With simple tips, visiting the gas station will be rarer (Photo: ThinkStock)
Factories spend billions of dollars annually to develop increasingly economical cars and engines. But there are simple things that help you visit the gas station less and, moreover, make your car last longer.
The attitudes of making a vehicle run as much as possible with what it has in the tank even got its name: hypermiling, or "ultra-mileage", in a rough translation.
This trend has increased with increased environmental concern from drivers as well as the popularization of electric cars. Although the batteries are evolving, the generally shorter autonomy of this type of model favors attitudes that avoid wasting energy.
And if you're from the heavy right foot class, you don't have to close the story. After all, saving fuel is not just about slowing down a little. In fact, sometimes you may even be faster than other drivers. See the top tips for saving more below:
Do not drive looking at the hood
Look ahead and get ahead of traffic (Photo: Playback)
This tip goes beyond economics and also includes safety. By looking ahead to where the car is going, you can avoid accidents or notice in advance that a vehicle in its lane has stopped or the traffic light has just closed.
This will give you time to choose a free lane or slow down gradually, reducing the time you will be standing at the traffic lights and, breaking, reducing the risk of robberies.
Neutral, only for the computer
First national hybrid, the EQ Boost shuts down the engine at high speeds (Photo: Press Release)
Many modern models feature coasting when the gearshift uncouples from the engine to harness the kinetic energy of the car. In the case of the Mercedes C200 EQ Boost partial hybrid, the engine even shuts down in this situation.
Now, unless your car is one of those models, never shift the gearbox into neutral or any other situation. All modern cars use electronic injection, which cuts off fuel delivery to the engine when the throttle is released.
No fear of getting your hands dirty: calibrated tire is a guarantee of economy (Photo: Shutterstock)
A Pirelli survey revealed that, on average, 80% of cars run around with tires out of calibration. In addition to the impact on dynamics (with worse comfort, noise and even braking), running below the minimum pressure indicated by the manufacturer increases fuel consumption.
A 20% difference in calibration can increase fuel consumption by more than 10%. It may seem small, but the difference accumulated over a year may be enough to buy a new tire. In fact, using the right pressure also increases tire durability.
Pressure warning or monitoring systems help the driver to avoid this, but they only do their job if they are properly adjusted. And it never hurts to reinforce: Calibration should only be done with cold tires as soon as you leave with the car.
Air conditioning or open glass?
If the air conditioner is automatic, prefer to adjust the temperature between 22ºC and 24ºC (Photo: Oswaldo Palermo / Autoesporte)
Having a refrigerated cabin will always mean higher fuel costs (and slightly worse performance on low power models). But there is a situation where turning on the air conditioner may be more efficient.
This is specifically true for travel where you will be running at 100 km / h or more steadily. At high speeds opening the windows causes the car's aerodynamic resistance to worsen dramatically, making it more efficient to use air conditioning.
And, if your model has automatic temperature control, try to select a value between 22ºC and 24ºC and activate the "Auto" mode. This will cause the equipment to adjust as the cabin cools and can improve fuel consumption by reducing the demand on the air conditioning compressor.
Trunk, not closet
Trunk full, only if traveling (Photo: Press Release)
Every gram the vehicle carries results in more fuel spent and less performance. So there is no use buying a model designed to be as light as possible, but leave a lot of junk in the trunk or cabin.
Just keep the essentials in your car and remember: Empty cars are synonymous with full pockets. In addition to spending less, components like brakes, tires and suspension will last longer.
Do not heat the head (and neither the engine)
Older people will certainly remember the routine of starting the car before breakfast so that the engine is already at the right temperature when you leave.
Besides being unnecessary and wasting a precious fuel, this attitude is dangerous. Many garages do not have adequate ventilation and the accumulation of carbon monoxide produced by the car can be fatal.
So at the beginning of the day, don't be afraid to get out of the car right after departure. It is worth just accelerating in moderation and avoiding high revs until the engine reaches the ideal working temperature – something that does not take more than ten minutes on new models.
Optimize your route
Changing the path can result in significant fuel savings (Photo: Disclosure)
Usually apps like Google Maps or Waze seek to indicate the fastest path between the two points. But that does not mean that the route is the most energy efficient.
An expressway without traffic lights, for example, saves more fuel than an avenue with many intersections, with inevitable stops.
For those who count every milliliter of fuel spent, even topography counts. It may be worth taking a longer path than climbing a large slope, for example. Not to mention the time: Avoiding early and late traffic will reduce the time stuck in traffic jams and, of course, the wasted fuel on the go.
No savings in the workshop
Changing the oil periodically ensures the health of the engine and your wallet (Photo: Reproduction)
That extra expense in getting the car repaired will ensure constant savings. Changing the oil at the right time and always replacing the air, oil and fuel filters will allow the engine to always run at the factory's maximum efficiency.
There is no point in appealing to miraculous products sold on the internet that promise exponential reductions in consumption. In addition to never delivering what they promised, they can instead even worsen the efficiency of the engine.
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