The holiday season is the time of year when we all want to go on a family trip with our vehicles, which is a significant expense in fuel; especially if we carry an extra load of luggage outside the car. For this reason, we must consider some measures to avoid consumption beyond what is necessary.
It has been estimated that the annual fuel consumption per driver is approximately 600 euros, a figure that is not negligible; so it is worth analyzing some factors that increase consumption. In this sense, we must bear in mind that both the way of driving and the condition of the car in general are determining aspects that could help us save fuel every year.
Some valuable tips to improve your driving
Efficient driving not only helps us consume less fuel, it also helps to greatly reduce environmental pollution and reduce the risks of accidents on the road. Therefore, it is essential to implement some guidelines to improve driving.
First of all, if you have a car with a gasoline engine, you should start moving immediately after starting; if on the contrary it is diesel, you must wait a few seconds to start the march. It is also advisable that you choose the gear in a suitable way, according to the speed; since with this you will be saving up to 15% of fuel, which represents up to 250 euros for 20,000 km traveled.
In this sense, the first gear should only be used when starting the journey, shifting to second as soon as possible; You must put the third gear in when you exceed 30 km / h and when you reach a speed of 40 km / h, put the fourth gear. The fifth gear should be used when you exceed 50 km / h and the sixth should be put when the vehicle has reached 80 km / h.
Slowing down is as important as speeding up, so you should do it progressively. To do this, start by lifting your foot off the accelerator and let the car move with the gear you are in for the moment. Step on the brakes gently and downshift, the longer it takes to shift the better.
Likewise, you must keep a prudent space with the car in front (one or two vehicles), in order to anticipate any movement of the other driver. The idea is to maintain a constant rhythm, avoid acceleration, sudden braking and gear changes that are not necessary. Similarly, it is convenient to maintain this distance when you want to see an obstacle on the road or a speed reducer in time. In these cases, you just need to take your foot off the gas and maneuver wisely.
Another valid option to save fuel while driving is to stop the car without slowing down; likewise, stop accelerating when a gear has been selected, as long as the revs remain above idle. Also, if you stop the car for more than 60 seconds, it is best to turn off the engine.
It should be remembered that traveling with the windows open at 100 km / h is equivalent to an increase of up to 10% in fuel consumption; The same happens if we turn on the heating or air conditioning (in this case the increase is 25%). Although achieving the ideal temperature for the trip is not a simple matter, we must be aware that comfort will not be free.
On the other hand, you must watch the load you transport; Since it has been shown that when traveling with extra luggage outside the vehicle, fuel consumption skyrockets by up to 39%, even if you have the best car roof rack installed ( if you click here, you will find several products to choose from ) . This happens especially when the vehicle reaches a speed greater than 120 km / h. In addition, you must bear in mind that for every additional 100 kg of weight, fuel consumption increases by 5%.
In addition to this, you should not neglect the aerodynamics; Therefore, it is advisable to avoid, as far as possible, transporting bulky objects outside the car, since these increase air resistance and therefore fuel consumption.
Check the operation of the car before traveling
The state in which the vehicle is, is decisive to establish the fuel consumption. For this reason, it is advisable to check the tire pressure before traveling; If you move with a lower pressure than indicated by the manufacturers, the expense increases by 3%. You should also use the right type of oil for your car, since a bad choice could increase consumption by 3%.
In the same way, you should check the electronic controls and the water and oil level, since these aspects significantly influence the consumption and operation of the engine. For this reason, the oil must be clean, as well as the air filter; in addition, the spark plugs must be with the electrode in perfect condition and the injectors free of any obstruction.
Roof racks or luggage boxes and their relationship to fuel consumption
The need for space in our car is always something that does not necessarily have to do with its size, because if we have a large vehicle, the family is too, and if it is a small car, it turns out that it is not spacious enough to transport everything you need to carry.
If it is a vacation, the trunk will never be enough and even more so when the suitcases multiply. Likewise, if we go to the park, the first thing the children want is to take their bike and if we want to take a trip to the beach, we will need the surfboards. For this reason, there is always a great variety of things that we must transport outside the car and for this there are car racks.
We must remember that the higher the weight, the greater the consumption and when mounting a roof rack loaded with luggage, or with any other object, we are causing the vehicle to need more effort when starting and moving; both for the added weight and for the resistance to the wind.
As indicated by the Agency dependent on the Ministry of Energy, IDAE, the car roof rack or the luggage box generate extra fuel consumption, even if they are empty. In this sense, the fact of carrying the roof rack increases consumption by 7.5% and if it is the chest, the increase can reach 16%. Therefore, if during the rest of the year you are not using these accessories, it is best to disassemble them and thus save fuel.