Each day on the way to work car drivers are damaging the environment, putting themselves in danger and losing money writes Helen Counsell of the Quality & Environment department. Lex Autolease is here to help by giving you some valuable advice...
Use your gears wisely
Driving in the highest gear you can, without labouring the engine, is a more fuel efficient way of driving. It is estimated that a vehicle travelling at a speed of 37mph in third gear uses 25% more fuel than when at the same speed in fifth gear.
Drive more smoothly
Think ahead, the golden rule is to look well ahead and maintain steady speeds. Unnecessary accelerating and braking not only costs fuel but frayed nerves as well.
Accelerate briskly but not aggressively: it's better to press the accelerator pedal down further in a higher gear than to run the engine up to high revs. Shift up to top gear as soon as you can. Drive in fifth gear from around 30 mph and keep to low revs (between 2000 and 3000 rpm) whenever possible. Research suggests that driving techniques can influence fuel efficiency by as much as 30%.
Switch off your engine
Whenever it is safe to do so, switch off your engine, especially when stuck in traffic for more than a few minutes. If you have air conditioning think before you use it. Not using it will reduce fuel consumption and ultimately save you money.
Drive off as soon as you can
Don't leave your engine running when you first start up. Drive off straight away if you can but drive gently until the engine has reached its normal operating temperature.
Lighten your load
Think carefully about what you are taking on a journey. If you do not need something do not pack it. Remove roof racks if they are not necessary for your journey. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions.
Make fewer car trips
83% of motorists think that traffic congestion in towns and cities is a major problem. There is no "quick fix" solution to this challenge, as for many trips the car is viewed as an absolute necessity. For short or simple journeys, however, you may be able to walk, cycle or take public transport.
Maintain the vehicle
Make sure tyre pressures are correct to get maximum fuel economy.
Turning off electrical accessories like air conditioning, rear window demister or additional lights also results in fuel saving, because they all use some fuel in their operation.
The most valuable fuel-saving hints in brief:
- Don't warm the engine up with the car at a standstill. Drive off right away instead.
- Drive at steady speeds, looking well ahead and use fifth gear (or the car's top gear) for all regular driving.
- Don't step on the fuel pedal while coasting and remain in gear. Switch off the engine if you have to wait for more than a minute.
- Accelerate briskly and shift up early.
- Use only 75 per cent of the vehicle's top speed.
- Avoid full acceleration and kick down with automatic and automated manual transmissions. Apply pressure to the accelerator pedal in a restrained manner.
- Check tyre pressures regularly.
- Remove the roof rack when not in use.
- Remove unwanted objects from the car. Shut down electricity consumers when not needed.
- Service the vehicle regularly.
Better for you
Better for the environment
Better for your finances
Please note that you should always refer to your manufacturer handbook for specific advice relating to your vehicle.