Even as petrol prices fall, it remains important to be aware of what you can do as a driver to help increase the km/l that your car will deliver. We are still dealing with a finite fuel source, so we need to help it last as long as possible. Every government in the developed world has legislation that requires ever increasing fuel economy from automakers, but there are still several things that you can do to be a green driver and help your vehicle reach its rated fuel economy potential. To help you do everything possible, here are ten green driving tips that anyone can incorporate into their daily sojourn.
It is impossible to stress the importance of proper maintenance. Keeping your vehicle properly tuned, the filters changed regularly, and maintaining your tyres are all going to help reduce the amount of fuel that you use. Something as basic as improperly inflated tyres can rob you of several km/l as well as damage your vehicle.
Proper Tyre Inflation
It may sound like an exaggeration, but one of the biggest drains on your vehicle’s fuel efficiency is your tyres. Incorrect pressure, either over-inflated or under-inflated, can damage your tyres and will steal km/l from your vehicle. To get an accurate reading, you should only check tyre pressure when the tyres are cold.
Reduce the Baggage
Carrying unnecessary weight will cause your vehicle’s engine to work harder and that means it will use more fuel than need be. Remove any roof racks or rooftop cargo boxes when not in use. These items add to your vehicle’s air drag and lower fuel economy dramatically.
No one really wants to ride in a cold car, but letting it idle for an extended period of time is a waste of fuel. At best, you should let it run while you scrape ice and snow from the windscreen. The car will warm up nicely as you drive.
Plan Your Trips
We all do it. A quick trip to the market, then a few minutes or an hour later a trip to the pharmacy. Making separate trips is a waste of time and money. If you plan your day carefully, you greatly reduce the time you spend in your vehicle; thus saving money and adding free time to your day. The same can be said about going on holiday. Careful planning can prevent you from taking a longer route than necessary, again saving time and petrol.
One of the biggest drains on your fuel economy is your driving habits. Quick braking, rapid acceleration, constant lane changes, and exceeding the posted limits all deprive you of optimal fuel efficiency from your vehicle. Drive smoothly, brake evenly, and you will see an increase in your km/l. If your car is a manual shift, change gears to decelerate and upshift when you hit about 2500 rpms to reduce engine revs, saving fuel.
Use the Air Sparingly
Air conditioning units place a huge demand on your engine. When you are at lower speeds, that drain increases exponentially. If you are traveling at low seed, crank down a window and avoid the air conditioning altogether.
The main point of car sharing is to remove vehicles from the roadways, especially at peak hours. This lowers the amount of pollution being spewed into the air on a daily basis. It also helps you reduce your weekly petrol consumption, saving you money as well as hard use on your vehicle.
Look Into Warning Lights
Those pesky warning lights are there for a reason. Perhaps it is just a faulty sensor, but it could also be an early warning that something is about to go haywire. Even the smallest thing can drain your car’s fuel consumption.
Wash Your Car Carefully
This tip is only loosely related to driving, but it can have a huge impact on the environment. The dirt, oils, grease, and other muck your car accumulates can drastically impact the quality of the water in your area if not filtered properly. Additionally, washing your car at home can consume too much water. The best solution is to use a professional car wash. These businesses have filtration systems in place to reduce the contaminants that reach water supplies. Many of them also have standardized equipment that will use the least amount of water possible to wash your car.
By reading this post you have taken an important first step to becoming a green driver: you have shown an awareness of the topic. Just a simple acknowledgment that you control your own fuel consumption can go a long way toward reducing your vehicle’s impact on our environment.