Fuel efficiency is commonly a top priority when it comes to owning a car. Not only will an economical vehicle save you money in the long run, it will also minimise your carbon footprint. Better for your wallet, and better for the planet!
There are plenty of ways you can proactively improve the fuel efficiency of your car, either with the way you drive, or how you maintain your car’s condition. Here are our top tips for improving the fuel efficiency in the car you drive:
Driving Tips for Improving Fuel Economy
Here are some simple things you can do to help reduce your fuel consumption and emissions or check out this helpful video.
Drive smoothly – Keep your engine operating at a smooth level by avoiding heavy acceleration or deceleration. Cruise control is an excellent feature to help with this. Engine braking is another technique which helps you drive more efficiently.
Drive safely – Ensuring you observe speed limits and drive in a courteous, non-aggressive manner will pay you back with better fuel efficiency.
Warm it up – Have respect for your engine from a cold start and drive appropriately at the beginning of your trip. You should also avoid unnecessary idling by turning your engine off when sitting still for an extended period of time.
Remove excess weight – Remove items from the inside and outside of your car if you don’t need them for every trip. Taking off accessories like roof racks, bike carriers and top boxes will reduce the weight and wind resistance, resulting in better fuel economy.
Use air conditioning sparingly – Having the air conditioning on has a direct effect on fuel consumption. Choose your times, such as higher-speed driving on the open roads, and try not to have it on by default all the time.
Plan ahead – Anything you can do to reduce your amount of driving will obviously save you money on fuel. It pays to plan your route in advance, so you can take the most efficient route. Satellite navigation systems or Map apps using Apple CarPlay or Android Auto are helpful for this.
Driver-assist systems - Many vehicles feature a helpful multi-information display system, showing the instantaneous and average fuel consumption from your driving. It can help keep track of your driving performance and see the effects of any adjustments you make. This system also provides a range measurement to show how much further you can travel with the fuel you have, based on your current driving performance, to help you plan your trips and next refuelling stop.
Maintenance Tips to Optimise Your Fuel Efficiency
Here are some easy suggestions to maintain your car at its optimum and therefore achieving the best fuel efficiency you can.
Regularly service – On average a car is made up of 30,000 parts. Regular servicing is an important way to keep your car running at its most fuel efficient level. Important components and lubricants, such as engine oil and air filters, have a limited period where they operate effectively. Replacements at the right times will help improve fuel efficiency.
Use the right fuel – Always ensure you use the fuel type recommended for your vehicle. Car engines are designed to operate most efficiently with the recommended fuel type and using a lower octane fuel type will adversely affect your performance, fuel consumption, and potentially cause damage to your engine. The common octane ratings in New Zealand are 91, 95, 98 RON.
Maintain tyre pressure - Inflate your tyres to the correct pressure regularly, as the incorrect amount could affect the performance of your vehicle as well as increase your fuel consumption. You will find your vehicle's tyre pressures in your owner's manual. Wheel alignments are also important and should be carried out with your regular services.
When it comes to taking steps towards improving your fuel efficiency, a little goes a long way. Take the time to apply some of these strategies to your daily driving and maintaining your car and it will have an impact on your car’s fuel efficiency over time.
If you’re conscious of fuel economy, click here to learn more about fuel economy ratings and see how Suzuki stacks up against the rest.