Driving Tips

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Top Driving Tips

Topaz efficient fuels will help you go further, but you can play your part too. Some minor adjustments in the way you drive and use your vehicle can make a big difference in lowering your fuel consumption. Watch former Stig, Ben Collins, demonstrate the difference that driving efficiently with Topaz fuels can make.


Servicing/Maintenance

Ensure your car is serviced regularly, that your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure, especially before long journeys, and that you are using the correct specification of engine oil (refer to the car’s handbook). Under-inflated tyres create more rolling resistance and so uses more fuel. Getting tyre pressure right is important for safety too. Pressure will normally have to be increased for heavier loads (again, refer to the handbook).

Lose weight/streamline

Extra weight means extra fuel, so remove excess baggage from the boot and take off roof racks/boxes if they are not needed.

Plan your journey

Forward planning will help you plot the best route and reduce the chances of getting lost.

Leave promptly

Don't start the engine until you're ready to go. This avoids fuel wastage due to unnecessary idling and ensures that the engine warms up as quickly as possible.

Smooth driving

Drive smoothly, accelerate gently and read the road ahead to avoid unnecessary braking. When you have to slow down or to stop, decelerate smoothly by releasing the accelerator in time, leaving the car in gear. If you can, keep the car moving as this uses less fuel than stopping and starting.

Change up earlier

Change gear as soon as possible without labouring the engine – try changing up at an engine speed of around 2000 rpm in a diesel car or around 2500 rpm in a petrol car. This can make such a difference to fuel consumption that all cars in the future are likely to be fitted with Gear Shift Indicators.

Cut down on the air-con

Air conditioning increases fuel consumption at low speeds, but at higher speeds the effects are less noticeable. So if it's a hot day, it's more economical to open the windows around town and save the air conditioning for high speed driving. Also turn off heated rear windscreen, demisters when not needed.

Stick to the limits

Drive at or within the speed limit – the faster you go, the greater the fuel consumption and the greater the pollution too. Research shows that driving at 70mph uses up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more than at 50mph. Cruising at 80mph can use up to 25% more fuel than at 70mph.

Don't be idle

If you do get caught in a queue and it looks like you could be waiting for more than three minutes, avoid wasting fuel by turning the engine off.

Combine short trips/consider alternatives

Cold starts are inefficient so rather than making multiple short trips, it pays to combine errands such as buying the paper, dropping off the recycling or collecting the kids into one trip. For short trips, consider walking or cycling.

Rolling

If you can keep your car moving all the time, so much the better. Stopping and then starting again uses more fuel than just rolling.

Anticipate

If you can see that the traffic lights up ahead are likely to change, manage your speed and slow down gradually.

Some of the above advice on fuel-efficient driving has been adapted from an article on the AA website. You can read the full article and get more information on this topic here.