Rising fuel costs have been an unavoidable concern for households in recent months, as global instability and domestic cost-of-living crises make it harder for the average motorist to justify filling their tank. In difficult economic times, every saving is important – and fuel economy becomes a significant factor in mitigating the effect of an ongoing costs. Here are three simple ways you can bring your household’s fuel consumption down.
Keep Your Tyres Pumped Up
One of the simplest things you can do to positively impact your car’s fuel economy is to pay attention to your car’s tyres – in particular, your tyre pressure. If your car tyres are underinflated, more of the tyre tread comes into contact the road. This results in increased road resistance; the engine has to work harder to defeat the additional friction created by the increased surface area contact. In defeating this road resistance, more fuel is used.
Checking your tyre pressure on a regular basis can ensure you don’t fall below your tyre brand’s recommended PSI. Checking your treads for wear can also help you save on fuel, as decreased traction can also result in higher fuel usage from wheelspin and reduced control.
Use Your Car’s AC
One of the bigger factors relating to fuel economy is that of aerodynamics. Air resistance is another form of resistance your engine needs to defeat, and bulky cars or add-ons like roof boxes can mitigate air flow – thus increasing fuel usage. Not many cars have roof boxes installed – but a bad habit, picked up in good faith by many drivers, also has a major impact on fuel economy.
Motorists tend to roll down their windows instead of use their car’s onboard AC, often as an energy-saving measure. However, having your windows open increases your car’s drag, as air enters through the windows and is caught by your car’s interior like a sail catches wind. Keeping your windows closed keeps the air flowing past your car, decreasing drag and improving fuel economy in the process.
Switch Your Car
Even with the above tips, you may find yourself paying above the odds for your school run or daily commute – at which point, it is time to interrogate the car you are driving itself. If your car is particularly old, you may find it doesn’t meet the fuel efficiency standards of newer vehicles. Scouring the second-hand market can lead you to deals on fuel-efficient cars such as used Audis, representing a relatively small upfront cost for longer-term fuel savings.
Before you make any major decisions, you should ensure you get the facts. The Energy Saving Trust has a handy tool for finding out how fuel-efficient a particular model of car is, which can help you refine your purchasing decisions – and discover just how much you could save by getting rid of your current car.