Driving style, poorly maintained tyres and excessive drag are the big offenders
With the August Bank Holiday approaching, some will be jumping into their cars and heading off on a well-earned staycation. For those who haven’t switched to an electric vehicle and are still driving a petrol or diesel car, SEAI has some tips to help you drive more efficiently. This will help you use less fuel, reduce your emissions and also stay safe, not only this weekend but all the time.
Fuel consumption tends to be affected most by your driving style, excessive rapid acceleration, unnecessary short trips, a cold engine, poor car maintenance and incorrect tyre pressure. A less aggressive, energy conscious driving style could save as much as 10% on your fuel costs.
This tip applies all the time but is especially important ahead of a long journey or a motoring holiday. A properly maintained petrol or diesel car will have; good engine lubrication, wheel alignment and well-adjusted brakes, reducing your fuel use. It will also mean your car is safer and more reliable.
CHECK TYRE CONDITION AND PRESSURE
Be sure to check your tyres regularly. Tyres in good condition, with the proper thread depth, and at the right pressure, improve both safety and fuel consumption. Tyres that are 10% below recommended pressure increase fuel consumption by around 2%.
READ THE ROAD
By watching the road ahead and anticipating any likely problems, your driving will become smoother, more controlled and be safer for all. Drive in as high a gear as is suitable to road conditions and at bends, reduce your speed gently and accelerate smoothly when you are halfway through to help reduce fuel use.
Once you turn the engine on, drive off gently without delay. This will reduce excessive fuel consumption and pollution. Even if you’re waiting only 30 seconds it is more economical to switch the engine off and start it again when necessary. Incidentally, many newer cars have an automatic stop/start function, which means you don’t have to think about this.
REDUCE UNNECESSARY DRAG
After you arrive safely at your destination make sure to take off any unused bike racks or roof boxes and save as much as 20% on your fuel costs. You can save a further 3-5% by using the car’s air-conditioning to cool down rather than leaving the windows open while you drive.
AVOID SHORT JOURNEYS
A cold engine uses significantly more fuel than a warm engine. So, once you reach your staycation destination opt to walk or cycle where you can and avoid using your car for short journeys.