Soaring fuel prices have increased the pressure on us to squeeze every last mile out of our tanks. It may come as a surprise, but making a few simple changes you can improve the fuel economy of your vehicle. Recent studies show that over 69% of us are driving round on the wrong tyre pressures and that many drivers open the window rather than use their air con - both of which are a false economy.
We recommend you check your tyres every two weeks - it's easy and only takes a few minutes, combine this with following our fuel saving guide and you'll also find you get a few more miles from every tank.
Checking for Tyre Wear.
Look for signs of wear, cuts in the tread or sidewall, bulges in the sidewall, stones and foreign objects trapped in the tread groves (which should be removed). Check that tyres are wearing evenly, if they show signs of wear just along one side this could mean they are misaligned.
Car, van and 4x4 tyres must have a tread depth of at least 1.6mm across the central three-quarters of the breadth of the tyre and in a continuous band across the entire circumference of the tyres to comply with the law. Adequate tread depth is essential for your safety on the road, as the tyre's tread wears down it loses the ability to grip the road resulting in longer stopping distances. And don't forget to check your spare tyre too!
Recent studies have shown that British motorists spent almost Â£1 billion a year on fuel just from driving on under-inflated tyres. So, always be sure your tyres are at the correct pressure to get the best possible fuel economy. Under-inflation can also cause rapid and uneven tread wear.
Check the pressures when your tyres are cold i.e. you have driven less than two miles. You'll find an easy to use table in your vehicle's manufacturers handbook telling you the correct pressures for your vehicle or log onto the HiQ website and use our handy pressure guide tool. Find your tyre pressures using our online tool.
Fuel Saving Tips.
Make sure you keep your vehicle in good working order. Keep an eye on tyre pressures: Check your tyres every week to ensure they're still at the manufacturer's recommended pressure. You'll find this in your vehicle handbook. Remember, it's best to check your pressure before a journey when the tyres are cold. This is because the pressure in the tyre naturally increases as you drive. Replace the air filter. We'd recommend having your air filter changed when you have your oil filter replaced. Incredibly, you can save up to 10% on fuel costs with a new air filter as it takes less power from the engine to circulate the air. Reduce your load. If you carry a lot of unnecessary weight in your car boot, this can adversely affect your fuel economy. Less weight equals less fuel usage.
Think about your making some small changes to your driving style. First things first: slow down. If you're driving along at 60mph instead of 70mph on the motorway you'll save a great deal of fuel over the duration of your trip. Keep your windows up. Having the windows down creates aerodynamic drag which means your car has to work harder to keep you at the same speed. When you're on the motorway this can decrease fuel economy by up to 10 per cent. Don't accelerate hard. Try not to accelerate too quickly or hit the brakes too hard. By accelerating hard your engine will use fuel far quicker, by taking it nice and steady you can make your fuel go further.
Combine both of the above with a few small alterations to your driving attitude.
Combine trips together. Rather than nip to the shops every day, perhaps you can do one run at the weekend? Fewer journeys will lighten the burden on your pocket at the pump.
Leave the car at home. If your destination is close to home, is it possible to walk or take a bike instead? This way you can save your fuel for the journey's you really need to make.
Car sharing. Are there any journeys you can share with someone else? For example, on the way to work. If two people are going to the same place every day it can make great financial sense to share the cost.