How to Save Fuel and Reduce Running Costs by country


									April 15, 2002

The driver as a fuel-economy factor

How to Save Fuel and Reduce Running Costs

Ten practical hints on how to drive more efficiently and protect the environment

Rüsselsheim. Modern automobile technology has made great strides in reducing fuel
consumption and CO2 emissions, but handling the car correctly is also one of the biggest
and often insufficiently explored factors in saving fuel. Martin Holzhofer, who is responsible
for the Eco model program at Opel’s International Technical Development Center (ITDC),
is convinced of this: “Everyone who puts even a few of these important hints into practice
will reap the benefit in hard cash next time the car is filled up. For example, useful tips for
this purpose can be found in every Opel vehicle’s user manual.” By making sure that their
cars are well looked after and by adopting a suitable driving style, it’s easy for each and
every driver to personally squeeze the greatest mileage out of every drop of gasoline.

As far as the car itself is concerned, an efficient driveline is essential, and this calls for
regular routine maintenance. The car’s rolling resistance must not be allowed to increase,
which means that it is also important to check the tire pressure because low tire pressure
causes increased rolling resistance and thus costs more money in two areas: for fuel and
due to increased tire wear. Those who are determined to get the maximum fuel economy
may choose to pump the tires up to one or two tenths of a decimal point above the
specified pressure in bar. Another useful tip is not to carry too much unnecessary ballast
around with you in the car’s trunk or load area. A 100 kilogram load can result in increased
fuel consumption of up to 0.5 liters per 100 kilometers in city traffic. For further fuel-saving
success, don’t leave the roof rack in position when you don’t need it – everything that
worsens the car’s aerodynamics also causes it to consume more fuel.

Adam Opel AG                            A member company of the GM Group
D-65423 Rüsselsheim

Turning off electrical accessories such as air conditioning, rear window de-fogger or
additional lights when not in use also results in fuel economy because these services
increase fuel requirements.

While on the move, the golden rule is to look well ahead and maintain steady speeds.
Unnecessary accelerating and braking not only cost fuel but fray the nerves as well.
Accelerate briskly but not aggressively: it’s actually better to press the accelerator pedal
down farther in a higher gear than to run the engine up to high revs. Shift up to top gear as
soon as you can. One can often drive in fifth gear from 50 km/h. it is generally advisable to
remain at t a low rate of revolutions per minute (between 2000 and 3000 rpm) whenever
possible. Shift to the top gear as son as you have reached the desired speed. Using only
75 percent of the vehicle’s top speed is also economical. It results in fuel savings of up to
50 percent with only a negligible loss of time.

When the cold season of the year comes around, don’t warm the engine up with the car at
a standstill. Instead, drive off immediately after starting the engine and let it warm up to
operating temperature while driving within a medium rpm range. Switch off the engine for
stops of one minute or longer. The engine burns fuel even while idling. The automatic fuel
intake shutdown while coasting, while driving down a hill or while braking, provides another
means of saving fuel. Therefore don’t step on the accelerator while coasting and don’t take
the vehicle out of gear, instead make use of this opportunity to save fuel.

Use of the “sports” option and unnecessary manual shifting lead to increased fuel
consumption in vehicles with automatic transmissions. The engine is operating in an
economical way in the “D” gear, which can almost always be used. Gentle, even pressure
on the accelerator pedal causes the transmission to shift earlier to an energy saving gear.

Ten Ways to Save Fuel

1. Don’t warm the engine up with the car at a standstill, instead drive off right away.
2. Drive at steady speeds, looking well ahead and use fifth gear (or the car’s top gear) for
   all regular driving.
3. Don’t step on the gas pedal while coasting and remain in gear. Switch off the engine if
   you have to wait for a long time.
4. Accelerate briskly and shift up early.
5. Use only 75 percent of the vehicle’s top speed.
6. Avoid full acceleration and kickdown with automatic and automated manual
   transmissions and apply pressure to the accelerator pedal in a restrained manner.
7. Check tire pressure regularly.
8. Take off the roof rack when not in use.
9. Remove unwanted objects from the car. Shut down unneeded electricity consumers
   when not needed.
10. Service the vehicle regularly.

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