Vehicles have the lowest fuel-efficiency and pollute the most at the beginning of a journey, so avoid lots of short trips. You will save time, fuel – and sanity – by doing a number of things in the one trip.
The key to remember is the better your fuel economy, the less fuel you burn and the less emissions you produce. Aggressive driving including speeding, rapid acceleration and heavy braking is not only dangerous but it wastes fuel. In fact, heavy braking can increase your fuel consumption by up to 39%. If your car is fitted with cruise control, use it whenever possible to maximise the amount of steady driving and avoid using the power options as it will drop the car into a lower gear, using more fuel. In manual cars, as soon as you are travelling at a steady speed drive in the highest gear possible.
Take a load off
Extra weight in your car makes the engine work harder and consume more fuel. Remove any heavy, unnecessary items (like golf clubs or baby strollers) from the car altogether and put them in the boot only when you need them. Extra exterior parts, like roof racks and spoilers will, increase air resistance or drag on your car. A simple way to improve fuel economy is to remove the roof and bike racks when they’re not in use.
Take care of your car
Proper maintenance will not only keep your car running longer but also improve its fuel economy. Make you regularly change the oil, check the radiator water levels and replace spark plugs according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. It’s also important to use the fuel recommended by your car’s manufacturer.
Go easy on the air conditioning
Air conditioning at full blast is a big waste of fuel, but driving with your windows rolled down can also have an adverse impact because it increases the drag on your vehicle. On hot days, if you’re driving in city traffic, leave your windows open for fresh air and when travelling at higher speeds, wind up the windows and turn on the air conditioning.
Keep tyres properly inflated
Driving with under-inflated tyres increases fuel consumption because they need more energy to roll. Checking that your tyres are correctly inflated each month will ensure the right amount of rubber hits the road and could save you around 100kg of greenhouse emissions per year!