Eco Driving Lessons
Making small changes to your driving style, and how you use your car while driving can make a big difference to your environmental impact.
Try not to be in a hurry. Stressed driving can be erratic and is uneconomical. Simply relax and try to enjoy the trip.
Try not to beat the lights as the chances are that if you hit a red light and then try to beat all the following lights you will rush but miss them anyway. If you drive at a more sedate speed you will usually find that by the time you reach the next light it will have turned green again.
Did you know?
Travelling at less that 15mph creates the most pollution as your speed increases up to 60mph, your level of pollution decreases, but travelling over 60mph increases your level of pollution again.
The concertina effect while driving…
On long dual carriageways or motorways you always seem to see lots of brake lights and cars in front slowing down.
This is caused by one motorist braking sharply, and often results in traffic slowing to a near stop due to the delayed reaction of drivers behind. If we try to observe the car three, four or more ahead and give ourselves some distance from the car in front we can anticipate and judge the necessary speed. When you see a car brake up ahead, simply remove your foot from the accelerator but leave it in gear. By the time you get close to the car in front the chances are that they will have sped up. You can almost make yourself responsible for stopping the concertina.
Does coasting increase your fuel efficiency?
The short answer is no in a modern car with electronic engine management – fuel and ignition systems are effectively combined and controlled by one electronic control unit commonly called ECU.
Coasting or rolling down hill or approaching a junction with the car out of gear is inadvisable because the driver doesn’t have full control of the vehicle. You lose the ability to suddenly accelerate out of a tricky situation you also have no engine braking which takes some of the load off the brakes on down hill stretches and helps to avoid brake fade – overheating brakes require harder pedal pressures to stop the vehicle.
Tips To Help You Save Fuel
1. Keep your windows up to reduce drag and make your fuel consumption more efficient.
2. Air conditioning use should be limited as it uses more fuel.
3. Driving at 70 mph will increase your emissions 25% than if you drive at 50mph.
4. Avoid congested areas and so reduce travel time.
5. Avoid revving the engine or letting it idle too long.
6. Harsh acceleration and braking can use up to 30% more fuel and can cause an increase in war and tear on the vehicle.
7. Consider planning as many jobs as possible in one trip.
8. Are you carrying extra weight you don’t need for that journey? (Buggies, tools, footwear, shopping or golf clubs the list goes on)
9. Remove any roof racks as this will cause drag and cost money.
10. Tyre pressure, every 6psi the tyre is under-inflated the fuel consumption increases by 1%.
11. Keep you engine properly tuned.
12. Drive off from cold. Modern cars are designed to move straight away. Warming up the engine just wastes fuel and actually causes engine ware.
13. Check your revs. Change up before 2,500 rpm (Petrol) or 2,000rpm (Diesel).
14. Drive smoothly. Anticipate road conditions so that you drive smoothly and avoid sharp acceleration and heavy braking.
15. Use engine braking first then foot braking.
16. Switch it off. Modern cars use virtually no extra fuel when they are re-started without pressing the accelerator. Turn off the engine if you’re going to be stationary for more that a minute or two like at a level crossing or in a long queue of traffic.
17. When having to slow keep the car moving all the time it will use less fuel than stopping and starting.
18. Car sharing when one or more of you go some where take it in turn to drive.
19. Using high gear as possible how may of you use 5th for 40mph and above?
20. Travelling in 3rd at 37 mph uses 25% more fuel that travelling in 5th gear.
21. According to the department of transport driving at 70mph uses up to 15% more fuel that at 50 mph. Travel at 80 mph and you could be using up to 25% more that 70 mph.
22. Block changing the gears up as well as down saves fuel.
These are just a few eco driving tips that I use while doing driving lessons in Ipswich but they work regardless of the type of driving you do. If you would like more information, please click here to go to my website. Alternatively, check out what Wikipedia has to say on the subject.
Barry Martin ADI
Driving Lessons In Ipswich, Kesgrave And Martlesham