It won’t have escaped anyone’s notice that we’ve just experienced something akin to a UK fuel crisis. One, arguably perpetuated by the traditional media, and not helped by the wildfire spreading-like capacity and power of the more social of media.
Controversy aside, the bottom line is most of us will have been affected in one way or another by the chaotic scenes we’ve all witnessed on our TVs over the last few days. Scenes characterised by motorists seemingly panic-buying at the pumps, as a consequence of largely irrational fears about fuel shortages. Based on various elements, most of which were unsubstantiated.
As a result, we’ve listened to every driver’s slant on the subject. Including amateur politicos playing the Brexit card and the EV community feeling a tad smug with themselves. While Facebook has been awash with ‘Karen’s’ publicly shaming jerry can-armed motorists and Twitter sitting on its usual high horse.
Be ‘More Clarkson’ During UK Fuel Crisis
Joking apart, the mini fuel crisis has reminded all motorists as to how much we rely on both our cars and more importantly, the fuel which powers them. Predominantly the fossil fuelled flavour which drives the internal combustion engine as it percentage-wise currently stands.
But did you know that certain elements of panic can be avoided? Particularly if you were aware how to get the most out of the fuel you do have in your tank at any one time.
And by adhering to the principles of economic driving once set out by, of all people, TV’s Jeremy Clarkson.
Who, if you recall, answered the challenge of the ‘Top Gear’ producer, who questioned if he could drive from London to Edinburgh and back on the one 20 gallon tank of fuel in a 326bhp Audi A8. Which necessitated an averaging of 40mpg. Admittedly it was a diesel, yet a weighty 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 lump nevertheless. Courtesy of the sort of fastidious, mindful driving techniques which aren’t something Clarkson is typically known for.
How To Get The Best Fuel Economy From YOUR Car, Irrespective of UK Fuel Crisis
We’re talking about hypermiling.
A phrase which you might be unfamiliar with. Essentially hypermiling is the ‘art/practice’ of adopting techniques which maximise your vehicle’s fuel efficiency while driving.
Or in other words, the eking out of every last fluid drop of the motion lotion which we have at our immediate disposal when driving ‘between petrol forecourts’. A long passage of time if you own an Audi R8. Not so, an Audi A1
You may recall the series 4, episode 4 of ‘Top Gear’, where Clarkson successfully drove an Audi A8 the length of the UK on the single tank of fuel. Successfully playing fuel light bingo for a round trip of some 800 miles, all in the name of light television entertainment.
Fuel Economising in 6 Easy to Remember Ways
Speaking of which, lightness was a key aspect of Clarkson’s shock achievement. Along with him never exceeding 1,200 rpms on the entire journey, and keeping the air con off throughout.
Checking that your engine oil is topped up, brake fluid, screen wash and of course, tyre pressures all round is equally important if you wish to earn peak amber gambler status.
Below, WCC highlights 6 key ways in which drivers can make their petrol or diesel go that bit further during the UK fuel crisis and beyond. And therein, their car. Which in the current climate, is pretty high up most people’s agendas.
1. Don’t Accelerate/Brake Too Enthusiastically
Unsurprisingly, driving erratically is a sure-fire way to waste fuel. Therefore it’s important to ensure that you accelerate gently. Naturally you need to make progress. But do it mindfully. The RAC suggests that we drive in the highest gear possible at the time (depending on road conditions and speed limits).
Meanwhile, heavy braking can also whittle away at your car’s MPG. That’s because brakes transform kinetic energy of the vehicle to heat. Which is then lost. As the car speeds up again, more fuel is required to restore the vehicle’s prior speed.
2. Maintain Momentum
Drive smoothly through the gears and generally avoid being too erratic with your driving style. Steer, accelerate and brake considerately. Remaining in gear when slowing down – and preparing to stop – ensures that minimal fuel is used in the process of braking. Primarily as doing so activates the fuel cut-off switch in fuel-injection engines.
3. Monitor Tyre Pressures
Did you know that low tyre pressure creates a significantly larger footprint on the road beneath it. Which in turns results in greater rolling resistance. Which translates to the car’s engine having to work that much harder and as a consequence more fuel is consumed.
4. Don’t Carry Unnecessary Weight
Basically, don’t drive everywhere with your roof box or roof bars always in place as the wind resistance generated will deplete your fuel supply. Simply by making it less aerodynamic, meaning your car will need to work harder again. By a similar token, it’s beneficial to empty your boot out as well. Unless you really need to transport things in it on every journey you take.
5. Give the Air-con a Breather
Likewise, forgo using the heater on every journey. Both have a negative impact on fuel reserves as both tend to borrow from the engine’s power. Top tip would be to wear warmer clothes, so you adapt your outfit for the vehicle’s temperature, without risking fuel wastage. Alternatively open the windows – on a hot day – to invite fresh air in. Yet only open them marginally, as otherwise aerodynamics is compromised and economy reduced in other ways.
6. Combine Journeys
Try to put all trips into one journey. Chiefly because a vehicle’s engine is at its most efficient when it’s warm. Whilst repeated cold starts will drain fuel that much quicker.
So there you go. Follow this guidance and you’ll notice your fuel last longer. Which should see you through the present challenging circumstances. And be a valuable lesson for the future.
Fuel for Thought. WCC Is Here to Service Your VW Audi Group Vehicle
If you do have enough petrol or diesel in your tank, and your vehicle’s in need of an MOT, servicing, diagnostics or you simply wish to have an aftermarket security or driving aid device retrofitted, then now’s the time to get in touch with WCC. As we’re here to carry out any of the above on your vehicle, whenever it’s convenient for you to book in with us.
Our trained and experienced technicians are professionals dedicated to serving the needs of our loyal customer base and new customers alike. And welcome owners of Volkswagen’s, Audi’s, Skoda’s, Seat’s, Bentley’s and Porsche’s throughout the Wirral and Cheshire to talk to us today.