Fuel efficient driving tips

There are plenty of ways that you can help reduce your impact on the environment, here are a few driving tips to get you started.

Reduce your CO2 emissions with these simple driving tips and you could save yourself fuel and money. If we all followed these guidelines, we could lower CO2 motoring emissions by 5.5 million tonnes a year.

1. Lighten the load
The more your car carries around, the harder the engine has to work. So check your boot and get rid of any unnecessary junk. You’ll save fuel and money and, with less rear-end weight; you’ll find the car handles better too.

2. Check your tyres
Under-inflated tyres cause more resistance, so engines have to work harder to go at the same speed, using up more fuel. However over-inflated tyres offer less grip. Too low or too high pressure and you’ll also wear out your tyres faster. Check your manual for more details.

3. The cost of air conditioning
Your car’s air conditioning system runs off the engine, and the extra energy it requires uses up more fuel. The alternative is to open a window. However, when travelling at higher speeds, this causes increased wind resistance and can use up more fuel than the air conditioning system itself.

4. Drive smoothly
Studies have shown that darting in and out of traffic, and accelerating hard away from stoppages hardly saves any time. In fact, this stop-go technique uses up more fuel and wears out some of the car’s components much faster. Smoothness and anticipation are today’s driving by-words.

5. If in doubt, take it off
Roof boxes and roof racks create drag. They slow the car down, rather like driving with the windows open. This means your engine has to work harder to keep up. So if it’s not in use then take it off; if it is then don’t stash too much up there as this will also reduce your efficiency.

6. Time your gear changes
Higher revs don’t impress anyone. Driving fast is dangerous and means you’re using up more fuel. But the timing of your gear changes will also affect your efficiency. Engines are at their most efficient between 2,000-3,000 revs per minute. The optimum gear changing point in diesel cars is at around 2,000rpm, and 2,500rpm in petrol cars.

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