Getting the most out of your tank!
Managing Fuel Use
A full fuel tank adds weight. Extra weight costs more to get moving. If you do a lot of short runs in your car and pass your local service station regularly it could be more economical to keep your tank between 1/4 and 3/4 of capacity instead of filling and allowing to drop to 1/4 capacity before re-fueling.
Reduce Unnecessary Weight
A boot full of unnecessary junk and therefore weight is reducing the distance you will travel on a tank of fuel. This is much more relevant again for cars used for short runs with a large amount of stopping and starting.
If you use roof racks every once in a while but leave them on your car all year round they can have an average of 10% impact on your fuel efficiency. If you use €60 of fuel a week, approximately €6 is wasted money which equates to over €300 per year.
Air Conditioning and Rear Window Demisters
Air conditioning and rear window demisters should not run when not required. In some cars they can have the same negative effect on your fuel use as having roof racks on all year round.
Under inflated tyres reduce efficiency as they will have an increased rolling resistance. They will also wear unevenly & require changing sooner. For more on tyres see the piece on the new Energy Efficient Tyres.
Open Windows / Sun Roofs
Cars are designed to be aero dynamic, some more than thers. It is a general rule that above 80km/hr (50mph) that the cars aero dynamics really come into play. At above 80Km/hr you can greatly reduce the flow of air over the car by opening a window or sunroof. This will result in increased drag which causes the car to need slightly more fuel to maintain its speed.
Servicing and Warning Lights
A properly and regularly serviced car should run far more efficiently than a poorly maintained vehicle. Ignoring regular maintenance can result in the vehicle revving too high, burning too much fuel and/or excessive oil consumption.
Similar issues can be said for vehicles with warning lights left unchecked. The rule of thumb being that if you maintain your car with a reputable mechanic or garage and sort out warning light issues when they occur, you will have a vehicle that returns a reliable fuel efficiency.