Fuel Shortage: The Right Reflexes to Reduce Your Fuel Consumption

As a result of the strike movement that paralyzes oil refineries, gasoline and diesel have become rare products in petrol stations. Our tips to maximize the range of your car.

There is no doubt that the fuel has made a lot of noise this year. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine earlier this year caused prices in resorts to skyrocket, it is now a strike movement that is causing the shortage in France. According to government figures, 30% of petrol stations are dry. But in some regions, the situation is more serious, particularly in North Dakota, where nearly half of the service stations are facing supply difficulties.

Add to this the price increases at petrol stations since the beginning of October (SP95-E10 petrol costs on average + 10 cents per liter, diesel +14 cents per liter), and you understand the importance of getting the most out of your tank. There are no miracle solutions, and to reduce consumption, we must drive more responsibly. A practice that has a name; eco-driving.

Maintain your car

Before you think about saving fuel, make sure your vehicle is in good condition. Poor maintenance can lead to excessive consumption due to clogged candles or filters. Also, check the condition and pressure of your tires every month. Not only is driving with underinflated tires dangerous, but increased friction on the road can also lead to a 10% increase in fuel consumption.

Empty your trunk

The lighter the car, the less it consumes. Logic. There is no need to remove the back seat or spare wheel and remember to remove any heavy or bulky items from your luggage that you do not need to carry. When returning from vacation, remove the roof box as it can affect the aerodynamics of the vehicle.

Drive smart

A good driver should be as flexible as possible. Therefore, avoid sudden accelerations and excessive revs. If your vehicle is equipped with a manual transmission, it is best to shift gears to around 2,000 rpm on a modern diesel or turbo petrol engine, as maximum torque is available at low revs. Anticipation is also an important criterion for good economic momentum. If you see a traffic light turning red in the distance, or if you approach a roundabout or stop sign, take your foot off. Not only do you use fewer brakes, but the engine doesn’t consume a drop of fuel during slowdowns because it’s only driven by wheel inertia. This is not the case when you go back to neutral.

Keep a constant speed

This is especially true on expressways. The more constant the speed, the less energy the engine needs to move forward. As it is not always easy to keep the same pressure on the accelerator pedal, manufacturers invented cruise control. If your car is equipped with it (cruise control or speed limiter), activate it to keep the same speed when traffic is fluid. Beware, however, of so-called “adaptive” regulators that tend to brake too much when approaching a car or truck to then reaccelerate.

Avoid short trips

Do you take the car to pick it up at the bakery located less than 300 meters from your home? You’re going to have to break that bad habit if you can of course. During very short trips, the engine does not have time to heat up. This “cold” use has only negative effects on your mechanics (acceleration of wear, overconsumption of fuel).

Turn off the air conditioning or close the windows

The AC works well when it’s hot in the car. But it’s energy intensive. Overconsumption of fuel is estimated at about 0.7 l/100 km, but depending on the temperature setting, this figure can climb quickly. A tip: park in the shade on hot days and open the windows when driving at low speed (less than 60 km/h). On the contrary, it is recommended to close the windows on the highway, since wind resistance increases, which can increase consumption by about 5%. Start the air conditioner at a temperature quite close to the outside temperature (within 5 degrees of difference).

Drive slower

There is no secret: the more you lift your feet, the less you consume. This is especially true on highways where fuel consumption increases exponentially. By reducing your speed from 130 km/h to 120 km/h, you have saved an average of 10% in fuel consumption. That’s huge.