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Saving on fuel?

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
I think I was having a bit of wishful thinking when I thought (before I passed my driving test) I'd be able to put in a tenner a week and manage on that.

Went back to uni this week, and basically I've used a lot more petrol than expected. Prior to this week I was using about 3/4 of a tank a week, so it was costing me about £20. I filled up on sunday (£20 odd) and then I had to fill up again yesterday afternoon (just above the orange marker). Now I know it's quite a long commute, often with queues. It takes on average 45 minutes, and I have to go every day during the week.

Any good tips for conserving petrol a bit? I know accelerating a bit slower, but how do I know when I'm pressing slow enough for it to make a difference? Or am I just going to have to accept that I'll be spending approx £35 a week on petrol? Is that bad going?

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It's not so much about accelerating slower, you need to keep the revs on the car down, so always drive around in as high a gear as you can without stalling it. I quite often drive in 5th at 30mph and it works fine, the car runs on tickover and that keeps the petrol down.

    When you're in a queue try and keep the car in 2nd and try and avoid having to stop completely if you can. Don't nail it every time the car in front moves.

    If you're driving 100 miles a week I'd expect you to be spending £10-£15 per week, depending on what car you drive, and if you're in a lot of queues that will go up.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Check your tyre pressures, they're often the main culprit.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    Any good tips for conserving petrol a bit? I know accelerating a bit slower, but how do I know when I'm pressing slow enough for it to make a difference? Or am I just going to have to accept that I'll be spending approx £35 a week on petrol? Is that bad going?

    It's not really about pressing the accelerator more slowly, it's about trying to maintain a consistent speed, instead of lots of stop-start movement. For example in queuing traffic keeping a gap before the car in front so that you can try to keep moving rather than stopping. Then when you pull away don't burn it just so you can get to the next set of red lights before everyone else.

    You could also try staying in higher gears, but in a lot of cars that will leave you with little or no control over the vehicle so is potentially dangerous. Use an appropriate gear not one you think will save petrol.

    Essentially though you ain't going to save a lot of fuel doing any of that, and yes you're just going to have to accept that it's expensive.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Want to use less petrol? Buy an old style mini cooper- tanked mine up last night from almost empty and it cost £10.84 ;)

    Things like tyre pressure and not having windows open can use less fuel, also keeping the car as light as possible (so if you're hoarding loads of junk in your boot, get rid of it). As Mist said, try and keep your speed consistent and avoid sudden breaking and accelerating. One more tip- when taking corners, brake gradually as you enter the bend and accelerate half way through. Apparently that helps :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I'm no expert dobbin but I'd advise to brake before you get to the bend, then accellerate the whole way through. Accelerating gives the tyres more grip, which means you're less likely to skid and die (well, not that likely in a car, but this is coming from a biker :p so old habits die hard I guess).

    From watching top gear, the golden rule is don't touch the brakes. ;) (unless it's an emergency lol)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Use less electrics, heating etc Basically anything which makes your engine work harder will use more petrol.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Essentially though none of the points above are going to make a noticeable difference... just got to accept it and drive as conservatively as you can.

    I have never been able to just trundle around unfortunately so I use about £35+ a week in petrol, only a 1.4 as well lol.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    They will make a noticeable difference, but over a period of time. You might not notice some things that you're doing that waste petrol - e.g sitting with the engine running while you get your things together before getting out etc. Remember that while your car is idling, you're getting 0 miles to the gallon. I'd also suggest putting in half a tank at a time, because full tanking your car means carrying a lot of extra weight. Don't try every tip mentioned in this thread at once though, try different things and see what works for you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Essentially though none of the points above are going to make a noticeable difference... just got to accept it and drive as conservatively as you can.

    ^^^^ I agree.

    The tips other posters have given aren't really going to make any noticeable difference. They can all help, but its like pissing into the wind!

    You might want to look at a more fuel efficient car (if your driving a Range Rover :p ) Or maybe look at having your car run off cooking oil.

    Failing that, turn off the engine at traffic lights and let it roll down hills :D **joke**
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Maybe it's worth looking to see if public transport to uni ends up cheaper? You can still use your car for getting about but bus fairs can be cheap - my friends bought annual bus tickets for £200 or so, seeing as they travel by bus 6 times a week to and from uni / work, that would be £3 a day, £18 a week or £666 (assuming they travel for 37 weeks of the year). If you're spending £35 a week on petrol, your 37 weeks is going to come to £1295 - can you afford that or is there a cheaper alternative?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Am considering going back to the £55 per month rail/bus card, but I think I need another couple of weeks in the car to try and get an average. If I was to do that, I'd probably still drive to the stables, but park at the train station, so if I was still using £20 of fuel or so a week, I need to work out how economical that would be. BF was contributing £10 per fortnight (I drive him around a bit and we worked out what it was roughly worth) so will start that again when he gets his money through.

    It's a P reg (9/10 year old?) Ford KA, and I love it, so shall give some of these a go (namely the ones for queues!) and see how I get on for a couple of weeks. :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Not enough air in the tyres burns a lot more fuel - also doing an oil change can help - cars though are so wasteful I think you're lucky if you can use 30% of the energy in the fuel to get you moving.

    Also clean the air filter - cars like people need to breath - the easier they breath the better they work.

    Also don't carry too much weight in the back if not needed - people often have thing they don't need in the back of the car weighing them down.

    But overall correctly inflated tyres are the number way to improve your MPG Figures.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also - have you had the tracking/alignment checked?

    I recall reading in Autocar that the most economical engine speed to cruise at is 1800rpm as running too low revs can put the engine under stress, especially up hills. I tried this in my 350Z (where I often averaged under 20mpg) and it certainly made a difference. Just thinking though that my KA didn't have a rev counter, so this could screw this over... Hmmm...

    Believe it or not, accelerating quickly upto your cruising speed is more economical than accelerating slowly (anybody has a trip computer on their car showing the instant and average consumptions, do some experiments and you'll see it's true). An engine, when accelerating, is most economical at 2/3rds load, and combined with the fact you'll be at cruising speed sooner (more economical again) means less fuel used. This isn't much use if you're stuck in traffic though...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    Also clean the air filter - cars like people need to breath - the easier they breath the better they work.

    You mean replace the air filter? Only specialist filters should be cleaned (and re-oiled) as they use oil to catch the dirt rather than tiny gaps in the material as with paper filters.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doofay wrote: »
    You mean replace the air filter? Only specialist filters should be cleaned (and re-oiled) as they use oil to catch the dirt rather than tiny gaps in the material as with paper filters.

    This is correct - a standard air filter should be replaced as it will be made of paper.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Doofay wrote: »
    You mean replace the air filter? Only specialist filters should be cleaned (and re-oiled) as they use oil to catch the dirt rather than tiny gaps in the material as with paper filters.

    Naah most cars have a paper filter - leaves and stuff can get sucked into the front side of the filter - I've taken mine out before all you do is remove it, give it a tap and and quite a bit of dust can come off the front, plus there can be leaves and stuff around the opening that you can clear away - just a little thing to try and get more air flow into the car - probably doesn't help too much but doubts it harms it either.

    don't know how much extra fuel MPG's you'd get switching to the other kind of filters.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    Naah most cars have a paper filter - leaves and stuff can get sucked into the front side of the filter - I've taken mine out before all you do is remove it, give it a tap and and quite a bit of dust can come off the front, plus there can be leaves and stuff around the opening that you can clear away - just a little thing to try and get more air flow into the car - probably doesn't help too much but doubts it harms it either.

    don't know how much extra fuel MPG's you'd get switching to the other kind of filters.
    You can tap the dust off, and remove the leaves, but the main filtration is done through the tiny pores in the paper, meaning tapping the dust off is only the tip of the iceberg - akin to wiping dust off a scratched CD. IMO paper filters should be changed every year in line with your standard oil brakes etc service.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    yep like I said probably wouldn't make any noticeable difference to the MPG figure but you never know what you might find had blown in there.

    And doubt it would do any harm.

    Although I did use a vacuum cleaner on mine with the brush attachment once to suck out the dust trapped in between the fans.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru

    It's a P reg (9/10 year old?) Ford KA

    Mines a T reg ka and I was disappointed with the fuel consumption. My N reg Fiesta was much better and that was nackered. Both 1.3
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    kangoo wrote: »
    Mines a T reg ka and I was disappointed with the fuel consumption. My N reg Fiesta was much better and that was nackered. Both 1.3

    Attach a number to the word disappointed .. what do you get per gallon?
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    Attach a number to the word disappointed .. what do you get per gallon?

    I dunno cos I haven't worked it out yet, I need to wait until I have enough cash to fill the tank up which will be...never
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    My 1.3 Fiesta did better mileage than my 1.8 focus does, as did my 1.1 Fiesta. My £45 spend on a tank full will last me 320 miles, which I normally cover in 1 1/2 weeks. Wish I could go back to spending £20 on a full tank sometimes, although the fact I was sat with my knees up to my neck makes me think i'm glad i've got a big car.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    You may find you also get more MPG's buying the expensive fuels - I think the shell V ones are about 5% more expensive then regular but I think I was getting about 5% to 10% more Miles per Gallon on it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    You may find you also get more MPG's buying the expensive fuels - I think the shell V ones are about 5% more expensive then regular but I think I was getting about 5% to 10% more Miles per Gallon on it.

    Depends on the car though doesn't it? Some will just burn it like ordinary fuel and you won't see any difference in fuel economy. But ones with computers or something will change the heat setting or something for combustion and they're better for the engine. Or something like that.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    That's why I said you "May Find" .. instead of "you WILL find .." :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    DG wrote: »
    That's why I said you "May Find" .. instead of "you WILL find .." :)

    Yea sorry I wasn't trying to pedant :), just I overheard a discussion once and they said buying premium unleaded is pointless for your old mini, but if you've got something quite new-ish...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I think the deciding factor may be having a car with a fuel injector

    I'm only basing my finding on what my on board trip computer reads out - could be lying to me .. :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Well with the help of you guys, I've managed to get down to £25 per week, and I'm not letting it get right down to the Orange bar, but I'm managing 250miles or so on that. :thumb:
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