Fuel prices are bouncing about all over the place at the moment but even when they’re enjoying a brief downturn the sight of a fuel warning light is still never a welcome sight.
With that in mind we’ve spoken to the experts from whocanfixmycar.com to come up with some simple ways to ensure you’re getting every mile you can from a tank.
The first thing to remember given the recent heat is that having your air con on, or your windows open greatly decreases your fuel efficiency. However, we know that you’ve got to do something to cool down. So, we recommend parking in shade wherever possible, and having your windows open when you first set off to allow the hot air to escape the car before you put the air con on. Getting an aircon regas will also greatly improve your car’s fuel efficiency as getting fresh gas into the system will take the pressure off the engine.
Handle the pressure
Tyre pressure is also another thing to look at when it comes to fuel efficiency, and one that is often overlooked. The higher your tyre pressure, the less fuel you use, and vice versa. However, it is always vital to make sure your tyre pressure is at a safe level – so if you want to save yourself a bit of money on fuel quickly, make sure you’re not running low on tyre pressure!
It’s commonly known that driving between 55-65mph is the optimum driving speed, so if you’re going on any long road trips, try and stay in this bracket. Rapid acceleration is also bad for fuel economy, and the further down your foot goes the more fuel gets injected into the cylinders.
Under the bonnet
One of the most integral parts on your car to help fuel consumption is your Mass Airflow Sensor, which effectively measures the amount and density of the air coming into the engine, so the car knows how much fuel to inject into each cylinder. If your MAS breaks then you could be wasting fuel every time you drive your car, so having it checked out/replaced is a must.
Using the correct engine oil is also critical to the health of your car engine and its fuel efficiency. It can be difficult to know which grade of engine oil is the right one to top up with, however there are online tools like Shell Lube Match that allow you to find out which grade of engine oil is the right one to use in your car.
Spark plugs impact fuel economy massively, in fact The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence states that old spark plugs can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 30 per cent. Spark plugs are normally relatively cheap and can also be easy to fit if you know what you’re doing.
An oxygen sensor, or O2 sensor, is vital to having good fuel consumption. The O2 sensor sits in the exhaust manifold and measures how much oxygen is leaving your exhaust. This then tells the car’s computer if the fuel mixture is running lean, or rich. If the sensor is playing up then your car will automatically run on rich, which means that your car will be using additional fuel until you get it checked out.
Whether you’re driving a diesel or a petrol, there are loads of things you can do to improve your fuel efficiency. We recommend getting a regular service, where your mechanic will check all of the above parts and make sure your car’s running as smoothly as possible.