Save petrol/gas, money and live longer

Save petrol/gas, money and live longer

Posted on 03. Aug, 2010 by in mishmash, odd stuff

OK, what can you do to save fuel, money and live longer…. let’s start with the blindingly obvious

• Get the car serviced regularly – a vehicle that is in top condition uses less petrol than one whose timing is way off, and the oil is like treacle..
• Inflate the tires to the correct pressure – imagine pushing a car with a flat tire, and if your tires wear is on one side get the alignment checked.
• Empty the boot of un-necessary weight – commonsense tells you that a car pulling a caravan uses more than just the car, so ditch the excess baggage.
• Remove cargo pods and ladder racks if you are not using them- cut wind resistance and drag.

Use the gears… a modern car is designed to run up and down through the gears, so change gear when you should before the engine starts screaming for attention. Ideally keep it between 1,500 and 2,000 this is the most economical. Use 5th… remember how good it feels when you go into 5th and the revs drop , but the speed stays the same… lower revs, less fuel getting guzzled…. think good from here on!

Not so obvious fuel saving is by not using the Air-conditioning. Air-con on and your fuel consumption goes up by 10%… Now in the UK, does it ever get that hot that you can’t be cooled by opening the window or the fan only… In hot climes, as a rough rule of thumb, if motoring less than 50mph open the window to cool down , over put the Air-con on. The drag over 50mph increases fuel consumption more with the windows open than the Air-conditioning. Having said that driving should be a pleasure not a chore, so if you want the cooling air wafting around your nether regions do whatever you feel is best for you. Remember it looks cool driving along at a leisurely pace, getting a sun tan on one arm with your elbow resting on the open window.

For Part 2 of 2 Top Gear 800 miles with one tank Challenge Click here

Now we all know that stress is not good, and prolonged stress can actually decrease your life expectancy. For some driving is the most stressful of experiences… but it need not be.

So in order to Save fuel, money and live longer you need to change your driving habits.

It is not always possible is to plan your journey or do more in one journey, but if you can avoid the rush hr then do … your car, wallet and blood pressure will appreciate it. Sitting still in a traffic jam does nobody any good… If you think you’re going to be stationary for longer than 2 minutes, switch the engine off, put the radio on and ogle the lady or gent in the next car… Chill, you can’t do anything about getting the cars moving so relax.

And now to the super important point. Take your foot off the accelerator.

Let me give you a little story, several years ago… I took a job in Macclesfield, it required 16 of us in 4 cars travelling 44miles from Liverpool everyday for 4 weeks. The journey from L to M is via a combination of urban, motorway, A roads and country roads. 3 of us (myself included) used to drive like madmen, in and out of traffic, constantly at the speed limit, racing away from lights, getting frustrated trying to overtake tractors in the country roads, stressing, a real daily white knuckle ride. My dad on the other hand used to leave 5 minutes before us and arrive a couple of minutes after us. In his car the radio was on, somebody filled out the collective crossword, and they arrived unstressed. Mid way through the 2nd week, people were fighting to go with my father. 3weeks and we were all driving sensibly and the petrol consumption improved dramatically… and our stress levels dropped as well.

Accelerating, fast speeds and high revs costs money… but they are part of that road rage syndrome.

Be courteous… Let people out of side roads, practice chatting to your passenger at 10mph under the speed limit, and save money on petrol used. Don’t accelerate to lights and then stop abruptly, slow down to red lights and accelerate reasonably and steadily away from lights and from a standing start. Apart from saving fuel and money, you heart and blood pressure will thank you… and what is the point of racing off from lights in an urban situation to the next set of lights. It does your karma no good to see the Trabant you burnt off, closing up on you in your rear view mirror as you wait at the roundabout.

Getting annoyed when an idiot cuts you up means that you are driving too fast to react properly in the first place.. . so slow down the pace of your driving, it gives you more breaking time if a child runs out or the unexpected happens … ok, your journey might take a minute or two longer, big deal… But you will use less fuel… you will have more money in your purse or wallet and you will have a lot less stress in your life.

Finally a myth… Coasting in neutral saves money… No it doesn’t… staying in gear but not accelerating is better.

Modern cars use fuel in neutral to keep the engine ticking over and prevent stalling. So stay in gear and ease off in the accelerator, also slowing the car using the breaks while in neutral uses more fuel than using the gears/engine to slow the car.

There are other tips that you see about filling up at busy petrol stations and when it freezing and ECU chips etc…Using supermarket vouchers (actually a good one to save money), and walking uses no fuel at all (the exercise is good for you).. but I live in the real world and have a life.

Happy motoring, save fuel, money and live a longer stress free life.

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One Response to “Save petrol/gas, money and live longer”

  1. Luis

    19. Aug, 2011

    There are other ways on efficient car usage, take a look at this system to rent your car.. to strangers! Would you dare do that? http://ecomobility.tv/2011/08/03/rent-car-to-neighbor/

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