Debunked: Popular But Pointless Fuel Saving Tips

With the cost of motoring rising on an annual basis, car owners are constantly looking for ways to keep their costs down. One of the ways that we can all save money on our motoring costs is to change the way we drive, or, at least, change our attitudes towards driving.

For example, you often hear people saying that driving at slower speeds will increase your car’s fuel economy. There is also a veritable plethora of fuel saving tips that other motorists share with people on the World Wide Web, but did you know that many of those tips are pointless?

Image credit: exfordy

In today’s blog post, I debunk those tips and explain why you should not follow them!

Debunked tip: turn off your air conditioning system

It’s no secret that the air conditioning or climate control system in your car will use more fuel than driving without it on.

The air conditioning system relies on power from your engine to drive the compressor – the mechanical pump that compresses the refrigerant and sends it to the condenser. When you turn on your car’s air conditioning system, your engine needs to work harder and so will use more fuel.

With the air conditioning system switched off, the compressor is disengaged from the engine’s drive belt.

On a hot day, some frugal motorists turn their air conditioning systems off and open the windows. The problem is, by opening the windows, you are increasing drag. In other words, your car isn’t as aerodynamic as it was when the windows were closed. As you might have guessed, your car’s engine will have to work harder to sustain your desired speed and performance.

Debunked tip: buy petrol when it’s really cold outside

When the temperature is cold, petrol becomes denser. Some folks have been suggesting that people should fill up their tanks only when it’s remarkably cold outside, as they will get more petrol for their cash!

In reality, it doesn’t matter when you buy petrol because the fuel is stored in deep underground tanks. Before the days of refrigerators, people used to bury food underground to keep it cold and preserved. As petrol is stored underground, it too will be cold before it gets pumped into your tank!

Debunked tip: keep the engine idling to save fuel

Some folks think that keeping the engine idling when they are stuck in traffic will save them fuel, because “a lot of fuel is burned when the engine is started.”

It is simply not the case with today’s modern engines! According to Max from Inchcape Toyota, today’s engines are so fuel-efficient that many car manufacturers have introduced start-top technology in most of their new models to prove that keeping your engine idling is a waste of money!

There is also the environmental aspect to think about too. By leaving your engine idling for long periods of time, you will be needlessly contributing to your carbon footprint. If everyone did this, greenhouse gas emissions would rise significantly.

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