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Friday, September 23, 2005

Energy Saving Tips for Eco Warriors

Listening to a contributor to yesterday morning’s broadcast on Limerick 95fm on saving and conserving energy prompts me to give my slant on the same subject as it relates to Driving.
There are many ways to conserve energy and save money when Driving. We are primarily concerned with getting a better fuel consumption from each tankful.

(1) Let’s start with my favourite subject…Tyres. Under inflated Tyres enjoy a greater friction with the road leading to greater gas usage for each kilometre travelled. As well as this they wear out much more rapidly, give a rougher ride, particularly on Irish rural roads. Over inflated tyres also wear out rapidly and unevenly leading to more frequent replacement. Good for the tyre shop but not for you! Oh yes a soft tyre will pick up foreign bodies much more easily, leading to further replacement and expense.
(2) An untrained Right Foot is a leading cause of excessive expenditure during all driving activity. Accelerating too hard, braking too hard, and driving too fast in general all contribute to excessive fuel usage and the corresponding increase in noxious emissions.
(3) The speed for optimum fuel consumption has been recognised over the years to be 55mph or approximately 90kph. As you increase your speed above this level your fuel consumption increases dramatically.
(4) A poorly tuned engine will also use an excessive amount of fuel so the money spent on proper professional servicing will repay you in the end although at the time it may seem expensive.
(5) Open windows and sun roofs contribute to drag and an increase in fuel consumption but clearly you can’t drive safely if you are about to expire from heat exhaustion. Thankfully not something we experience too often here in Ireland.
(6) Carrying piles of rubbish in either the cab or the boot of your car will increase your fuel consumption steadily over time so give your boot a make over every so often and clear it out of all but the essentials.
(7) One more point about tyres. If you are carrying extra passengers and luggage, even for a short journey you should increase the tyre pressures. This will give a smoother, safer ride for all concerned and avoid excessive tyre wear. This latter point is particularly relevant if you are planning on rural driving since you will have to deal with an especially Irish phenomenon, that of potholes. Sometimes these are as big as a garden pond and will damage your underside easily, not to mention the ecological impact of disturbing the resident fish, frogs and other amphibians.
(8) Since we seem to be constantly exposed throughout the country to major road works, which is an admirable activity from a safety perspective, you should always switch off your engine if there is going to be more than a minor delay. Sitting for several minutes with the engine running wastes a lot of fuel and puts more greenhouse gas into the atmosphere than need be.

We will continue tomorrow with our mini series on Driving Test Preparation.

P.S. Thank you to the two bloggers who contributed comments yesterday.

(1)We have been experimenting with Wordpress for a couple of weeks now and will eventually transfer all our content to the ”MotorVating” Blog. For those who should have gone to Specsavers!

(2) Driving in the United States is very different to Ireland or U.K. Non use of handbrake in the situations described yesterday leads to excessive clutch wear, excessive brake wear and on a Driving Test will be penalised in certain circumstances. The fact that one can get away with certain techniques when driving doesn’t make them safe, economic or ecologically friendly.

Astral Driving School Limerick.

Astral Driving School Blog …. “Arrive Alive”…

Astral Wordpress Blog……… ”Motorvating”


Blogger Clifford said...

Found a lot of useful info on your site about test preparation - thank you. Haven't finished reading it yet but have bookmarked it so I don't lose it. I've just started a test preparation blog myself if you'd like to stop by

07 October, 2005 11:04  

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