We continue our series dedicated to saving fuel and offer you a set of 12 essential efficient driving tricks and techniques focused on reducing consumption.
As you read our instructions, you will see that many of them are related to each other, which makes their application much easier.
The first thing is to understand that if you want to save as much gas as possible, the technology that your vehicle incorporates is a secondary factor.
Automakers have taken it upon themselves to exploit and utilize advances in modern powertrains to create compelling sales pitches.
However, even today, the differences in the levels of gasoline consumption continue to have much more to do with the speed at which it is circulated and a series of habits behind the wheel.
The 12 best tricks to save fuel
# 1 Dispense with accelerations
Running out of a red light will only help increase your fuel consumption when commuting. Aggressive acceleration generates more than 30% extra energy consumption by the engine.
The same happens when driving on expressways. Carrying out strong accelerations in order to suddenly overtake the vehicle in front is highly impractical.
Precisely, expressways – such as motorways and dual carriageways – are prepared to be able to maintain a constant and homogeneous speed during most of the journey.
If you plan to overtake the preceding vehicle, start the acceleration process progressively.
# 2 Anticipate the preceding traffic
Anticipating the traffic ahead is a technique that consists of paying attention not only to the vehicle in front of you, but to several vehicles in front of it.
This type of driving is especially effective on fast roads and traffic jams, because:
- Avoid having to brake abruptly to start driving almost immediately.
- It allows anticipating the need to reduce speed, avoiding unnecessary acceleration.
# 3 Respect the safety distance
Maintaining a safe distance is not only one of the main measures to avoid rear-end collisions. It is also the best way to anticipate the preceding circulation that we talked about in the previous section.
During braking moments, the space that separates you from another vehicle determines the need to depress the brake pedal or simply to release your foot from the accelerator and allow the engine to hold the vehicle and slow down. This phenomenon is known as “engine braking” and it enables significant fuel savings.
# 4 Reduce the speed of circulation
The amount of air resistance that vehicles need to overcome increases exponentially as the speed of a moving object increases.
If we translate this law of physics to road traffic, we find that fuel consumption from 100 km / h increases exponentially. For example, the difference in consumption between driving at 120 km / h and driving at 80km / h is greater than 60%.
# 5 Lengthens the braking distance
A very simple way to ensure that you are saving fuel is to use the brake as little as possible.
Of course, this does not mean that you should drive recklessly for the purpose of not braking. Our advice is more subtle and secure.
Where is the trick?
As we pointed out a moment ago, anticipating the need to brake will allow you to stop accelerating much earlier. This will result in less use of the brakes and consequent lengthening of stopping distance.
Be that as it may, the most important thing of all is the savings that are achieved. Pressing the brake pedal means that valuable energy has been wasted. Avoid it by lengthening your braking, by using the engine brake already mentioned.
# 6 Adapt to the urban green wave diagram
Even today, many drivers are unaware that the regulation of a large part of urban traffic lights is designed to allow a constant and reduced speed of traffic in cities.
That means that trying to speed up the streets is not only unsafe, but totally ineffective.
Has this ever happened to you?
The green wave diagram coordinates the traffic lights to adjust the traffic flow. Trying to get ahead of this diagram would require doubling the allowed speed. You will most likely end up having to brake sharply at most traffic lights to see the other vehicles coming through the rearview mirror.
# 7 Use the gearbox efficiently
As we indicated in our Fundamental Guide to Efficient Driving , the correct use of the gears can lead to great energy savings. This translates into a whole set of recommendations, among which we can highlight the following:
- During acceleration processes, it changes gears between 2,000 and 2,500 revolutions per minute in gasoline engines, and 1,500 and 2,000 revolutions in diesel engines.
- Use 1st gear only for the first few meters. On downhill exits, engage second gear and allow the vehicle to begin gravity-pulled motion.
- Shift to the highest gears whenever you can ride safely and the engine is not at risk of seizing from loss of power.
What does this mean?
This means that during gear changes, intermediate gears can be dispensed with. For example, nothing prevents you from progressively engaging first, second, fourth and sixth.
# 8 Take advantage of steep slopes
When a vehicle is traveling at more than 20 km / h with a gear engaged and without pressing the accelerator pedal, the pump stops injecting fuel. This translates into zero energy consumption.
Thanks to this, it is possible to save a good amount of gasoline when going down a slope. Just leave the highest gear in gear and take your foot off the gas.
# 9 Optimize the use of tires
In our article on the ” influence of tires on driving ” we explain in detail how the quality, condition and pressure of tires can affect fuel consumption, among other things.
What about green tires?
The so-called ecological tires allow you to reduce fuel consumption by 3%.
# 10 Use low viscosity oil
If you want to optimize engine performance, low viscosity oil allows optimal lubrication and reduces the level of friction resistance.
However, it is only suitable for new vehicles or those that have little use.
# 11 Reduce unnecessary burden
We often use the trunk as a kind of disaster drawer in which objects and packages accumulate that we rarely use. Check your trunk and remove all cargo that is not absolutely essential.
For every 100 kilograms of additional weight that is loaded on a vehicle, fuel consumption increases by 5% on average, as long as it is not traveling at high speeds. In those cases the consumption is even higher.
# 12 Use the air conditioning efficiently
The air conditioning supposes a quite residual energy consumption, as long as it is used in an efficient way.
When it comes to cooling a car that has been in the sun and whose interior has overheated, it is best to open the windows to allow the air circulation to initially reduce the temperature. Only then is it recommended to activate the air conditioning.