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You can make a big difference to your fuel consumption by driving your vehicle more efficiently. Efficient driving reduces the amount of fuel you use and cuts down on unnecessary wear and tear on the vehicle, saving you money and reducing the amount of greenhouse gas emissions and pollution your vehicle generates.
- Save money on fuel costs and vehicle maintenance
- Reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution generated by driving your vehicle
At a glance
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- Ease 3
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The way you drive your vehicle affects how much fuel it uses and the emissions it produces. Driving smoothly and carefully can lead to reductions in fuel consumption of between 5 to 10% and in some cases by as much as 30%. Try some of these driving tips:
- There’s no need to warm up a modern vehicle and have it sit idling. Start up when you’re ready to move off.
- Stuck in a traffic jam, stationary or making deliveries? Turn the engine off. Re-starting uses less fuel than idling.
- Don't speed—not only is it dangerous but it also burns fuel at a faster rate.
- Drive smoothly and avoid jerky patterns of acceleration and deceleration to save fuel.
Look beyond the vehicle ahead to anticipate traffic flow. Keep a safe distance from the vehicle in front so you have more time to anticipate changing traffic conditions to minimise braking and accelerating.
- Take your foot off the accelerator before braking. The vehicle will start to slow down.
Change gears sooner rather than later to keep engine revs down. If you drive an automatic, ease back on the accelerator when the vehicle gathers momentum, and your gears will change up more quickly and smoothly. Allow speed to drop when going up hills.
- If your vehicle is fitted with a gear shift indicator, change gears when advised as this also saves fuel.
Keep extra weight out of your vehicle.
- In cars, empty the boot and take off external sun visors and roof racks when you're not using them. This also reduces drag and fuel consumption.
- In commercial vehicles and trucks, some ancillary equipment, such as cranes, ramps and heavy tools, are easily removed and stored when not needed. This also reduces drag and fuel use.
- Use air conditioners only when needed. At higher speeds an air conditioner is more efficient than having your windows down—which causes more aerodynamic drag.
- Don’t overfill your fuel tank—only fill to the first click. The rest is lost in over-flow and evaporation.
- Plan your trips as taking the long way around wastes fuel.
- Combine errands. Lots of short trips mean more fuel is used and higher levels of emissions.
- Use the fuel that is recommended for your vehicle by the manufacturer.
- Your vehicle should be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification. Check your oil, coolant, brake and battery fluid every fortnight.
- Make sure you maintain the correct tyre pressure. Incorrect pressure can badly affect the tyre's performance and your safety. Tyre pressure information is available in your vehicle handbook, on the tyre placard just inside the door, filler cap or glove-box. You can also check with your local tyre supplier. Look for uneven wear as this means you may have poor wheel alignment which can also compromise tyre safety. It also increases fuel consumption and means more tyre particles are going into the environment.
- Keep your air conditioning system in good condition as leaks or faults can release greenhouse gases in to the atmosphere. All air conditioning systems must be installed, maintained and decommissioned by a licensed technician.
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