With fuel being so expensive that your first born child is an accepted currency at the pump, making it last as long as possible is no bad thing. In fact, it’s what we should all be doing.
We care not for BHP. All we want are those sweet, sweet MPGs. But how do you ensure you’re getting maximum miles per gallon? You read this handy guide, of course.
01 Lose some weight
The boot of your car is for getting your wares from point A to point B. It is not for filling with junk on the principle of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. The more litteral junk you have in your trunk, the more weight your engine has to lug about.
More weight equals more fuel. Rocket science this is not. So stop being lazy and remove the junk/bag of topsoil/bodies from the boot and stick them in your shed. They don’t need to go to work with you every day. They’re costing you money every time you drive.
02 Get inflated
Rolling resistance. A square has a lot of rolling resistance. Mainly because it doesn’t roll at all. So you’d think, then, that your tyres are gods of the principle. And to a degree, yes, they are. But there’s more to low rolling resistance than being round.
There’s the matter of inflation, too. Run your car with a few Psi less than you should, and it will result in you using more fuel. The tyres will be softer, so they will have more spread on the road, more spread on the road is more contact.
You can see where we’re going with this. So get your handbook out, drop 50p into the machine at the petrol station and make sure you’re running correct pressures.
03 Does it need to be on or open?
Modern cars are much better at this than older cars, but no matter what age your motor is, it’s worth remembering that turning things on means the engine has to work harder. Lights, electric windows, air conditioning – all these things draw from the engine because it has to power satisfy the alternator’s hunger, or the air con’s pump.
The harder the engine is working, the more fuel you use. And the same can be said for having the windows open. Yeah, it’s nice, but do you need them to be open? By doing so, you’re creating drag, which slows you down, meaning the engine has to work hard to counter it.
04 Excellent service
A serviced engine is a frugal engine. If you neglect your car and ignore its servicing needs, it will reward you by drinking all your fuel. As cars rack up more miles, the oil gets thicker, the filters get filled with rubbish, the spark plugs can get weaker, the list goes on.
So keep your car serviced. If you do, it will be running its best, and as a result, the fuel you feed it will be used effectively. Even a basic oil and filter change can make a hell of a difference, and it’s a doddle to do yourself. Failing that, a garage won’t charge you a lot to do it.
05 Rev less, go further
Yes, revving your engine makes you feel like Vin Diesel in The Fast and the Furious but it’s also using all your fuel. The more an engine is revving, the faster it’s spinning. The faster it’s spinning, the more fuel it’s using. So don’t rev it if you don’t need to.
And when driving, don’t screw your car through the gears. If you can change gear before 2,000 to 2,500ish revs, your engine will thank you. Holding it in gear and shifting on the redline is for race drivers, not you on your drive to work on a Monday morning.