You are going on vacation by car. How to save fuel?
Family vacations are one of the largest annual budget items for many families. What can you really save on? - On fuel if you are driving your own car. In this article, we'll show you how to do it wisely.
When talking about fuel economy on long distances, you need to think about safety as well as other road users. Therefore, it must be borne in mind that your car moves in general traffic flow, without disrupting the general rhythm of the traffic, and stops only in permitted points.
- Tyres. A stiff tyre has less rolling resistance, so before a long trip on a multi-lane highway, you can add 0.2–0.3 atm (bar) to nominal pressure. Do not inflate more, as this will influence handling. In addition to saving fuel, stiff tyres are more difficult to punch to the rim on rough edges of pits and joints, which means the sidewall is less likely to break. It is also important that tyres do not have air leaks, even small ones. On a long journey, a driver will not constantly monitor the pressure, and with a loss of pressure (bar), fuel consumption will increase.
- Driving behaviour. If you want to save on fuel, avoid frequent acceleration, as this increases fuel consumption. Also, you should not move faster than 90-110 km/h, since it is at this speed that most cars begin to consume more fuel.
- Aerodynamics. Closer to 100 km/h, air resistance increases. Besides, make sure that the car does not have a high antenna, long mud flaps, things piled up on the upper boot, protruding fog lights. Pay particular attention to open windows: one fully open window at speeds above 60–70 km/h can add up to 0.5 l/100 km to the flow meter reading. If there is no air conditioning in your car, try to arrange the supply of fresh air not through the window, but through the standard ventilation system.
- Traffic route. When planning a driving route, try to choose not the shortest one, but the routes with the most smooth relief and not heavy traffic. Consider the number of large settlements and the presence of belt highways. Also, take time of day and season into account.
- Load. The heavier the car, the greater the fuel consumption when accelerating or rising in a road. If your route is through mountain passes or through the centre of several large cities, it is hardly advisable to carry a week's supply of table water with you. Of course, at the sea and other resorts, mineral water costs much more, but all the savings on water can be offset by excessive fuel consumption during acceleration or rising in a road. It's the same with food stocks. Even if there is free space in the boot, you should not take a heavy rack for grilling food with you. But you should definitely take a spare wheel, because our roads are far from perfect, so you need to be prepared for various troubles.
- Energy saving components. Nowadays, there are several automotive products that manufacturers are positioning as energy efficient. Firstly, these are special tires with low rolling resistance. Many manufacturers offer such models. Secondly, it is an energy-saving engine oil with a low viscosity. Thirdly, these are branded gasoline of some premium brands, whose promoters sometimes declare that such fuel is consumed more economically due to its high efficiency. Each energy-saving component individually brings very little savings to the driver, but together they can produce a noticeable result.
What shouldn't be done before vacation?
Before a long journey, you do not need to make radical innovations to save fuel: any innovation must be tested long beforehand. A vacation trip does not need to be turned into a test track run. So, the day before departure, you should not take the following actions:
- Mount new tyres or new rims. New wheels need to be run in for at least a day or two to make sure they are perfect.
- Install LPG equipment on your car. Modern LPG systems are sophisticated and require several visits to the workshop for final adjustment. Even experienced specialists cannot adjust the low fuel consumption the first time, and it is hardly advisable to travel a long distance in a car with increased fuel consumption (even if it is inexpensive gas).
- Make heavy maintenance (engine, suspension). A new fuel system or replaced, and adjusted bearings will give you the opportunity to save a few percent in fuel, but keep in mind that after complete disassembly and assembly, it is often necessary to adjust, screw up or tighten something. It's not a good idea to look for a maintenance workshop on the road to the sea or in the mountains, running a heavily loaded car full of people dreaming of vocations.
In conclusion, we would like to remind you that saving should not be a cult. Going on vacation should be a pleasure. But it would be beneficial if the driver introduces the aforementioned techniques of economical driving into his daily driving practice, then the concern for saving fuel becomes easy.