Was watching 5th Gear (Channel 5's cheaper version on BBC's Top Gear) and they mentioned two web sites which aim to reduce the cost per litre of petrol.
The first web site is a simple search around your post code which shows up all your local filling stations and their fuel costs. http://www.petrolprices.com
The second web site is an attempt by a driving enthusiasts to get a significant number of drivers together and then, as a group, strike a deal with a fuel retailer to reduce the cost per litre by 4-7 pence. It's not a massive saving I know but it's free to join up and it's a pretty good idea I think. http://www.pipelinecard.org
It's fair to say that the cost of motoring is going up and will continue to do so. These are just two ways you can try and shave of a few pence per litre. I just tend to fill up when the light comes on where ever I am. Some people may be botherd, others may just be happy to continue paying.
When petrol was hard to get (1972?), I needed to make a long journey to visit parents. I filled the tank (having collected fuel in cans during the previous weeks) and then drove 'economically'. This involves keeping the accelerator pedal in a fixed position rather than 'pumping' it. Gentle increase (and decrease) and don't 'floor-it' to climb hills (change down - fixed accelerator position - and accept the reduction in road-speed). The accelerator position was chosen to give a modest cruising-speed in top gear (50mph). It sounds complicated, but it's easily learned (apart from the strain of keeping your right-foot still - and using left-foot braking if necessary). Use the engine as a constant-speed device and adjust road-speed where necessary using the gears, anticipate hazards and get into the appropriate gear. The saving in fuel was AMAZING!
In recognition of the current fuel situation in Britain, below are some tips for adjusting Driving Style to improve Fuel Economy, which should be of short term benefit to those facing fuel shortages and longer term benefit to everybody's pockets. Please distribute widely.
At constant speed the fuel burnt by the Engine is overcoming Tyre Rolling Resistance and Aerodynamic Drag. Tyre Rolling Resistance is approximately constant but Aerodynamic Drag rises with the square of Vehicle Speed, doubling from 50 to 70mph and from 60 to 85mph. Taking the 2 together for a typical Focus sized car, reducing cruising speed from 70 to 50mph improves cruise fuel economy by 33% and reducing speed from 85 to 60mph improves fuel economy by 40%.
Acceleration - Minimise the number of accelerations by maintaining constant speed
Every acceleration requires fuel energy, which is determined primarily by the start and finish speeds, not by how hard you accelerate, unless using wide-open-throttle. The fewer the number of accelerations you do the less fuel you use. Drive to maintain constant speed with minimal slow downs and accelerations.
Wide-Open-Throttle - Don't use it
In order to achieve maximum performance it is normal at all engine speeds on petrol engines to enrich the fuel mixture at wide-open-throttle (accelerator pedal close to full travel) beyond the optimum for economy. Do not use wide-open-throttle for acceleration unless necessary for safety.
Gearshifting - Upshift early
Engines are at their most efficient at low speeds and high loads, due to reduced engine friction at lower engine speeds, and in the case of Petrol engines due to reduced work to pump the incoming air past the throttle plate at a higher opening angle. Shift up to a higher gear as soon as you are able in order to work the engine more often in its more efficient range.
Deceleration - Coast in Neutral
In order to achieve Emissions requirements and smooth Driveability it is frequently necessary on petrol engines (but not Diesels) to keep the fuel turned on when closing the throttle and slowing down. The speed ranges and gears where the fuel is either on or off varies by engine and vehicle and can only be determined by the driver if there is a display for instantaneous fuel economy via a trip computer. In the absence of this knowledge it is better to slow down in Neutral or with the clutch depressed, resulting in the engine running at idle speed with idle fuel flow. This technique can be used to good effect to coast on any slight downgrade, motorway exit road or in normal traffic to maintain smooth progress. With Diesels the effect is very small, though.
Fuel Economy Display / Trip Computer
If you have one, use it. You may surprise yourself how much difference you can make by concentrating on getting the MPG numbers up (or L/100km down).
Stopped in Traffic - turn off the engine
At idle the fuel flow on a petrol engine is in the order of 0.5-1.0L/hr, worse if cold engine. Diesel is much less. If stopped in traffic switch off the engine to conserve fuel.
Air Conditioning - don't use it
Air Conditioning is powered by the engine and requires significant energy to pump the refrigerant around the system and to operate the cooling fan to ensure sufficient airflow across the heat exchanger. On Max A/C the Fuel Economy penalty is about 0.5-0.6 L/hr, so don't use it unless you really have to. If stopped in traffic note the engine needs to be on for A/C operation, so there is a double penalty from A/C and also from running the engine, as above.
Electrical Loads - minimise high loads
Heated front and rear screens consume significant current and hence fuel from the engine. Ensure these are only switched on for the minimum time necessary to clear the screens and are not just left on unnecessarily.
Tyre Pressures - check to manufacturer's recommended levels
Low Tyre Pressures deteriorate Fuel Economy so ensure tyres are inflated to manufacturer's recommended pressures. However, do not over-inflate, since this can lead to deterioration in steering, handling, braking and ride and the manufacturer's recommendations are optimised to balance these and ensure safety.
Loads - minimise loading
Weight has a significant effect fuel usage in every acceleration, and to a lesser extent the rolling resistance from the tyres at all speeds. Don't travel with greater loads than necessary. Similarly roof racks and trailers dramatically penalise Aerodynamic Drag and hence fuel consumption. Don't use them unless you have to, and take off the roof rack when not in use.
o, and take off the roof rack when not in use.
And yes, we DO know what we are on about, its our business.
I am surprised dual fuel cars are not more popular. 39p a litre for LPG, filled up at my local calor gas centre. Plenty of other fuel stations in the area, so no problem with supply, and will run on petrol albeit not as smooth. I feel quite smug when I fill it up for £16 odd, which gives me just over 300 miles plus, depending on how I drive.
Last edited by maggioneato; 5th May 2006 at 08:13.
It is not the price of the petrol that is the problem. It's the frigging taxes loaded on top. Notice all the slime ball politicians talking about how they are powerless to stop the rise in FUEL prices. never mention the Tax do they?
Minimise the number of accelerations by maintaining constant speed
What? While the rest seem painfully obvious, this just stood out as being ridiculous. If you're talking about motorway driving, then this is usually determined by whoever is clogging the road in front of you. If the road is clear, why would anyone be changing their speed?
If you're talking about non-motorway driving, then there's the small issue of differing speed limits, other cars, and corners. Unless we all become those tedious customers who travel at 40mph e v e r y w h e r e, then it would be a bit difficult.
I thought the Pipeline Card seemed a bit stupid, but maybe I haven't understood it. The chap seemed to be saying that he could get reduced prices by offering fuel companies a large number of definate customers. Surely the fuel companies would just say "Thanks, but everyone wants our fuel already, so we'll just keep making a shedload if it's all the same to you." Otherwise everyone could get a Pipeline card, and the companies have basically agreed to reduce their margins.
Location: formerly Sarf Lunden, now in Minne*snow*ta
Originally Posted by Ozzy
The sure fire way to bring prices down is to drive less. Ozzy
It is indeed as simple as that. Since petrol / gas hit $3 a gallon here, I've lost count of the amount of people complaining about the rising prices, then they get into their Hummer / SUV / Pick-up truck (on their own) and off they drive.
My wife and I have been car pooling ever since the prices shot up.
I loved it when the CEO of Exxon came out with a brief press statement and said in not so many words "drive less"