There are many ways to conserve energy and save money when driving. We are primarily concerned with getting a better fuel consumption from each tankful of gas. By implementing a series of simple but very effective techniques we gain several less obvious but equally important benefits. Longer life for our engine.
and less emissions into the atmosphere, to name but two.(1) Let's start with my favourite subject.Tyres. Under inflated Tyres enjoy a greater friction with the road leading to greater gas usage for each kilometre travelled.As well as this they wear out much more rapidly, give a rougher ride, particularly on Irish rural roads. Over inflated tyres also wear out rapidly and unevenly leading to more frequent replacement.
Good for the tyre shop but not for you! Oh yes a soft tyre will pick up foreign bodies much more easily, leading to further replacement and expense.(2) An untrained Right Foot is a leading cause of excessive expenditure during all driving activity. Accelerating too hard, braking too hard, and driving too fast in general all contribute to excessive fuel usage and the corresponding increase in noxious emissions. Of course heavy braking has another disadvantage .that of making it so much easier for the Driver who is much too close behind to rear-end you!.
(3) The speed for optimum fuel consumption has been recognised over the years to be 55mph or approximately 90kph. As you increase your speed above this level your fuel consumption increases dramatically. The difference in journey times when you reduce your overall top speed by just a few kilometres an hour is minimal but the savings can be impressive.(4) A poorly tuned engine will also use an excessive amount of fuel so the money spent on proper professional servicing will repay you in the end although at the time it may seem expensive.(5) Learning to read and understand your Rev Counter will enable you to spot an out of tune engine very easily and do something about it without delay.A tick over engine speed of just 100 rpm more than it should be will increase your fuel consumption on an ongoing basis.
(6) Open windows and sun roofs contribute to drag and an increase in fuel consumption but clearly you can't drive safely if you are about to expire from heat exhaustion. Thankfully not something we experience too often here in Ireland. However a car that has been parked in the full glare of the sun for a few hours will be rather uncomfortable unless you get some cooler air flowing.(7) Carrying piles of rubbish in either the cab or the boot of your car will increase your fuel consumption steadily over time so give your boot a make over every so often and clear it out of all but the essentials.(8) One more point about tyres.If you are carrying extra passengers and luggage, even for a short journey you should increase the tyre pressures.
This will give a smoother, safer ride for all concerned and avoid excessive tyre wear. This latter point is particularly relevant if you are planning on rural driving since you will have to deal with an especially Irish phenomenon, that of potholes. Sometimes these are as big as a garden pond and will damage your underside easily, not to mention the ecological impact of disturbing the resident fish, frogs and other amphibians.
(9) Since we seem to be constantly exposed throughout the country to major road works, which is an admirable activity from a safety perspective, you should always switch off your engine if there is going to be more than a minor delay. Sitting for several minutes with the engine running wastes a lot of fuel and puts more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than need be.(10) Here is a very useful technique in relation to down shifting. It is not necessary to go through all the gears when preparing for a lower speed turn or manoeuvre.
It is quite acceptable to go from fourth gear straight to second gear even from fifth to second prior to a turn. It takes a little practise to get the timing absolutely right but is well worth the effort. You will not need to use the brakes so much providing you plan your gear change well, after allowing the car to slow by coming off the gas pedal.Remember every second that the right foot is pressing the gas pedal is burning fuel.
In the U.K from next year (2007) Eco- friendly Driving Techniques will be assessed and monitored on the Driving Test. It is interesting that excellent, safe and economic driving Techniques which will be taught by experienced Instructors to all their Pupils invariably end up being incorporated into Driving Test assessments eventually!.
.Robin Piggott is a Driving Instructor in Ireland who brings four decades of experience to his Astral Driving School based in Limerick. His newly refurbed web site due to be launched in a few days can be found at http://www.
astraldrivingschool.com Here you can find a treasure trove of everything for the Learner Driver and also pages for the visitor who is contemplating Touring Ireland by Car. In the meantime why not visit the existing site at http://www.
astralmotoring.ie and pick up your free seven part mini-course on "Passing the Driving Test First Time".Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robin_Piggott.
By: Robin Piggott