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HOW TO DRIVE TO SAVE FUEL – P2(OR “THE HARD WAY”)

As you remember, at the beginning of this week we discussed a few basic methods of reducing the fuel consumption. As you could previously see, the methods described were pretty simple to follow but just by following them the decrease in fuel consumption wouldn’t be significant.

Now it’s time to discuss some extreme ways of reducing the fuel consumption and I warn you from the beginning that they can be really hard to follow. This time the advice looks simple but it’s not! For a significant decrease of fuel consumption, change your driving style! Sounds hard? It really is! Fortunately, I have some advice to help you:

  • Change your hours of driving: this is a tricky thing to do and you may encounter some obstacles but, by changing the hours you drive, you will be able to save a lot of fuel. How does this work? Simple! Try going to work or home an hour earlier. You will see that the roads are almost empty, the traffic lights are green more time and the road users are politer. You will spend less time driving and your average speed will increase. You will be able to use the engine at its economical point and also increase its lifespan. There are also some obstacles: check first if your job allows you to start and leave half an hour or a hour earlier and make sure that you aren’t too tired to drive at an early hour. Beside reducing the fuel consumption and avoiding traffic jams, another advantage of changing the driving hours is that one has the whole afternoon free to spend doing fun stuff.

 

  • Change the way you use the car: and especially the way you use the engine. For starters, use the engine mostly at low revolutions, in the highest torque range. Don’t change the gears above 2500-3000 revolutions per minute. Change as many gears as you need but try to run the engine as smooth as possible: if you felt that the engine is shaking, change a gear down. Accelerate as slow as possible, but without irritating other drivers. Also, use just the features that increase the safety of your car: this means no heated seats and no air conditioning.

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  • Change your attitude about traffic: this requires you to be as calm and calculated as possible.

First of all, try to keep a bigger distance to the car in front of you. This will allow you to brake less and to stop the car only if it was really necessary. Remove the foot off the gas pedal and let the car slow down by itself. If the driver in front stops, brake and stop. If the driver in front is moving or accelerating, press gently the gas pedal and keep moving. By doing this, you don’t waste energy by braking and then accelerating again to the cruising speed.

Second of all, try to anticipate the road ahead. If you drove on a road with height differences, try gathering speed while going downhill and, when going uphill, try to use the energy of the car and to accelerate as little as possible.

Third, think ahead all the time. Is the traffic light red? Don’t brake to soon. Remove the foot from the gas pedal and wait for the green light as you go slower and slower. Nothing is more fuel consuming than stopping and accelerating to the cruising speed. Also, try to anticipate what other drivers are doing. Are they braking? Are they overtaking you? Think, anticipate and try to react calmly.

Last but not least, don’t get engaged in traffic conflicts with other drivers. Be the smart person and don’t let yourself provoked by others. You are just getting angry, consume more fuel and you really don’t solve anything.

 

  • Change the things you do while queuing: Queuing can be very boring and while queuing you can start doing useless things that can only increase the fuel consumption. For starters, while queuing, try to stop the engine and turn it on only if the cars are moving more than a few meters. Also, try to stay without air conditioning and other big energy consumers. This strategy can be very effective.

As you can see, all these changes aren’t easy. They require a lot of anticipation, patience and your full concentration, making this driving style much harder than regular driving. All the anticipation of traffic conditions and driver’s behavior will prove to be a hard job but you will definitely see some important results right after the first 100 km. Also, you will increase the life of your car and you will be more peaceful behind the steering wheel. You don’t believe me? Try this for a month and share the results!

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