7 tips to improve your car’s fuel efficiency

The continued rise in fuel prices has been one of the biggest stories in recent weeks, prompting motorists to look for ways to offset the impact of rising fuel costs on their budgets.

KEY FINDINGS

  • What are some tips Ford shared to help motorists improve the fuel efficiency of their vehicles?

    To save fuel, motorists should choose a fuel-efficient engine, reduce the load on their vehicle, drive carefully, remember that speed has an impact on fuel consumption, make sure their car tires are sufficiently inflated Roll down the windows and turn off the AC if you’re traveling at a slower speed on a hot day, and combine your trips.

  • But did you know that the way you drive and maintain your vehicle can have a significant impact on your fuel economy? Ford Philippines shared these tips to help you get the most out of your fuel economy:

    Choose a fuel saving engine,

    Both the Ford Ranger and Ford Everest are offered with a variety of engines developed to produce a balance between performance and efficiency. Ford’s Bi-Turbo engine, for example, is offered in both models.

    Reduce the load on your vehicle.

    This is obvious, but can be difficult to avoid, especially for 4WD owners. The weight of extra off-road gear, driving lights, a UHF antenna, roof racks, and an extra spare tire adds up quickly. It’s tempting to keep everything in your truck or SUV to be ready for your next excursion, but that means you’re adding weight to your vehicle every time you travel. By reducing the weight of your car by as little as 45kg, you can improve your fuel economy by up to 4%.

    Drive carefully.

    Rapid acceleration and braking can increase fuel consumption by up to 30%. What you want to do is accelerate gradually and then maintain a constant speed while scanning the road and keeping to the local speed limit. If you see a traffic jam coming, hit the gas sooner rather than later to gradually slow down, rather than hitting the brakes at the last moment and then aggressively accelerating again. When driving on the highway, a helpful tip is to use cruise control, which will help you maintain the posted speed limit without making quick, fuel-guzzling gear changes.

    Remember that speed has an impact on fuel consumption.

    It’s simple: the faster you drive, the more fuel you’ll consume. Up to about 80 km/h, the energy required to overcome wind resistance in a vehicle is low (although it is greater than rolling resistance). However, when you get past that, the stamina becomes immensely higher. For example, if you drive at 90 km/h instead of 100 km/h, you can save up to 15% on gasoline. If your vehicle has a real-time fuel economy gauge, you can use it to estimate how much fuel you’re using at different speeds, helping you find the right setting for your vehicle. This usually translates to being in the highest gear with the lowest possible revs.

    Make sure your car tires are inflated enough.

    Check to see if your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated, as recommended by the manufacturer (usually on a sticker on the door jamb or in the owner’s manual). It’s not just about reducing rolling resistance and increasing fuel efficiency when it comes to properly inflated tires; it’s also about safety.

    If you over-inflate your tires, you risk losing traction and increasing wear. Likewise, driving with tire pressures that are too low increases rolling resistance, which means your car has to work very hard to maintain the same speed. What happens if you go off road? If driving on sand, reduce tire pressure to allow tires to float rather than crash to the surface. This minimizes tire drag and the amount of effort the engine has to exert to turn the tires, resulting in fuel savings.

    Try rolling down the windows and turning off the air conditioning if you’re traveling slower on a hot day.

    Warmer weather speeds up the time it takes for your vehicle’s engine to reach its ideal operating temperature. However, turning on the air conditioning can put a load on the engine, resulting in increased fuel use. In fact, using the air conditioner on shorter trips in very hot weather can increase fuel use by up to 25%.

    On hot days, try rolling down the windows if you’re traveling at moderate speeds, and turn off the air conditioning to help your vehicle’s engine. Alternatively, try doing this at least initially to help hot air escape from your vehicle, making it easier for the air conditioner to cool the cabin of your vehicle. Driving with the windows down increases drag, which makes the engine work harder; the effect is less at low speeds, but becomes more noticeable as speeds increase, so use your air conditioning at highway speeds.

    Combine your trips.

    How many times have you run to the local hardware or store, returned home, and then remembered that you forgot something? You’ll use more fuel on all those short trips than on a longer trip at a constant speed, so make a list of everything you need before you head out and check things off as you go.

    Ford Philippines Photo

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