How to improve your fuel economy

How to improve your car’s fuel economy

Top tips for getting more miles to the gallon: how much could you save by putting some of them into practice?

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  1. Andrew Campbell
    Andrew Campbell says:

    Using your ‘instant mpg readout’ is very good advice and very revealing too! If you start to use ‘old fashioned’ RAC/AA or Automobile Club advice which says once on the ‘open road’ or highway simply choose a suitable cruising speed – say 55 mph. You will notice that many highways have a gentle rising gradient followed by a gentle down gradient. You can use this ‘grade topology’ to help save fuel by gently accelerating on the down gradients and adding say 10 to 15 mph to your chosen average and then gently and progressively restore the gas pedal as you approach the next gentle rising gradient and allow your car to slow down from its 65 to 70 mph maximum but use some of that extra kinetic energy to help propel you up the gentle gradient ahead adding a bit more gas to reduce the rate of deceleration to a sort of half way house such that by the time you reach the next summit your road speed has not fallen below say 40 to 45 mph. If you are doing it right and the grades are not severe, then your instant mpg reading will be much higher than normal when going down a grade and you are letting gravity do half the work followed by no enormous dip in the mpg reading as you climb the next gradient – as you would see if you had engaged the cruise control.On the plus side you will save a lot of fuel this way BUT you must only use the technique with care since in heavy traffic conditions or where there were not enough lanes for other traffic to overtake you safely – this behaviour would be regarded as very bad, In the UK, for example, heavy goods vehicles cruise at between 56 and 62 mph – the maximum permitted by law and so you would need to set your chosen cruising speed to around 65 mph to avoid upsetting the traffic flow whilst doing this fuel saving style of driving.

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