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Saturday, March 21, 2009

Fill Up At Busy Stations

Please note: this tip is not 100% proven and we continue to look into it

If you don't mind waiting 5 minutes when you go to fill your car up, then try to buy your fuel from a busy petrol station.

When a station is consistently busy it will require its underground tanks to be filled on a regular basis. Whereas stations that don't have as much custom will have fuel sitting in the tanks for longer periods which can reduce the quality of the fuel. This may lead to fuel which is less powerful and less economical.

You may have to sit and wait to fill you car up, which can use a small amount of petrol cancelling the potential benefits. If you're expecting to wait a while turn your engine off.

Car Drivers Quotes

Here is a collection of popular car driving quotes:

"Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you is an idiot, and anyone going faster than you is a maniac?" (George Carlin)

"You know, somebody actually complimented me on my driving today. They left a little note on the windscreen, it said 'Parking Fine'." (Tommy Cooper)

"Patience is something you admire in the driver behind you and scorn in the one ahead." (Mac McCleary)

"It takes 8,460 bolts to assemble an automobile, and one nut to scatter it all over the road." (Author Unknown)

"The elderly don't drive that badly; they're just the only ones with time to do the speed limit." (Jason Love)

"The best car safety device is a rear-view mirror with a cop in it." (Dudley Moore)

"Each year it seems to take less time to fly across the ocean and longer to drive to work." (Author Unknown)

"Life is too short for traffic." (Dan Bellack)

Alternative Transport & Car Sharing

Going to work is one of the major uses of the car. If you have a colleague who lives close by you could start car sharing, this is where you take it in turn to drive to work, this way you will reduce the amount of petrol you use going to work by half!

You should also consider other types of alterative transport for when going places. Instead of driving to town every saturday you should look into the cost and convenience of going by bus, train, bicycle or even walking if you live close by.

The person who you car share with may annoy you, just try and remember the money they are saving you! Going by bus or train may not be as nice as being in the comfort of your own car but it could save you quite a bit of money.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Avoid Driving On Rough Roads

When possible try to avoid driving on rough road surfaces like gravel or heavy dirt. Driving on these kinds of surfaces can reduce your fuel consumption by up to 30%. Even if a route on smooth tarmac is slightly longer the reduction in friction will mean a much better MPG so it is worth going the tarmac way.

Very rough surfaces can also damage your paintwork and if hilly you may even damage the underside of your car. Both these will cost money to repair so it's another reason to try and avoid rough roads.

Some times it may be unavoidable and you have to go down certain roads, if possible try to go as slow as you can to avoid damaging your paintwork and underside.

Try Not To Use Air-Conditioning

Having air-conditioning is a nice luxury, and when it is baking hot air-con seems like the greatest invention ever! However air-con does increase your petrol consumption by as much as 10%, so when its warm just have your fans on cool instead of having the air con on, or just have the window down slightly. If this fails to cool you down then try to just have the air-con on in short bursts.

If you are traveling at over 60mph and it is too hot then it is recommended you actually have the air-con on instead of putting the window down, this is because having the window down increases drag which in turn reduces your fuel consumption.

If it is really hot then don't leave the air-con off just to save a couple of pounds! So sometimes you can't get round it, but most the time just have the window down slightly.

Go Slow On A Cold Engine

A cold engine uses twice as much fuel as a warm engine, and catalytic converters take 6 miles to become effective. So either avoid short journeys completely or drive super efficiently until the engine has warmed up. Dependant on the roads you are driving on and the level of traffic you may not be able to drive effeciently at all, if possible avoid the journey completely.

Some journeys which are 2 or 3 miles can't be avoided, especially in winter. In these situations your fuel consumption will be terrible because the engine might not even get warm by the time you arrive at your destination.

General Driving Tips

Avoid High Speeds - When driving on the motorway try and limit your speed as much as possible, the average car consumes 38% more fuel at 70pmh than it does at 50mph. Avoiding high speeds on motorways can save a lot of petrol. Around 50% of the power produced by the engine is used to overcome aerodynamic drag, drag increases rapidly above 70mph so you fuel consumption will suffer.

Smooth Driving - Acceleration and deceleration is what uses most fuel. For this reason you will improve your fuel consumption with smooth driving, heavy braking can be reduced by not tailgaiting and slowing down gradually when coming up to a red light. Also avoid heavy acceleration from the lights and try not to rev too much.

Use The Right Gear - To maintain low revs whilst driving you should change gear as soon as is practical. Engines run most economically at revs between 1,500 and 2,500 so aim to always be between this unless more power is required.

Don't Coast In Neutral - Modern cars automatically shut off fuel to the engine if you're not accelerating, but in neutral the engine will still use a tiny amount of petrol to stop it from stalling, so when cruising up to the lights keep the car in gear.

Close Your Window - If you are driving fast then don't have your windows open unless necessary. Having the windows open when driving at over 50mph causes significant drag which increases fuel consumption, even at lower speeds it may affect your consumption. So close your window and put the fans on!