Anyone who has to drive a lot at the moment will certainly start sweating when the fuel gauge shifts in the direction of the reserve. With the current fuel price trend, even the most passionate car driver is losing the fun of driving. To save fuel, you can also help a little yourself. We have tips for you on how to save fuel and tell you what the fuel discount is all about.
Protect the environment and your wallet: How can I save fuel?
Driving is getting more and more expensive. At the beginning of the year, fuel prices were raised due to increased CO2 prices, and low prices at gas stations continue to explode due to the crisis in Ukraine. You have no choice but to drive economically. But how does that work?
Fuel-efficient driving: practice makes perfect
You usually don’t learn how to actively save fuel when driving in a driving school. However, with petrol and diesel prices over two euros per liter, every little bit of fuel saved now means hard cash. Some habits you have to safely discard and consciously remember some tips – then it will work with saving!
1. Correct speed when shifting
It is best if you accelerate briskly and do not wait too long before shifting up. At a speed of approx. 2,000 rpm it is time for the next higher gear. Once you have reached the desired speed, you should keep the pace at a low speed. If the engine starts to hum or jerk, then the speed is too low and you have to shift up a gear again.
If you drive 40 km/h, you should shift into fourth gear. The higher the gear, the lower the consumption. You then drive at low speed because the speed is low. Rumors often persist that the engine could be damaged when driving at low speeds. That was the case with old engines, modern units no longer have a problem here.
2. No gas foot, please
Especially on motorways or country roads, the engine speed must be kept low. But that also means that you shouldn’t press the accelerator down. If you drive your car like it’s supposed to, you’re going to use a lot of gas. When driving at top speed you are in top gear, if you can no longer shift up, fuel consumption will increase as speed increases.
The optimum speed is between 100 and 130 km/h. If you keep this pace constant, you will use the least. Constant braking and starting again increase consumption unnecessarily – because that usually doesn’t get you to your destination faster.
3. Driving with foresight helps
If you only brake at the last moment, you’ll have to step on the gas again later – that consumes quite a lot of fuel and is also unnecessary. Drive with foresight, use the effect of the engine brake. For example, if you see the end of a traffic jam in the distance, the downshift and the braking effect of the engine will automatically slow down the vehicle. Coasting doesn’t use any fuel, so ease off the gas early and save yourself the braking if you don’t have to.
4. Short distances without a car
It is well known that short journeys are bad for a car in the long term for various reasons. However, short distances are very suboptimal, especially in terms of fuel consumption. When the engine is cold, most fuel is used. If you only drive short distances, the engine will never reach the optimum operating temperature, which means that consumption is constantly too high.
If possible, it is better to cycle or walk for short distances.
Observe vehicle condition and loading
The water tank from the last purchase has not yet carried itself out of the trunk into the basement? It doesn’t matter, it looks good in the car – but every unnecessary kilo is bad for fuel consumption. Even if the car is technically not working properly, this can contribute to increased fuel consumption. So it’s worth paying attention to.
5. No unnecessary transport
If you don’t want to go on vacation shortly, then you should remove the attached roof rack, rear bicycle rack, or other attachments. The aerodynamics are significantly worse, which causes the fuel consumption to skyrocket. You can say that consumption increases by 0.3 liters per 100 kilometers for every 100 kilograms of weight – that’s quite a lot.
That’s why you also remove everything that flies around unnecessarily in the interior. Because as the saying goes: Small stuff makes a mess.
6. Check tire pressure
Correct tire pressure is very important for saving fuel. If the pressure is too low, rolling resistance will increase. The tire deforms and additional heat, i.e. energy, is generated, but this is lost. This also increases consumption, and optimum tire pressure also contributes to safety. Therefore, check the pressure regularly and stick to the recommended amount of pressure.
7. Maintenance pays off
Anyone who regularly drives to the inspection not only has a safe car, but also one that does not consume too much fuel. If, for example, the oil was changed a long time ago, the engine’s performance will drop and consumption will then increase. A dirty air filter or broken spark plugs also contribute to the fact that more fuel is consumed than is necessary.
8. Take tire changes seriously
Changing tires is not the nicest job for most people. Garages are usually full and changing tires there also costs money. But don’t wait too long, especially when changing from winter to summer tires. At higher temperatures, winter tires quickly become too soft, the handling becomes spongy and fuel consumption increases as a result. The rule of thumb is from O to O, i.e. from October to Easter winter tires should remain on, after that summer tires are the better choice.
Luxury costs fuel
Don’t freeze in the car in winter and don’t sweat in summer – up to now that was the norm, now it could become a luxury. Especially when fuel prices are high, every consumer who is not necessary is worth hard cash. Even a running engine is neither good for the environment nor your wallet.
9. Switch off unnecessary consumers
Unnecessary consumers are all the electrical devices that can be switched off without jeopardizing safety. These are mainly air conditioning and auxiliary heating. Of course, you need a pleasant climate inside, especially on long journeys, but limit the duration of use to a minimum. If you drive with the window open instead of air conditioning, you only save something if you are in city traffic. On the motorway, an open window is usually just as bad as using the air conditioning due to the driving resistance.
However, you should never do without lighting, window heating, or windscreen wipers, these consumers are safety-relevant.
10. Turn off the engine
Turning off the engine is not always useful, but turning off the engine is more economical, especially if the idle time is longer than 20 seconds. This procedure is even prescribed at level crossings. Modern cars are equipped with a start-stop system and do it all by themselves. If you don’t have that, you can simply turn the key yourself if longer downtimes are foreseen.
Because even when stationary, the running engine consumes fuel and emits CO2.
Leaving the car at home saves the most
In general, it’s always better to leave the car at home altogether and, if possible, use public transport, get on a bike or just go for a walk. You are doing something good for your health, your wallet, and the environment.
If nothing works without a car, then it is always better if you form carpools and not everyone drives individually. Especially if your work colleagues live near you, it would be a good idea to take turns weekly and only use one car.
And those who can organize their working hours relatively freely would do well to avoid rush hour times. Because you not only lose time but also consume a lot of unnecessary fuel by constantly starting and braking again.
When is the tank discount coming?
With fuel prices above 2 euros per liter, politicians can no longer remain inactive. That is why Finance Minister Lindner announced that there will be a so-called tank discount to relieve motorists. The price per liter should fall below 2 euros, the fuel discount should be deducted at the petrol station checkout. The gas station attendant can then submit the receipt to the tax office and get the money back. At the moment there is talk of savings of around 20 cents per liter of fuel.
The exact amount of the discount will be decided by March 18th. The relief should then be implemented immediately.