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21 tips for driving more efficiently

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by MashaJF, Sep 28, 2011.

  1. MashaJF

    MashaJF JF-Expert Member

    Sep 28, 2011
    Joined: Nov 9, 2010
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    Obviously buying a more environmentally friendly car is a great way of making your travelling greener, but you can also increase your fuel efficiency by driving better. The following are 21 tips supplied by wobs, a member on our discussion forum.

    1. Tires

    Ensure tires are the correct pressure (will be more if carrying significant loads)

    2. Turn off unnecessary electrics.

    Gadgets like air con are well known consumers of fuel and should be used sparingly, but any electrical device operating will make the car work harder. Rear window heaters are the also significent consumers of fuel in this category, but others include the fan, radio, unnecessary lights.

    3. Watch those windows

    Speaking of air con, driving at high speeds with the windows open creates a lot of aerodynamic drag, which lowers fuel efficiency. However, driving at low speeds with the air conditioner OFF and the windows open can improve fuel efficiency.

    4. Do not over fill the tank.

    When the pump stops, stop filling. If you continue until the fuel is right to the top, you’ll lose fuel while driving, as many caps are not sealed properly. Also, to minimise losses, make sure the cap is in good condition, not just to prevent loss of liquid, but of vapour as well.

    5. Keep it maintained.

    Regular services will keep the engine happy, such as the air filter, oil, spark plugs (for petrolheads), screen wash, radiator etc.

    6. Idling.

    Don’t let the car idle for more than a few minutes. For example, at a bridge closing or queue at a railway crossing.

    7. Do not break or accelerate hard.

    Both apply, and both lead to less wear and tear on the car. There will be times where both are appropriate, but only occasionally, despite how much one might enjoy it. Any sudden changes in speed can lead to excessive consumption. Some say if you just drive gently, it can course build up of fuel residues, which is true, but if you accelerate too much, it can course unnecessary wear on the engine. A build up of grime can be cleaned with engine cleaner, while a worn engine can be very expensive!

    8. The clutch is not a break.

    This should be a mantra for many people. It’s not a substitute for the hand break (“balancing” the clutch is not good), or foot break (using the clutch to slow down uses more fuel, and higher maintenance cost). It’s just for changing gear, and at the correct speeds. If you change from 3rd to 4th at 25mph, then you probably should change from 4th to 3rd at about 20mph. Don’t be afraid to experiment, and find the smoothest speeds to change up or down, as it will vary depending on the gear ratios and what fuel you use. Try to change up below 2000rpm if you have a rev counter, particularly for diesel, and try to keep the engine revving smooth and low.

    9. Watch your Sole

    A continuation of 8, consider wearing thinner soled shoes, as you get a better feel of the peddles.

    10. Read the road ahead.

    On a motorway, watch 3 or 4 cars ahead, and anticipate breaking, as this will not only cause you to slow more gradually (saving fuel), but help prevent tale backs behind you. For further info on this, see here: SCIENCE HOBBYIST: Traffic Waves, physics for bored commuters. Also, tailgating will increase the likelihood that you brake late, as you’ll have less visibility of what’s up ahead, and will increase the likelihood of you braking or even crashing.

    11. Try and see red

    Continuing from 10, in more urban areas, watch for traffic lights turning red way ahead. If you time it right you, and slow down enough, you can get to the lights after it turns green, and not stop. Thereby changing your speed less, and saving fuel, but also getting to destination quicker. If people overtake you on the way to a red light, consider how much more fuel they will end up using. Imagine and how you would drive if your breaks didn’t work too well, you would slow down much earlier. This is more how you should drive. One way of improving these skills is by doing a commentary as you drive, as it will make you look for possible hazards, and help you spot them earlier.

    12. Stick to the speed limit.

    Doing 85mph up the motorway can use about 30% more fuel than doing 70mph. It’s surprising how little difference it makes when you drive faster, in fact smooth driving will on average get you there quicker, and safer.

    13. Eco Insurance.

    Get a quote for Eco Insurance from CIS. This is the UK’s first car insurance policy to help offset some of the damage your car’s CO2 emissions cause to the environment and at no extra cost to you.

    14. Cornering.

    The safest line to take on a corner is the outside line, as you will be able to see around the corner sooner (up to 2sec sooner). If you feel you have to take a racing line to avoid skidding, then you’re going too fast.

    15. Weight watching!

    Keep your vehicle clear of loads you don’t need. If you carry around tools or sporting equipment continuously, the car is working to move those as well for no reason.

    16. Roof racks and bike racks.

    Remove when not in use as they cause drag.

    17. Don’t get lost!

    Plan your journey, and avoid detours.

    18. Car sharing.

    A shared journey is one less car on the road, and can share in the fuel costs.

    19. Coasting the car.

    Temporarily shifting to neutral on a sufficiently lengthy downhill grade will dramatically increase mileage for carburetor cars, while cars with fuel injection – or carburetor cars with a fuel cut-off solenoid – will benefit more from the fuel cutoff when the car is left in gear.

    20. Chill out.

    Getting worked up over congestion or other road users can increase your aggressive driving, and is bad for your health.

    21. Consider taking advanced driving instruction.

    The Diamond Advanced Motorist Test is the first advanced driving test to include eco-safe driving techniques.

    Source: 21 tips for driving more efficiently

    Also take a look on
    Driving More Efficiently Consumer Fact Sheet at http://www.mass.gov/Eoeea/docs/doer/publications/dt.pdf

    How your driving style hits your pocket

    Felicity Hannah, 9:54, Tuesday 27 September 2011

    [​IMG]Are you wasting money behind the wheel? I recently changed my driving habits to see how much I could save…

    The rocketing price of fuel is a huge incentive to use less petrol each week but many of us don't feel able to cut down.

    After all, we use our cars to get to work, visit the shops, and often travel to see our far-flung friends and family.

    But petrochemicals giant Shell reckons the average driver could save £500 a year through smarter driving. It recently challenged 18 cabbies from cities across Britain to adopt fuel efficient driving tactics on the road.

    These drivers reduced their fuel consumption by an average of 20%. That's very impressive, so I set out to see if I could make some similar savings.​

    I made a huge effort to adopt better habits behind the wheel to see if I could improve the miles per gallon (mpg) I wring out of my small car.
    Eco road warrior

    There's lots of information on the web on driving more efficiently, including a very thorough guide from Yahoo!.

    About town you should drive smoothly, avoid over-revving, don't idle unnecessarily, dump any heavy items you don't need, maintain momentum, and try not to use the air conditioning.​

    On the motorway, aim to keep your distance from other road users, use higher gears, don't speed, use air conditioning rather than open the windows, and set your speed using cruise control.

    But it can be hard to keep these in mind all the time. I've been driving for about four years and some of my bad habits are pretty ingrained.​

    In particular, I noticed that I often keep my foot down even when I can see a red light ahead — meaning I have to brake rather than gradually slow down. I quite often get caught at a nearby railway crossing but hardly ever think to switch off my engine.

    Not only that, but I usually leave my baby's heavy travel cot in the boot of my car, which is just unnecessary weight.​

    First of all, I emptied the boot and made sure my tyres were pumped to the manufacturer's recommended level, to reduce unnecessary friction.

    Then I wrote the above tips down and left them on my passenger seat, where I could re-read them every time I got behind the wheel.​

    Did I use less fuel?

    I'm the first to admit that this has not been the most scientifically rigorous study into enhancing the fuel efficiency of the small car about town. Lots of things can affect your mileage per gallon, including the weather. However, I did manage to fractionally lower my average fuel consumption compared to the previous week.

    My car doesn't have a fuel computer, so I worked this out for each week by filling my tank and recording my mileage at the start of the experiment. When I filled up at the end of the week, I could see how many litres I had used and the miles I had travelled.​

    Then I divided the total mileage during the week by the number of litres and multiplied that by 4.546 to work out my miles per gallon.​

    Following? For example if you've covered 1000 miles and used 101 litres of fuel, your average mpg = (1000/101) x 4.546 = 45mpg (thanks to The AA for spelling out the formula for me!). My urban mpg rose from 34mpg to 35.2mpg. It's not breathtaking but over a year it will really add up.

    On top of that, this experiment made me much more aware of my fuel use. That motivated me to cut back on my miles by combining journeys and leaving the car at home for shorter journeys.​

    How much could you save?

    Now, I don't do that many miles, so my savings will be fairly small. But the average driver is doing 12,000 miles a year, according to Santander.

    If these motorists increased their mpg to the same extent as me, they'd effectively be getting around 410 miles a year for free.​

    The average price of unleaded petrol was 135.7 pence per litre in August, according to The AA, meaning a saving of £71.86.​

    But I think I will be able to increase my efficiency even more as these tips become habit. I'm confident that many drivers could indeed save hundreds of pounds a year by simply changing their habits on the road.

    Source: How your driving style hits your pocket - Yahoo! UK & Ireland Finance

  2. B

    Bijou JF-Expert Member

    Sep 30, 2011
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    asante kwa angalizo hizo

    BADILI TABIA JF-Expert Member

    Sep 30, 2011
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