Tunit’s Ultimate Fuel Saving Guide
Fuel saving is a massive topic of conversation at the minute and with good reason. The price of fuel is currently sky high and shows no signs of stopping or even slowing. More and more people are struggling to afford fuel and there’s an equal amount of people looking for ways to save fuel. We’ve created our ultimate guide to make you aware of some of the most effective ways to save and protect your wallet from the fuel crisis.
1. Keep on top of vehicle maintenance
This might seem like an obvious point, but the maintenance of your vehicle plays a huge role in how efficiently it operates and therefore how much fuel it uses. Although it may seem obvious you would be shocked to find out how many vehicles on the road won’t have been checked for the simple things in years.
One the key things to check are tyre pressures, the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle should be detailed in the owner’s manual of the vehicle or otherwise noted on a decal on the inside of the driver’s door. Not only does this help with the fuel economy of your vehicle, but also helps your tyres last longer by reducing wear and tear. While tyre pressures are low, the engine has to work harder to move the vehicle forward which means using more fuel.
2. Stick to the posted speed limit
As tempting as it can be to shave a few minutes off your trip by speeding just a little bit, but in the interest of saving money, said plainly, you’re not. The extra energy that you use to maintain a higher speed is greater than the amount you save by having a quicker trip. Faster driving also often leads to harsher braking, which triggers more stop-start driving, but smoother driving is the goal for improving your fuel economy.
3. Try to drive without losing momentum
As mentioned in the previous tip you want to try and make your journeys as smooth as possible. The reason for this is because obviously whilst you’re accelerating is where you are using the most fuel, but by maintaining momentum you are minimising the amount of time spent accelerating. Whilst the natural stop-start of external factors such as traffic, pedestrian crossings, etc… are inevitable there are still some good habits you can pick up to try and minimise stops where possible.
By anticipating what is going on in front of you, you can plan ahead and prepare in the best way possible for potential stops coming up. If you spot a traffic light turning to red further down the road, it gives you a chance to ease off and slowly approach the stoppage and potentially avoid stopping altogether and keep the car moving.
Another scenario where momentum is important is when approaching a hill, accelerating whilst driving up a hill has a massive impact on fuel economy. By spotting the upcoming hill early and preparing for it, you can accelerate prior to reaching the hill and carry speed into the hill to try and minimise the amount of acceleration done during the steeper angle.
4. Lose unnecessary weight
Excess weight can have a profound effect on how much fuel is being used by your vehicle as it has to work harder to build and maintain motion. Whilst the majority of the weight in our vehicles can’t be shifted there’s definitely areas where the majority of drivers can make some sacrifices. The biggest savings will probably depend on the contents of your boot, you should ask yourself “Do I really need to be carting this around everywhere I go?”.
Another potential weight saver to consider is if you drive a five seat vehicle but only ever make use of the front seats you could stand to make a big weight saving by taking out the back seats. Whilst this isn’t for everyone, seats can be a hefty amount of weight to lose and if you’re back seats never get used, you’re not missing out on anything by taking them out.
5. Check your aerodynamic footprint
Aerodynamics can make a big difference to your fuel consumption especially if you do a lot of motorway driving. Poor aerodynamics affect the drag of your vehicle which basically means the resistance provided by the air as you drive through it. Larger air resistance or drag means that the vehicle has to work harder to cut through the air which in turn uses more fuel. Reducing your drag is simple, make sure that you remove things like roof boxes and bike racks when they are not in use. These are large items and therefore have the biggest impact on your aerodynamics. You can also make a difference by making sure all windows are fully closed, including sunroofs, as you want air to pass around the vehicle rather than into it.
6. Change the way you shift gears
The way in which you drive, unsurprisingly, has the biggest impact on how much fuel you use. One of the biggest factors of this is how you utilise your gears, by selecting a lower gear you are making the car work harder to maintain the same speed. As a rule of thumb, you should be selecting the highest possible gear whilst keeping within the speed limit of the road you’re using.
To achieve this you’ll also want to move through the gears quicker, there’s a few ways to optimise this depending on how you usually drive. The main ways people decide when they need to change up are either visual or audible. For me, I use the sound of the engine and when I can hear the engine start working harder is when I choose to change up, if you’re looking at the tachometer of your vehicle you should be shifting up around the 2000 rpm mark.
A lot of the more modern vehicle’s will also have another little visual indicator which shows you when to change up or down, these should line up with the optimal times to change gear and will help you to learn the best times to change up. The main thing to remember is to try and keep your revs as low as possible (without affecting the safety of your driving) as the more the engine spins the more fuel it uses.
7. Make fewer trips
Whilst this might sound too obvious to be on the list, in light of recent events, more and more people have found that they simply can’t afford to keep up the same driving habits they had a year ago. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should cut out driving for shorter trips completely, but it could simply mean if you’ve got a few local trips to make that day, try and combine them into one trip rather than lots of little trips. Obviously you’ll always save more fuel by not making a journey but that isn’t always possible. The best way to make changes is by asking yourself every time you step in the car could this journey be completed on foot or by bike.
8. Plan your route in advance
Whilst this might sound like more of a general tip than specifically a fuel saving tip it can help save a lot of fuel depending on the situation. When driving in unfamiliar areas and following a satnav it can still prove surprisingly easy to make mistakes or taking wrong turns, all these little mistakes can add up to longer journeys and therefore more fuel consumption. Some mistakes have more of an impact than others and in the case of missing a junction on the motorway it can add multiple miles to your trip very easily.
It’s not just mistakes that make a difference here though, it’s also the route you take in general. Most navigation systems will always work off the journey time as the deciding factor to pick your route, however, fastest journey doesn’t always translate to most economical journey. Whilst this is unlikely to make a huge difference, depending on the scenario, it’s always worth a check to make sure you’re avoiding either traffic or more stop-start roads.
9. Avoid using AC where possible
When you use the air conditioning in your vehicle it draws power from the engine which mean the engine has to use more fuel. Whilst the amount that it uses isn’t going to change your life, it’s a good habit to pick up with a few of the others on this list. Instead of using the AC, you can easily regulate the temperature in longer journeys just by utilising the fans and engine heat. For short journeys in the cold, it’s always better to dress for the weather if you’re really concerened about your fuel consumption.
10. How does a Tunit save fuel?
Tunit’s work unlike any other chip or engine remap by utilising our unique performance calculation. The Tunit calculates the load on the vehicle in real time and adapts signals to the engine to provide more power as well as knowing when to conserve fuel. Furthermore, the extra low end torque dramatically helps with moving off and getting through the gears faster, by doing this the engine makes less revolutions, improving fuel efficiency and reducing engine wear. If you’re looking for a more in-depth example of how much money you can expect to save by fitting a Tunit to your vehicle, you can use our fuel calculator here for a rough estimate based on your figures.
Looking to make a bigger impact on the current fuel crisis? Tunit proudly supports a fuel petition which aims to help the British public by pursuing a temporary reduction in tax paid on petrol and diesel. The petition has had a great reception and at the time of writing this is extremely close to hitting its target of 100,000, which would see the topic brought up for debate in the house of commons. However, every signature helps and if you want to show your support for this cause, you can click the following link to learn more www.fuelpetition.co.uk.