additional fuel.
Yes, fuel consumption will be miserable, but if you systematically accelerate and constantly slow down, then in a year, wasted gasoline or diesel fuel will accumulate for a quite tangible amount, in some cases going beyond 10 thousand rubles …
Use the engine for braking, but neutral is also useful
Tracking the situation on the road is directly related to another useful trick for the driver of both a car and a truck – engine braking. And if trucks have special systems such as a retarder (retarder brake), which allows you to slow down without braking using the main braking system or in parallel with it, then on cars with a manual gearbox, it is worth studying the technique of engine braking in manual mode.
This useful technique works adequately, in particular, in this example:
You drive up, for example, to a traffic light and see a signal prohibiting movement. The wrong scenario is to drive at a constant speed and at the last moment brake in front of the STOP line.
At the same time, the brake pads/discs wear out more intensively, and the movement becomes jerkier and more nervous. Especially at those moments when red suddenly switches to green for an unobservant driver, and only the stopped vehicle has to start to accelerate sharply again.
It is much better to try the experienced driver’s option:
Release the accelerator pedal in advance when approaching a red traffic light. Thus, you will save not only fuel but also brake discs and pads, as we said above.
But do not forget about the neutral. A certain part of experienced drivers tends to do this, although we disagree with the following for only one reason: it is dangerous to switch to neutral at speed. It is dangerous even in dry weather (due to the possibility of a loss of control and/or the difficulty of an instant reaction to an emergency on the road – it takes time to turn on the desired gear), and in the rain, and even more so in the snow, it is generally suicide. However, here is the advice:
Driving in neutral (manual transmission) can also be useful, for example, when you are driving on a motorway at high speed and you know in advance that the movement will soon continue downhill.
According to some motorists-economists, at this moment it is desirable to switch to neutral and roll on it, saving fuel. The arguments of the adherents of this method are only exacerbated by new technologies in which automakers began to equip their top-end versions of cars with automatic transmission disengagement systems that disconnect the transmission from the engine when driving downhill. This is dictated by the desire to reduce fuel consumption.
For more information about the dispute, whether you need to turn on the neutral on the descent or not, read our material:
Use your conditioner wisely
Turning on the air conditioner in an unventilated cabin that is warm from parking in the summer sun is also a bad idea if you want to save fuel and also don’t want your air conditioner to fail too soon.
It is much better to open the windows and ventilate the interior while driving – just drive a couple of hundred meters, and you can turn on the Conder.
It is also worth setting the temperature so that it does not differ from the ambient temperature by more than 10 degrees. You will save fuel (on average 50-100 grams per 100 km), a car with a low-power engine will not lose throttle response, and you will not catch a cold from a strong temperature drop inside the car and overboard.
Some car owners, in order to save as much as possible, even refuse to use the air conditioner while driving and open the windows instead. If you’re wondering if the savings are noticeable in this case, a few years ago, GM conducted research at different speeds and came to the following conclusions:
The difference in fuel consumption between a car with the air conditioner on and a car with the windows open ranged from a few to ten percent, depending on the type of body. Of course, above a certain speed (between 80 and 100 km/h), wide open windows will disrupt the car’s aerodynamics, further increasing consumption.
Before the trip, check the technical condition
The correct technical condition of the car is one of the most important components of reducing fuel consumption.
- First of all, check the tire pressure, especially if you are going on a trip with a large load. A pressure drop of 0.5 bar can increase fuel consumption by up to 5%.
- In addition, it is also worth checking the condition of the brake system. Make sure the calipers are working properly and the pads are not rubbing against the discs in the released position. After all, it’s the extra drag that makes you put more energy into acceleration and maintaining speed.
- It is also worth checking all the aerodynamic elements and looking under the bottom – is there anything hanging there? Damage and deformation can violate the prescribed air resistance coefficient and lead to increased fuel consumption, especially at high speeds.
- Don’t forget candles and filters. Check if they need to be replaced? Worn filters and/or spark plugs can increase fuel consumption by up to 10 percent.
- Also, do not ignore the Check Engine. Engine problems can cause the control unit to change its operating scenario to the safest for it. And this, in turn, may require the supply of more fuel to the cylinders, although there is a transition to economy mode, do not even hope that your car will somehow accelerate adequately.
Think over the route and adjust the speed of movement
Even if you are moving along a route that you know by heart, it is recommended to turn on the navigator, which will show traffic congestion in real-time. This will avoid unexpected traffic jams. The navigator will guide you along a possible detour. Yes, you will make a detour, but you will still use less fuel than you will burn in a traffic jam.
If you care more about fuel economy than time, slow down and drive on the highway at less than the speed limit. At a speed of 80-90 km / h, the consumption will be minimal, at 110-120 km / h the car will consume more fuel (at least per liter), and so on.