A well-informed motorist with a well-maintained vehicle results in greener motoring. It is a win-win proposition because ultimately greener motoring helps save the environment with reduced vehicle emissions, and also helps save money with reduced fuel consumption. Here are Bridgestone’s official tips for greener, more fuel efficient motoring:
Plan your journey ahead of time
A well-planned journey will allow you to get to your destination quickly and easily, avoiding. Using smart phone apps will also help you get around as it provides the best routes in avoiding traffic, especially since 10 minutes of unnecessary driving in a 1-hour trip results in a 14% reduction in fuel efficiency.
Check tire pressure at least once a month
Maintaining proper tire pressure at all times minimizes rolling resistance and optimizes grip, thereby increasing fuel efficiency and road safety. Vehicles with under-inflated tires loses 4% of its fuel efficiency in suburban roads.
Reduce loads and avoid the need for roof racks
Extra and unnecessary weight increases a vehicle’s fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Avoid using your vehicle as a permanent storage place for items and use roof racks only when absolutely needed since the added wind resistance can increase fuel consumption by 20%.
Don’t warm up your engine before starting off
Modern cars only need to be warmed up in extremely cold conditions, otherwise there is no real need. Nineteen percent of a vehicle’s fuel consumption occurs while stationary, an engine’s stationary time lessens its emissions and fuel consumption.
Use air conditioning intelligently
Even in tropical countries, setting the A/C on full blast at all times is an inefficient way to stay cool. Adjust the A/C settings accordingly to avoid sudden increase of fuel consumption.
Accelerate gently and keep your speed constant
Gentle driving uses less fuel, is safer, and will allow you and your passengers to reach your destination more comfortably. It is also recommended to use the highest gears possible at any given situation. And remember that tailgating causes unnecessary acceleration and deceleration which can cause a 6% drop in a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Use engine braking
Releasing the accelerator, as opposed to sudden braking, stops the feeding of fuel to the engine and increases overall fuel economy.
Don’t idle your engine
Idling for more than a minute uses more fuel than is needed to restart the engine, and 10 minutes of idling, even with the A/C off, wastes 1/10 of a litre of fuel.
Offset your CO2 emissions
CO2 production as a result of transportation is often unavoidable, but everyone can still pro-actively counter CO2 production through offsetting. There are official organizations that companies and individuals can contribute to for measured carbon offsetting, but even the act of individual tree planting and organized reforestation drives do help.
DRIVING FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
We’re all for more efforts to promote and preserve the environment. Like weekend marathons for the environment or maybe seasonal tree-planting drives. Now, we’d like to add one more, one that can be done daily and can give an immediate and lasting positive effect. Let’s call it driving for the environment.
The great thing about driving for the environment is that it’s simultaneously eco and wallet friendly. And the surprising thing about it is that it’s no different from smart and safe driving. Sometimes, very effective solutions to preserve the environment is simply a matter of re-introducing practices that we may have set aside over time. Smart driving at its core significantly improves any vehicle’s fuel consumption and as a result reduces its emissions. So, here it is, Bridgestone’s quick list of smart driving practices that every driver can use to effectively reduce their impact on the environment on a daily basis.
Before anything else, make sure you’re in a comfortable driving position so you can access the pedals easily. Your heel should be very close to the gas pedal and your leg should be slightly bent at the knee when you fully depress the brake pedal.
Did you know, according to the Japan Automobile Federation, a car consumes the most fuel not while moving, not even while braking, but while doing a standing start? It’s really quite surprising that 38% of all fuel consumption occurs at a standing start. The trick is, when you start your car and you release your foot from the brake pedal, take a breath before you slowly step on the gas. It’s really simple, and if you purposely speed up to 20km/h in nothing less than 5 seconds, you’ll get an 11% increase in fuel economy. This alone greatly reduces your vehicle’s emissions already, but we have a few more tricks to share.
Speed-up Smoothly and Cruise with Control
Let’s discuss acceleration. The rule is, accelerate smoothly to a comfortable cruising speed and keep it there as long as possible. You have to constantly assess the road ahead to anticipate any changes in speed you may have to take. Avoid abrupt speed changes as much as possible. So if there’s a hill ahead, begin speeding up smoothly in advance.
On expressways, you achieve good fuel efficiency not because you can drive fast but because you can drive at a steady speed without much accelerating and braking. To illustrate: a vehicle with a maintained cursing speed of 90km/h averages 23.4km per liter; the same vehicle will only average 15.6km per liter if its speed changed from 85 to 90 to 95km/h repeatedly. That’s a 33% drop in fuel economy and a highly unnecessary increase in emissions.
Let Your Engine Slow You Down
Finally, last but not least on our list is braking. You’d think any kind of slowing down would help save a vehicle some fuel, but not all braking is good braking. First of all, avoid abrupt braking by keeping an eye on what’s happening on the road ahead. Given that, there’s a way to brake properly and fuel efficiently. Simply put, fuel efficient braking is using engine braking. This is how it’s done: begin slowing down not by shifting to neutral or stepping on the brakes but by first releasing the gas pedal early. Doing this cuts off all fuel consumption (as opposed to shifting to neutral which consumes fuel) and it enables your engine to further slow itself down before you apply the brakes. By using engine braking, you lengthen the time that fuel consumption is at zero, saving you fuel and, again, reducing emissions.
There we have it, Bridgestone’s smart driving practices for fuel efficiency and a greener world. Drive smart, everyone.
Sponsored by Bridgestone