Tips to make a car more fuel efficient

Jun 26, 2020

The goal here is to help you get more out of each litre of fuel to delay having to pull up to a service station and empty your wallet. There are endless little tricks you can fiddle with but we’re going to focus on tips to make a car more fuel efficient that have a proven track record. Leaving a noticeable difference when it comes to distance per litre.

Firstly, keep track of your consumption so you can gauge how you’re doing. This isn’t as complicated as it may seem! All you need to do is reset your odometer (distance clock on your dashboard) each time you fill up. By doing this you can keep a record of how fast you’re burning through that fuel so you can improve tank after tank. Make a game/challenge out of it to keep yourself accountable and see how the tinkering methods below weigh up.

Air pressure:

Keep those tyres’ inflated to minimise the friction and resistance caused when you’re racing around in your car. If the tyre pressure is 10 PSI lower than the recommended pressure stated on the tyre it can reduce fuel economy by 10% and even more in some cases. It doesn’t cost anything to top the pressure up regularly. Although be mindful what gauge you’re following; service stations don’t tend to have accurate meters but you can buy an inexpensive pocket pressure gauge to leave in your glove box. If you don’t want to muck around with your own pocket pressure gauge, your local garages/tyre shops will help you out. If you’re around Northland drop into one of our three Gas & Tyre branches and the team will be happy to give you a run down on maintenance, and top up your tyre pressure – free of charge.

Air Pressure Testing Gas & Tyre Whangarei

Air conditioning:

Keep in mind that your air con, when maxed out, can reduce distance per fuel consumption by 5 to 20%. You can easily minimise consumption by waiting a few minutes before dialling it up. Another way to reduce the impact of air con is to switch between the air con and windows when you’re in lower speed areas. Also, flicking the air con off a few minutes before you arrive at your destination. These small adjustments to reduce your air con can help you save gas without having to give it up on those hot summer days.

Driving style

Be conscious of your car constantly consuming fuel and let this help influence your driving. A few things to monitor are listed below.

  • Avoid tailgating; for one, it annoys the person in front but it’s always going to make your driving less consistent with braking and accelerating.
  • Avoid racing off the mark. Try to resist pushing your pedal to the floor to get going, just build up speed with steady acceleration.  

Remove excess weight/racks/boxes:

You want to make your car “streamlined”. This can be easily applied to your car effortlessly by removing excess stuff that’s not necessary. Such as, an out of season ski/kayak/bike rack that’s not being used for 95% of car travel. Also, try reducing the weight in the vehicle by taking out heavy equipment gathering dust in the boot or whatever it may be. You’re bound to be able to make your car more streamlined somehow and if you’re serious about saving fuel it could well be worth the exercise.

Nitrogen in your tyres:

A different but proven effective method is filling your tyres with nitrogen. This approach may sound odd but it’s more common practice than you may think and is regularly offered at Tyre shops such as Gas & Tyre. There are numerous reasons how nitrogen beats having air in your tyres. One reason is nitrogen’s not affected by temperature which usually causes air pressure to fluctuate 3-4 PSI. Another reason is there’ll be less leakage through the rubber this is a result of nitrogen being a larger molecule, what this means for you on the road is smoother rides and maintaining that all important tyre pressure. Give us a call to find out more about nitrogen on 0800 788 288.

Website/apps to gain locate cheap fuel:

Inevitably you’re going to have to fill up that tank at some point. So the last recommendation is that you fill up at the service stations with the lowest fuel prices. Don’t go driving around town looking at all the large display signs at each gas station, that won’t do well for the economical driving style you’ve taken on. Just have a quick look at websites/apps that compare fuel prices. For New Zealand, Gaspy app is a great solution. It’s a user generated program where local fuel prices are dobbed in by the community to help each other out. Available on Google play store and Apple’s iTunes. See what you can find that’s relevant and effective for reporting your local gas prices and let us know in the comments.

Thanks for checking out the blog, we hope your fuel bills become easier to bear and less frequent. Be sure to check out our Facebook page for more interesting information, industry news and updates.

New blog update that puts traditional tyre reviews under the microscope, read here.

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