10 Tips to Improve Fuel Economy

Filling up car with fuel at petrol station

It’s no secret that petrol and diesel costs are going up, and with increasing commitments to tackle climate change, this isn’t likely to change any time soon. As well as being more mindful about where you fill up (avoiding motorway petrol stations is key), there are plenty of small changes you can make to your car and driving style that will help to increase fuel economy. Keep reading for 10 tips to get more miles per gallon, from Euro Car Parts.

Before you go…

1) Only pack the essentials

The lighter the vehicle, the less fuel it needs to be propelled forwards. Declutter your boot and the backseat, getting rid of anything you don’t need for your journey – from the baby seat to the litre of screen wash you forgot to put in the garage – and you’re sure to see an improvement in MPG.

2) Check your tyre pressure

Ideally you should check your tyre pressure before any long journey, as both over and underinflated tyres can negatively impact your car’s fuel economy. Once you’ve found the optimal pressure for your front and back tyres in the user manual, you can either top them up at your local petrol station, or invest in a foot pump with pressure gauge to use at home.

3) Plan your route in advance

Simply put, getting lost usually means racking up more miles, which uses more petrol than necessary. Before you set off, make sure you know where you’re going, and check that you’ve picked the most efficient route, with as much motorway as possible.

While you’re driving…

4) Observe the speed limits

Whether you’re on the motorway or a single carriageway out in the countryside, check the speed limit, and don’t exceed it. Travelling at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than travelling at 75mph, so it’s well worth going a little slower to save on petrol.

5) Accelerate and brake gradually

When you notice a higher speed limit coming up, resist the urge to put your foot down, instead accelerate as gradually as possible. Similarly, if you’re coming up to a set of traffic lights or a stop sign, don’t wait until the last moment to slam on the brakes, but ease off the gas on the approach.

6) Make the most of stop/start technology

Many modern vehicles come with stop/start technology on board; this mode turns the engine off when your car is at a standstill, reducing both fuel consumption and exhaust emissions in the process. Make the most of this feature by taking your foot off the clutch when you’re sitting in traffic, and you’ll hear your engine cut out.

7) Use cruise control on the motorway

While cruise control isn’t especially effective in hilly areas, it can help to save fuel on long, flat stretches of road where there’s a consistent speed limit – like the motorway. Activating cruise control will help your car to maintain a steady speed, and prevent any sudden, fuel-guzzling acceleration.

8) Decrease drag where you can

The term “drag” refers to the wind resistance of your vehicle. If there’s a high level of drag, your car will use more fuel as a result. Roof boxes, roof bars and bike racks open are the most common causes of drag, so it’s worth avoiding these wherever possible – even driving with your windows closed can reduce drag.

9) Avoid air con

While driving with your windows open increases drag, putting the air conditioning on directly uses engine power, as does turning up the heat. If you really want to save on fuel, try to avoid using the AC or the heating unless you’re uncomfortably hot or cold.

10) Drive in high gears wherever possible

One of the best things you can do to make your driving more fuel-efficient is to drive in the highest gear you can, whilst remaining within the speed limit. Getting up from first through to fifth quickly whilst keeping revs as low as possible can drastically improve the fuel economy of your car.

Whether you commute by car every day or only drive for social purposes, these tips and tricks should help you get the most out of a full tank. For more advice on driving and keeping your car in good shape, take a look at our other blogs.