Top 15 tips to reduce emissions when driving

Reducing fuel consumption means reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fuel costs - regardless of the car you drive.
Here are some really simple tips to help everyone drive more efficiently.



1. Drive smoothly

Aggressive driving can use as much as one-third more fuel compared to conservative driving. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard, and try to keep the steering action as smooth as possible.


2. Tune and service the engine

A well-tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to 4%. Change the oil regularly and follow the car manufacturer's recommendation on servicing.


3. Keep the tyres at the correct pressure

Correctly inflated tyres are safer and last longer, and they also reduce the amount of energy required to keep the vehicle rolling. A tyre that is under-inflated by 1 psi (pound per square inch) can reduce fuel efficiency by as much as 3%.


4. Travel light

For every extra 45 kilograms (100 pounds) carried in a vehicle, the fuel efficiency can drop by 2%, so keep the boot and rear seat clear of any unnecessary items that just add weight to the vehicle.


5. Take the roof rack off

Remove roof racks or roof bars if they are not being used to carry anything.  They reduce the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle and create drag, reducing fuel economy by as much as 5%.


6. Use the correct engine oil

Always use the recommended grade of motor oil. Using the manufacturer's recommended lubricant can improve fuel efficiency by 1% or 2%.  Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently.


7. Use higher gears

The higher the gear, the lower the engine speed. This can improve fuel efficiency, so use the highest gear appropriate,without causing the engine to labour at an ultra-low rpm. 

Automatic transmission vehicles will upshift through the gears more quickly and smoothly if the driver eases back slightly on the accelerator when the car has gathered sufficient momentum.


8. Avoid excess idling

Idling gets a vehicle nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you're in a queue, or waiting for someone, until you need to drive.


9. Avoid high speeds

The faster you travel, the more wind resistance you'll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. 

Travelling at 110km/h uses up to 25% more fuel than cruising at 90km/h. For city driving,60km/h is the most fuel efficient speed.


10. Use air conditioning sparingly

Air conditioning puts added strain on the engine and uses additional fuel when operating, so limit its use to particularly hot days. On milder days, use the fan instead of air conditioning.


11. Check the air filter

The air filter keeps impurities from damaging your engine.  Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel economy by as much as 10% while helping to protect your engine.


12. Avoid rush hour or traffic jam hotspots

If you can travel outside of peak times and avoid known areas of heavy traffic, you'll spend less time stuck in queues and slow-moving traffic, thus consuming less fuel.


13. Conserve momentum

Think ahead when driving.  For example, slowdown early to let red traffic lights change to green, rather than stopping completely.  Also, speed up a little before reaching the start of a hill and then allow the vehicle's momentum to carry the vehicle up the hill without working the engine harder.


14. Use the handbrake on slopes

Many motorists do not use the handbrake when stopped temporarily on a slope. Instead, they either partially disengage the clutch (on manual transmission vehicles), or use the accelerator (on automatic vehicles), to keep the vehicles from rolling back. Both actions use fuel unnecessarily. 


15. Keep calm... and drive efficiently!

When you are not calm, you are more likely to make judgement errors. Fuel efficiency is all about smoothness. Judgement and keeping calm is absolutely crucial to achieving fuel economy.

Source: - Thanks to John & Helen for providing some of their driving tips above.

>> Click here for more tips to reduce carbon emissions.