Saving fuel is on every driver's mind these days. Even if you're not concerned about environmental issues, saving fuel just makes sense. Fuel prices are higher than ever, and filling up those tanks is tough on our wallets. Even as internal combustion engines are becoming ever more powerful, use of state-of-the-art technologies also means they require less fuel. Nevertheless, a lot depends upon how we drive. Careless driving may increase average fuel consumption by several litres, even though you do not substantially boost your average speed. Here are a few tips to conserve fuel when you are on the road.
Unload the Load
Every piece of unnecessary load increases the fuel bill. So be ruthless in getting rid of unused child seats, forgotten luggage, bike carriers that other unnecessary equipment. Remember extra loads also compromise on the aerodynamics of your SKODA - increasing your fuel intake.
Drive at Stable Speeds
If the traffic permits you, drive at steady speeds without speeding up or slowing down too often. Braking involves major loss of energy that the engine had to use reach instantaneous speed. Driving at a steady speed also increases the life of your engine.
Check the Tyres
Although SKODA vehicles have a TPM (Tyre Pressure Monitor system) that checks tyre pressure, it is always better to check the pressure yourself as the system may not notice minor pressure losses. Also, if you are planning a driving holiday, with lots of luggage, it is advisable to inflate the tyres to their maximum - the data is provided on the inside of the fuel filler neck lid. Tyres that are not correctly inflated not only adversely affect fuel consumption but have direct repercussions on stability and safety.
Beware of Energy Guzzlers
Air conditioning is great when it is sultry outside, but what about when the weather is pleasant? Think carefully if you really need it. Air conditioning increases fuel consumption by as much as 1 L/100 kms - particularly in cars that don't have automatic air conditioning. You should also use seat, window and mirror heating carefully. Mirror heating in particular should not be kept on permanently.
Cruise at Correct Speeds
If you are travelling at speeds above 100 kmh and you increase the speed even by only 5 kmh, 1 or 2 litres of fuel may be consumed instantly. Use the on-board computer to choose the optimum cruising speed in terms of fuel consumption/driving time ratio.
Make fewer Stops
Every start involves high fuel consumption. So even in traffic, keep a reasonable distance from the car in front of you. It's better to drive at walking speed instead of copying the acceleration and deceleration of the vehicle in front of you. Apply the same principle to traffic lights as well.
When Not To Use Cruise Control
This feature helps you reduce fuel consumption by stabilizing the speed. However, on hills where there are frequent ascents and descents, accelerate moderately when going downhill, so to give your car enough momentum for the coming uphill stretch. In contrast, cruise control tends to brake the going downhill and then to maintain the average speed, the engine load increases, increasing your fuel consumption.
Use the Gear Change Advsior
Every SKODA is fitted with a Gear Change Advisor. You will benefit from using it as the system is designed to always help you use the best gear to avoid over-revving or under-revving. SKODA's modern downsized engines give enough power at surprisingly low revolutions. You may have noticed that when the car cruises while you basically do not depress the accelerator pedal, the advisor prompts you to gear up; as soon as you depress the pedal, the upwards arrow disappears – this is because gearing up is no more the best way of meeting the need for higher output.