Sunday, February 13, 2011

Economically Driven- 4 simple ways to save fuel and save money!

Hey again everyone.

While on the subject of cars, I decided I should give economical driving a mention, as it can really save you money if you are willing to change your habits and drive to save. I have prepared the following checklist for what you can do to drive more economically.

1. Cut down on the extra weight. More weight means more friction, and more mass you have to get moving. For example, if you drive a car with a big tool box in the back (I am thinking trades people here), which is only used once every few weeks, just removing that could cut down on the amount of fuel you use. This one isn't as important as the ones to follow, but it is worth considering.

2. Velocity and acceleration. These 2 are very important factors. Firstly, by pushing your car to go faster than it wants to, you will burn more fuel to provide the extra power. For example, driving at 110km/h will consume more fuel than cruising at 100km/h. Unless you are going a large distance (100 kilometres or more and you will notice a difference), the extra 10km/h will save you only 6 minutes (over 100 kilometres), so if you only need to go 15 kilometres on the highway, the amount of time you save is negligible.

Acceleration is the next key point. To make the car accelerate, obviously you have to feed it more fuel. If you accelerate to 60 along a small road, with a red light ahead, and then have to break again, you will waste fuel. When you think about it this way, it doesn't make sense. Why accelerate irrationally towards a red light, where you have to stop? Just cruise up to it. If you make this a habit, I can guarantee you will save petrol.

3. Which car? We have already spoken about this in the last posts, but choosing an economical car is obviously one of the most important factors. If you buy a v8 4 wheel drive just to cruise around the town, you are burning a lot more fuel to move the 2 tonnes or more of car beneath you. If you choose a smaller car, you have less mass to move, so you burn less fuel. Obviously there is more to it than this, but I don't want to bore you with specifications etc because I know that's not going to help. Just choose wisely.

4. Ride height. For some reason it seems to be fashionable to buy a 4wd, and raise it up off the ground higher than it already is. The strange thing is, I usually see this in the city. Firstly, I don't understand why city kids want to do this, especially since the roughest roads they are likely to come across are probably the speed bumps in the local car park, but I wont rant about it for too long. Unless you actually need a serious 4 wheel drive car, with raise suspension for huge clearance, there is no point in doing it. Think about it, you burn more fuel because you change the natural flow of the air (as it was designed in the factory), and you can't get into low roofed car parks. To me, it is a waste of money.

Well, I think that's about it as I can't think of anything else worth talking about in this topic. If you take all of these into consideration I can guarantee you will make your car last longer, and save money in the process. Definitely worth a try!

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