How to drive for increased fuel efficiency

Posted by: Cal on 20/02/2014

Category: General

For most drivers, saving money is a top priority, especially when it comes to essentials such as groceries and fuel for your car. With petrol prices elevated in recent months, making an effort to save fuel makes sense. The more you save on fuel, the more you can spend elsewhere! 

It's not a matter of simply hoping your car isn't a gas-guzzler - there are steps you can take to proactively decrease the amount of fuel your runabout guzzles.

The first step to take when looking to improve fuel efficiency is to ensure your car tyres have the correct pressure. According to RACQ Australia, cars with too little pressure in their tyres can cause excess fuel consumption, due to rolling resistance. This means the engine needs to work harder to keep you going - so check your tyre pressure is at the recommended level every other time you visit a service station!

The issue of rolling resistance also applies to your wheel alignment. If you find your car showing any telltale signs such as pulling to one side if you quickly release the wheel to check straightness, it might be time to get it sorted - and save fuel in the process!

Apart from tyre maintenance, there are other ways to save your vehicle's fuel - including paying attention to the way you're driving. You may not think about the way you're driving as affecting your car's level of fuel, but according to RACQ, irregular driving pace, excessive acceleration and driving too fast are all culprits of increased fuel use.

To combat these issues, make an effort to drive smoothly, at an even pace. This means paying attention to the traffic and surroundings in your vicinity - you may speed up only to reach a traffic light and have to brake suddenly in order to stop. Sudden acceleration should also be steered clear of, as every time you accelerate, you provide your car with more fuel to use.

You may think that travelling just a few kilometres over the speed limit is not a problem. However, according to the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority New Zealand, travelling at 100 km instead of 110 km could save you 10 per cent of your next fuel bill - just another reason to stick to the speed limit!

Other fuel-wasting habits to avoid are loading your boot up with unnecessary weight, and turning your car off if you know you'll be sitting idle for over 30 seconds.

Stick to these techniques and you should be on your way to fuel efficient driving - hello, savings!