Let’s face it, the days of petrol and diesel powered cars are numbered with electricity and alternate fuels becoming more and more popular. The bad thing about these new types of cars is exactly that, they are new. New technology is notoriously expensive, which is proven by the price of entry-level electric cars on the market at the moment.
A lot of us cannot yet afford an expensive new electric or hybrid car. Even leasing a car could be too expensive. We are stuck with a petrol car and quickly running out of money for it too. It’s a catch 22 situation. Petrol is becoming too expensive and electric and alternate vehicles are not falling in price quickly enough.
For the foreseeable future we will have to make do with what we have. This means driving from A to B using fuel. The trick is to attempt to make your car burn fuel as efficiently as possible by attempting to drive closer to your car’s higher miles per gallon (mpg) limit.
That could have a very noticeable impact on the cost of driving and the carbon footprint of your car, making it more environmentally friendly.
1. Drive with your windows up
Driving with your windows down unnecessarily make the car’s fuel efficiency drop. This is because the car is no longer streamlined to cut through the air and will require more work from the engine to maintain the same speed as if the windows were up.
A lot of work goes into the design of a car with regard to aero-dynamics and all cars are designed for optimum dynamic when the windows are up.
While it may seem counterintuitive, driving with your windows up can actually improve fuel efficiency. By keeping the windows up, you create a more aerodynamic profile for your vehicle, which reduces drag and makes it easier for the engine to propel the car forward.
In addition, closing the windows helps to keep the cabin of the car warmer, which means that the heater won’t have to work as hard to maintain a comfortable temperature.
As a result, driving with the windows up can help you save gas and money over time.
2. Air-conditioning and rear window heater
Features and gadgets such as window heaters and air-conditioning require a large amount of power in order to function. These features should only be used if completely necessary as they cause the car to use up energy and fuel by operating them.
Obviously, on a long journey on a hot day you are going to want to use your air conditioning. However, it will work just as effectively if you periodically turn it on an off again instead of leaving it on.
3. Excess weight
Now, were not saying you’re overweight, that would just be rude. What we are saying is that carrying around things in your car when you don’t have to [it is not necessary or vital?] can save you money.
Take a quick look in the rear of your car, we bet there is some stuff in there that doesn’t need to be sitting in there.
Most people are aware that their car’s fuel efficiency declines as the weight of the vehicle increases. What they may not realize, however, is that the fuel efficiency of a car also decreases as the amount of clutter in the trunk and cabin increases.
The extra weight of junk mail, unneeded clothing, and unused sports equipment can add up quickly, resulting in a significant decrease in fuel efficiency.
In fact, studies have shown that removing just 50 pounds of clutter from a car can improve fuel efficiency by up to 2%. So if you’re looking to get better gas mileage, start by decluttering your car. You may be surprised at how much of a difference it makes.
4. Regular servicing
Getting your car regularly checked over is essential for both you and the environment. Having clean fresh oil, fresh coolant and all the consumables changed will ensure that your car will run at its optimum best at all times.
A full service will usually include a quick check of parts that can cause environmental damage such as the exhaust.
Regular car servicing is essential for maintaining fuel efficiency and protecting the environment. According to research by the US Department of Energy, properly maintained vehicles can achieve up to 30% better fuel economy than those that are not.
In addition, regular servicing can help to reduce emissions of harmful pollutants by up to 50%. These pollutants include carbon dioxide, which is a major contributor to climate change. By ensuring that your car is regularly serviced, you can help to reduce your environmental impact and save money on fuel costs.
5. No need to race
We understand the frustration when you are stuck in traffic or stopped at a red light, but there is no need to put your foot down to get to the traffic quicker.
If you’re in a traffic jam and know you’re going to stop, just settle down and ease off the accelerator. You will save a lot of fuel over time that would otherwise be wasted. Learning a few Eco-friendly driving habits is one of the most useful things an experienced driver can do.
Editor’s Note: This post has been updated for freshness and consistency.