The number of hybrid vehicles on the market is increasing day by day, and the latest models offer an astounding level of fuel efficiency. But while the future of autos is certainly electric, there’s plenty you can do to reduce the current fuel costs of your petrol-powered car until the time comes to upgrade. Here are seven of the easiest and most effective ways to cut your petrol costs down to size.
1) Monitor Tyre Pressure
Keeping your car’s tyres at the correct pressure is a vital part of fuel economy. Underinflated tyres drag more softly across the pavement, and need more fuel energy to get up to speed. At the opposite end, overinflated tyres make handling more skittish and sensitive, and the constant minor changes in steering you’ll need to make will also drain fuel more quickly.
And the benefits of properly inflated tyres go beyond fuel efficiency. Tyres at the right pressure wear out less quickly, so you’ll be hit less often by replacement and repair costs.
2) Upgrade Window Tinting
Most modern cars offer tinted windows, but the tint isn’t always of the highest quality. Investing in an upgraded tinted film across all the windows will reduce heat buildup in the interior, cutting back the energy costs of operating the air conditioning.
3) Remove Excess Weight
Every pound of weight in your car adds up to extra fuel costs. Go through your cabin and trunk and take out all the items which you don’t need to have with you all the time. Each individual item may be light, but added together they can increase fuel consumption by a significant amount over a year.
4) Drive with Low Fuel Levels
And to continue on the weight theme, try to keep your fuel tank filled as low as you can for daily driving. If you’re only running short city errands, there’s no need to have a huge amount of fuel in reserve, and a full gas tank adds a lot of unnecessary weight to your car.
Even for longer journeys, there’s usually no need to have your tank more than half full, so long as you leave a little leeway to avoid running out. Keeping your tank highly filled at all times means you’re paying just to transport unused gas around as you drive.
5) Use the Engine Wisely
In older times, it made sense to keep the engine running when you left the car stationary for a few minutes. The amount of fuel used during ignition far outweighed the cost of leaving the engine idling for a while. With modern cars, ignition is much more efficient, and the balance is reversed. You’ll save plenty gas in the long run by turning your engine off whenever you’ll be stopped for more than 30 seconds or so.
Similarly, there’s no need to warm up the engine on a cold morning before driving away. Older engines often needed a few minutes to reach efficient operating temperature once the mercury dropped too far, but modern designs are ready to go immediately unless you’re in truly arctic conditions.
6) Keep on Top of Maintenance
Keeping to a service schedule not only helps reduce repair bills in future, but also keeps fuel costs down by ensuring your car runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible. You may be tempted to skip an appointment to save a little cash, but in the long run that’s usually a false economy.
7) Use a Smooth Driving Style
Lastly, the more aggressively you drive your car the higher its fuel consumption will be. For most journeys, bursts of strong acceleration will soon need to be followed by hard braking, which uses much more fuel to cover the same distance. The smoother your driving style, the more you’ll save at the gas pump.
Of course, no all-gas car will ever match a hybrid when it comes to fuel economy. But that’s not to say you can’t save as much gas as you can. Until the fully electric future finally arrives, following these tips will make your fuel consumption as frugal as possible, benefiting both your wallet and the environment.