The prices displayed at the pump are constantly climbing and the passage to petrol stations is therefore very dreaded by drivers. Of course, a car will consume more or less fuel depending on its size and engine. However, you can already adopt some good habits to save on gas. It is also possible to adapt your driving to reduce your fuel consumption and thus limit your visits to the service station, which can have a significant impact on your expenses for the year. Whether your car has a petrol, diesel or hybrid engine, discover all our good tips to make your tank of gas last longer and thus be able to do more kilometers with your vehicle.
If you can’t get around by bike or carpool, these tips will at least help you save a lot of money!
1) It all starts with the choice of vehicle
It is well known: SUVs are among the city cars that consume the most. Moreover, it is estimated that they consume 1 liter more per 100 km compared to an equivalent sedan. This is explained by their high weight, their large tires as well as their poor aerodynamics. These fake 4×4s are therefore not the most appropriate model for saving fuel. Furthermore, be aware that if you drive mainly in urban areas and do not take the highway very often, we generally recommend a hybrid car rather than an electric car or a conventional vehicle.
2) Optimize your trips as much as possible to make your refueling last
If you have several errands to do in a day (dry cleaner, bakery, post office, etc.), it is more economical to perform all these moves at once to reduce your fuel consumption. Indeed, a cold engine will consume 20% more on a secondary road (or any other smooth route) and 50% more in town.
Good to know: For short journeys (3 km or less), it is better to be by bike or on foot.
3) Be well prepared before driving
It may sound silly, but having a good knowledge of his background avoids unnecessary journeys and detours that consume energy. Do not hesitate to study the route before leaving and to bring a GPS if necessary. Also, slowing down at the last moment is never good when trying to save fuel. Know anticipate stops and traffic lights is therefore very important. This allows you to take advantage of your momentum without having to press the pedal, and therefore consume more.
4) To make your tank last longer, take care of your tires!
It is essential to always check the condition of your vehicle’s “running gear” (ie what constitutes the chassis and makes the connection with the ground). Make sure your tires are properly inflated. In fact, too low a pressure increases the surface in contact with the ground, and therefore also rolling resistance and fuel consumption. By way of illustration, tires underinflated by 0.5 bar can increase your consumption by 2 to 4% depending on your speed and the load of the car. It is therefore not negligible, especially since there is a dangerous risk of bursting. Ideally, do a pressure check every two months. And to limit their wear, you can overinflate them by 0.2 bar per tire.
5) Avoid using air conditioning
You probably already know that driving with the windows open affects the aerodynamics of your vehicle. He is therefore likely to consume more. Despite this, it’s still better than the air conditioning which induces even higher overconsumption ! Even if you don’t set it too high, it still causes the engine to waste energy and burn fuel. In addition, it tends to irritate the respiratory tract, dry out the nose and stir up germs in the ambient air… If however you decide to use the air conditioning, we advise you to do not set it to a temperature 4°C lower than outside temperatures.
In addition: discover our tips for effectively cooling your car in summer.
6) Modify your driving to make your fill-up last longer
You ask yourself “why is my essence leaving so quickly?”. Very often, it’s a driving story! Adopting economical driving means in particular opting for the right speed for your engine (namely around 2,500 rpm for a petrol engine and 1,500 rpm for a diesel engine) without pushing the gears.
To optimize your driving, try to maintain a constant speed (for example using the cruise control if you have one) and take your foot off the accelerator. Sudden accelerations are to be banned. In town, it will also be necessary to anticipate traffic lights, roundabouts, give way and other pedestrians, but also avoid sticking to the train of other vehicles in order to be able to see if the other motorist is accelerating or decelerating. In short, adopt a fluid and constant driving.
7) Braking: the sinews of war!
It’s not so much driving that consumes, but also, and above all, braking. As soon as possible, try to downshift rather than brake. And as mentioned earlier, anticipate slowdowns as much as possible so that you can release the accelerator accordingly. As much as possible, use your engine brake instead of neutral in order to consume less fuel and preserve your brakes.
8) How fast should you drive to consume less fuel and make your tank last longer?
For most cars, this is at a speed between 50 and 80 km/h consumption is the lowest. As soon as we start accelerating, we produce a exponential consumption. For example, driving at 120 km/h, you consume about 20% more energy than driving at 100 km/h. Accelerating to save a few minutes is therefore definitely not worth it (or cost!), because it is very energy-intensive. Remember to keep driving steadily, without big speed variations and without using the accelerator pedal too much to consume less.
9) To make your tank last, take care of the engine
The engine is to the car what the heart is to man. Once worn and clogged, it no longer performs as well and requires more fuel to operate. It is therefore essential to take care of the maintenance of your car and not to let problems drag on as far as possible. To save fuel, you must above all clean or change the air filter, replace spark plugs regularly and drain the vehicle. Finally, if the cold start is difficult, monitor the injection.
10) Take the weight off your car
Roof bars, ski racks, roof boxes, bicycle racks… Anything that makes the vehicle less aerodynamic should be avoided to preserve your fuel from overconsumption. Also remember to empty your trunk if it is full of heavy objects or tools.
11) A trick to make your gas tank last longer
If your engine is running at full throttle from the start, it will cause your gas mileage to skyrocket. So how? After starting your car, wait a few meters before accelerating. You can then shift up a gear without consuming too much fuel.
12) Do not overheat the engine in winter
On older car models, warming up the engine made it possible to bring the oil to temperature and ensure its total fluidity. It was therefore an essential habit to preserve the engine over the long term. However, technologies have evolved and oils with them. They are today more qualitative and more fluid. So there’s no need to let your modern car overheat, and therefore waste fuel! You can simply start, shift into gear and drive slowly for the first five minutes without risking engine damage.
Now that you know how to make your tank last, let’s move on to the subsidiary questions!
The choice of gasoline, is it important or not?
On this question, opinions differ. We sometimes hear that top-of-the-range gasoline (98 unleaded and premium diesel) limits engine fouling and allows optimized consumption even if it is more expensive. However, in fact, many mechanics will tell you that between 98 and 95, the difference is extremely minimal, if any and will only hold up to refining. However, without a laboratory test, we cannot know this data. The premium diesel certainly receives beneficial additives, but nothing really miraculous. Brief, it’s mostly marketing and what you gain is ultimately not worth it/cost.
How many kilometers can you do on the reserve?
Have you ever wondered how far you can travel on the reserve? To find out, you can refer to your car manual which often contains this information. To give you an idea, the reserve generally corresponds to 5% of the tank. We can therefore drive approximately drive between 70 and 80 km/h. Nevertheless, we advise you to do not travel more than 50 kilometers on the reserve to avoid a breakdown. Remember that the fuel gauge remains an approximate indicator whose reliability may leave something to be desired. Moreover, driving on reserve is not good for the engine.
With all these tips gleaned from a mechanic, you can cope with the soaring prices observed at the gas station and make the passage to the gas pump less painful for your small budget. Above all, remember that there are no small savings and that