Driving your car: green tips part 4
By christruesdale, Oct 31 2011 04:00AM
While driving your car
Travelling at a constant 37 mph in fifth gear uses 25 per cent less fuel than in third gear
Following the smarter driving tips below could cut your CO2 emissions by around 8 per cent. This could add up to an annual fuel saving of up to one month per year.
Drive at an appropriate speed
Driving at 50 miles per hour (mph) instead of 70 mph can improve fuel economy by 25 per cent. Driving at slower speeds also gives you time to anticipate traffic ahead, helping you drive more smoothly.
Speed up and slow down smoothly
Every time you stop and start, your engine uses more fuel and produces more emissions. Check the road ahead and slow down early, giving the traffic time to start moving again before you reach it. You can then speed up again without needing to stop.
Change gears at the right time
Changing up gears a little earlier can reduce revs per minute (rpm) and reduce your fuel usage. If you drive a diesel car, try shifting up when the rev counter reaches 2,000 rpm. For a petrol car, change up at 2,500 rpm.
Remember to change down a gear at the right time too – if your car is struggling, it will also use more fuel.
Avoid leaving your engine running
If you're likely to be at a standstill for more than three minutes, switch off the engine. When the engine is idling, you're wasting fuel.
Don’t use air conditioning unless you really need it
Using air conditioning and electrical devices like mobile phone chargers increases your fuel consumption, so keep their usage to a minimum.
Try using the fresh air vent to keep cool and park in the shade on a sunny day. This will keep your car cooler inside and stop fuel evaporating from the engine and fuel tank.
Get in and go
Modern engines are designed to be most efficient when you get in and drive off straightaway. Revving them wastes fuel and increases engine wear and emissions.