How Can You Get the Most from Your Tank of Fuel?

Electric and hybrid cars may be a hot topic for drivers looking to buy cars that don’t use up so much fuel or, better yet, don’t need fuel to run at all. But what if buying a new electric car isn’t an option for you right now? The next best thing you can do to keep your fuel costs down would be to learn the different ways you can get the most from a full tank. Here, we’ve got great tips on how to do that, so be sure to read on!

Careful Planning Goes a Long Way

With the prices of fuel going up and rarely down if at all, you might be discouraged from going on that European road trip you’ve been dreaming of. Cutting back on your fuel expenses doesn’t mean you have to scrap those travel plans altogether. What you can do instead is plan your journey thoroughly. But just what does that mean exactly? 

Start by knowing your options on the routes to take. The shortest route is ideal, but along with that, find out which ones are prone to traffic congestion or have obstructions and bad roads. Try to avoid those routes when researching how to get to your destination because they’ll significantly affect how much fuel the engine consumes. Sat-navs typically have live traffic updates and take advantage of that, so you’ll know if you need to find alternate routes.

Improve Your Driving Habits

Even if you have a fuel-efficient car, poor driving habits can increase the engine’s fuel consumption. There are two things that you can work on, driving smoothly and aiming for the best average speed of 55 to 65mph (except when you’re in built-up areas where the speed limit is 30mph or sometimes even 20mph). Speeds faster than 65mph decrease your car’s fuel efficiency. To compare, if you drive at 85mph, your car will use 40% more fuel than if you drive at 70mph. Other than increasing fuel consumption, avoid higher speeds because driving at 85mph is also illegal in the UK! (70mph is the max on any UK motorway).    

To have a smooth drive, the acceleration and deceleration should be steady. As much as possible, avoid stopping and starting and changing your speed abruptly. With better driving habits, the engine doesn’t have to work too hard to get your car moving from a standstill. This prevents excess fuel consumption and increases the achievable number of miles per gallon. Whenever you’re on the road, make it a point to have smooth and gentle speed changes to improve your car’s fuel economy. 

Reduce Vehicle Idling

There’s a myth about how you’ll save fuel by leaving your car engine running instead of restarting it. This is certainly not true. If you’re not stuck in slow-moving traffic, avoid idling. If you have a newer model of course the car will automatically do that for you.  In situations where you have to get out of your car to get something, and you’ll be away for more than ten seconds, it’s best to turn off the ignition. Restarting the engine consumes less fuel than keeping it idle. 

Also, idling is not good for the overall health of the engine (or the planet🌍) Prevent increased engine wear and costly repairs by turning off the ignition whenever you don’t need to drive the car. As for warming up your car and the cabin interior, you can do so by driving the vehicle. The engine and cabin will warm more quickly this way than when idling. Revving is also unnecessary to warm up the engine, and if you have a modern car, it doesn’t actually need this old-school warming up to get the engine fully lubricated.   

Take Advantage of Cruise Control

You might be surprised to learn that using cruise control can actually help you save on fuel costs than manually controlling the speed of your car when driving on flat roads like on the motorway. As mentioned earlier, smooth speed changes result in better fuel economy, and using cruise control makes this much easier. For some drivers, it can be scary to remove their foot from the accelerator and let the car take care of itself, so to speak. It’s easy to feel out of control in the first few tries, but once you get used to it, the cruise control feature can help keep your fuel costs down and make driving more comfortable for you. 

Use cruise control on consistently flat roads. Avoid using it in heavy traffic, going uphill or downhill, on winding roads, and whenever it becomes impractical to keep a constant speed. During winter, the roads can be slippery, so avoid using cruise control because the car will be more prone to sliding. If you’re driving late at night and you’re tired and tempted to just set the car on cruise control, don’t. Since you won’t be controlling the accelerator, it’s so much easier to doze off. You might lose control of your car and run into an accident. To be safe, don’t drive at all if you’re exhausted. 

Proper and Regular Car Maintenance

When a car is well-maintained, it performs better and doesn’t consume fuel excessively. From the engine oil to the tyres, it’s highly important to have them checked regularly. Even using the wrong engine oil can impact fuel economy and affect the lifespan of your car. For example, if you put a denser or thicker engine oil than what your car really needs, it will cause the engine to work a lot harder than it should. 

Wheel alignment is also vital in improving your car’s fuel economy and prolonging the life of your tyres. We’ve all experienced pushing that shopping trolley with a crazy wheel that goes its own way, and not only did we get irritated, but it also made us exert more effort than necessary to push it. It goes the same for your engine when it has to work harder to make the car run, so be sure to get the wheel alignment checked.

Two key points to remember to get the most from your tank of fuel — better driving and regular car checks. When your car burns less fuel, it keeps your expenses down, and it also helps the environment. It’s a win-win for your wallet and the planet. 👍😀