How to Save Cash While Saving the Environment

The Caprice of a Classic Ride

Creative Commons License Photo credit: Hamed Saber

Even if you drive a petrol-engined car rather than a hybrid vehicle, you can still do your bit for the environment by using less fuel, a practice that will save you cash at the same time. You just need to pay more attention to the details...

Have a look at your tyres...

Did you know that a single tyre that is under-inflated by two pounds of pressure can increase your car’s fuel consumption by 1 percent? And you have four of them, so the tyres alone can increase your spending on fuel by 4 percent. So be sure to check your tyres’ air pressure at regular intervals – most garages have an air pressure gauge and pump you can use for free.

Make your car lose some weight...

This doesn’t mean you have to rid your car of panels, seats and your spare tyre, but you’re bound to be carrying around some unnecessary weight in your vehicle – we all do it. Take a quick look in your boot and remove anything that isn’t strictly necessary – for example, if you won’t get a chance to drop off those empty bottles at the recycling centre until the weekend, store them in your garage until then. And what about that roof box or bicycle rack which you haven’t used in a while? All these objects add more weight to your car and make it burn more fuel. For every 5kg of weight you get rid of, you can reduce the engine’s fuel consumption by an average of 0.1 percent, so give your car a spring clean-out today…

Keep an eye on your speedo...

Maintaining your speed on motorways is the best way to lower your car’s thirst for fuel. When you drive fast, more fuel is needed to combat the increasing air resistance. A good solution would be to keep a steady pace of 65mph (105km/h). If you decide to drive at the maximum speed of 75mph (120km/h), be aware that your fuel consumption will increase by 20 percent! Another point to consider is city driving. Speeding towards stop signs and traffic lights needlessly and then braking rapidly wastes fuel as well. By pressing the accelerator and brakes more frequently than necessary, you are using more petrol than you would if you drove at a steady pace.

Let your engine rest...

Turn your engine off when you are not on the move. Research shows that if you are stationary for more than 10 seconds, the car will actually burn less if you stop the engine and then restart it. So, if you are going to be sitting at a traffic light for a minute or two or you are going to wait for your passenger to arrive, you can save some fuel by turning your engine off, as an idling car can burn as much as 4 litres of fuel per hour.

Listen to traffic reports...

Pay closer attention to traffic reports on the radio before leaving your home or office, as these tips may enable you to choose a less congested route that will not only be more eco-friendly, but will also save you time and reduce stress.

Clean your car’s air filter...

The air filter prevents dirt from entering the engine of your car. Driving your vehicle with a dirty filter can reduce its fuel economy by 10 percent! Luckily, this problem can be easily avoided. The air filter is easy to clean, so you can do it yourself regularly, and it should also get cleaned each time you service the car. In time, the air filter will suffer wear and tear and need to be replaced, but this is a relatively small outlay.

Get fit...

And last but not least, you could walk or cycle instead of using your car, particularly if your destination is close by. As the weather improves as we come into summer, consider getting some fresh air while keeping fit, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint by avoiding unnecessary car journeys.


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Jack Taylor
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