Does driving economically affect car parts? Our Car Repairs Northampton team advise…
When purchasing a car, many people now consider the fuel efficiency and how many miles per gallon of petrol or diesel the car could potentially run at. These same people, as well as many others, will have some knowledge about how to drive economically, which can make fuel last as much as 15% longer.
Those with a very keen eye will know that driving at 80mph uses 25% more fuel than at 70mph, driving at 70mph uses 9% more fuel than at 60mph and driving at 60mph uses 15% more fuel than at 50mph. That’s a lot more fuel between 50mph and 80mph. This means more miles for your money, so it pays to treat your engine kinder. It’s also better for your car parts and our car repairs Northampton team will tell you why…
The three universally accepted ways of driving economically are:
Have a car servicing regularly to maintain engine efficiency.
Use the right specification of engine oil.
Check tyre pressure to avoid rolling resistance.
After these three methods, there are dozens of other ways of driving economically, but for this purpose, we will take the accepted notion that driving economically means driving at comfortable speeds, accelerating and decelerating gently and changing gear carefully.
Driving at high speeds is not bad for your car, however hard acceleration on a cold engine can be. High RPMs on a cold engine will stress your car parts. It is a common mistake that sitting and idling the engine for a few minutes will warm the engine up, this is not necessarily true; it also wastes fuel. Driving the car below 3000rpm will warm the engine up and allow the combustion process to reach maximum efficiency within minutes. Basically, don’t drive off too quickly!
Whilst driving at high speeds is not bad for car parts, hard braking is. Hard braking is far more likely to occur during high speeds, as at lower speeds the driver is in more control of braking distances.
Driving short distances is surprisingly bad for your car parts. If the engine does not have a chance to warm up properly, the combustion process never reaches proper efficiency, which is damaging to various components. In theory, an older car with low mileage will be better looked after, however if this is the result of infrequent and short trips, the engine could be very damaged. Many car manuals suggest one third of trips to be city drives (stop-and-go over short distances) and two thirds to be motorway (consistent higher speeds and engine exercise).
Driving economically means you are less likely to excess the red line on the rev counter. While it may sound nice to rev the engine nice and loudly, what this is actually doing is pushing the engine to its upper limits, which may cause imbalances or parts failures. Driving at a medium RPM keeps the engine happy and comfortable.
Driving economically may also protect car parts in another way, related to revving. Often over-revving occurs when the car is in a low gear and is attempted to be driven at a fast speed, more often than not when coming down the gears too quickly. Alternatively, driving at a low speed and selecting a high gear is likely to strain the engine around the crank, as it can’t generate enough power. Many people are surprised to know that high mileage is less damaging to the engine than moving up and down through the transmission unnecessarily.
So there you have it, our car repairs Northampton team’s guide to economical driving.
Be safe out there!