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How to get the best efficiency from your car - in five simple steps

By making some simple changes to your car, and your driving style, you can drive more efficiently. But what are they? We’ve picked five ways to make sure you get the very best out of your car. 


Check your car thoroughly before setting off


Extra weight is the worst thing for economy. Make sure you remove any items that you don’t need from the boot, as well as the inside of the car. It’s also a good idea to remove any top boxes or roof rails from your car, as these reduce the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle. They make quite the noise at speed, too.

Tyres should be properly inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressures, as this will improve rolling resistance.


Plan your journey


Not only is losing your way irritating, it’s also a way of dramatically affecting your fuel economy. Losing track of where you are will cause you to use more fuel, so planning out your route beforehand is invaluable.

It’s a good idea to monitor traffic reports before setting off too, as any holdups will see that MPG figure plummet.


Smooth out your driving style

As much fun as it can be taking your car to the ragged edge of performance, it isn’t advisable to do so if you’re trying to look after economy. Smooth acceleration is important, as is decelerating just as gradually. Leaving the car in gear while slowing down is also a small way of helping efficiency.

Changing gear earlier and reducing the load on the engine can help too – aim to change gear at around 2,000rpm in a diesel, and at 2,500rpm for a petrol.

 

Switch off the air-con

Although air-con makes things comfortable, it does hurt fuel consumption. It doesn’t have too much of an effect when you’re at higher speed, but really comes into play when you slow down. When around town, switch it off and open your car’s windows – this will help things out. If it is switched off, make sure you run the system through before long to make sure it stays in good condition.

 

Cut the speed

It might sound simple, but simply cutting your speed can heavily impact on how much fuel your car uses. Driving a 70mph can use up to 9 per cent more fuel than if you were travelling at 60mph. If you’re going at 80mph, you could be using up to 25 per cent more fuel than if you were going at 70mph.

Though small, all of these changes can make a big difference on how much fuel your car uses. Keeping on top of them can cut costs, as well as doing better for the environment.


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