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1,513 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With petrol and diesel prices going up and up its best to drive as economical as u can.

Everyone knows that:
-Flooring the car and going fast uses more fuel
-Going at 80 on a distance uses more than 60
-Idling the car gives 0mpg!
-Diesels normally give better mpg than petrol (even with higher fuel costs)

But even if you do drive slow how can you improve?

Diesels work differently to petrol in the way that the throttle works. When the revs rise on a petrol there is more fuel going in higher up the revs for the same throttle posistion.
When u press the pedal on a diesel the more u push it the more fuel goes in, regardless of the revs. (But obviously more revs the more times there is injection into the cylinder therefore more fuel is used).

This means that in a petrol car u want to change gear as early as possible and that in a diesel u want to also not use the throttle as hard. Essentially tickling the throttle in both cases.

BUT these engines can get more economy if u have a basic knowledge of how they work.

Im going to have to use a (crap diagram here: (i may make a neat one and include vtec on the petrol pic!!)

On the left u have a diesel and on the right you have a petrol car.

The diesel is a normal turbo engine (like 2.2 cdti in a honda or a 1.9 VAG engine)

You may notice when driving the car you can feel power from the engine, also known as the power band. This is where the car produces its power.

When in a diesel you want to be using the turbo to get the best from the engine. In the diagram the turbo is giving power in the purple band. You dont want to drive the car without the turbo as the turbo needs to spin up. For the turbo to spin up and give power it requires exhaust gases to spin the turbo to produce boost. The period before is known as LAG. Therefore for economy you want to use the rev range where the turbo is producing boost and power.

On the diagram it shows the purple range as the turbo producing boost. For best economy tickle the throttle changing gear to keep in the rev range shown in green.

The petrol range is a non vtec normal car (as you would find if you dont rev to vtec as vtec is there for power and non-vtec is there for economy.
For the best economy you will need to find the power band in your car. in 1st or 2nd you want to use the least amount of throttle for the engine to rev to about 4000 rpm. you will notice it will appear about where the purple zone is on the diagram.

For the best economy you want:
-low revs as possible (producing power from the engine to actually push)
-tickle the throttle
-dont stress the engine by being so low in the rev range the car doesnt produce power (eg change down for up hill)

Other tips include:
-for a valley type hill speed up to the speed limit going down and you want to have lost no more than 5mph for a 40 or 10mph for 60/70 at the top on the other side.
-Dont follow close behind other vehicles. If they put their brakes on for no reason (as generally crap drivers do) you will have to as well. you can just lift off the throttle and you will find that you slow down enough not to have wasted fuel. This is good on motorways as if up ahead a car is putting their brakes on cars behind will too. It will stop the effect that causes pockets of traffic to bunch up slowing everyone down.
-Dont brake harshly. You had to use fuel to get to that speed so ur wasting that to slow down.
-Lift off the throttle on that last 1/4 coming up to junctions/roundabouts etc. It gives u time to slow down and look on the roundabout to see traffic waiting to come out. You might be able to get through without stopping, you might have to stop, but if you do you will find that you dont have to stamp the brakes and that last 1/4 1/8 of a mile you were slowing down in you got for free.
-Dont vtec. although its Wicked Y0! it uses up more fuel.
-Don't idle excessively. You dont need to warm the car up so u can vtec just drive slower for that 1st 5/10 minutes while it warms up. At railway crossings the trains take ages so you might as well turn it off.
-Travel, if you can, at less busy times of day. Leaving 10 minutes before i need to might get me there 15 minutes early but it means i dont have to rush and i can actually drive slower and use less fuel on dual carriageways. On single carriageways the average speed probably isnt 60, its more like 50. There are trucks which are limited to 56mph which slow you down.
-Be patient. If there is someone in front of you driving at less than the speed limit leave a bigger gap, they might even speed up as you arent being aggressive. Normally i tend to slow down when people tailgate me, mainly because i'm leaving a bigger gap in front of me, the other reason is that i get more chance to stop which stops them hassling me and ramming in the back of me because they have got shit, unmaintained brakes.
-Most cars on the road arent looked after as well as ours, and can break down. When stopping make sure u can pull around them. Also take signals as they have left them on and assume if they arent take it that they are going to do something. Its all about DEFENSIVE DRIVING.
Oh yer i really want to do the advanced driving course as i've probably taught myself most of the stuff in it.

Be aware for other cars. use your mirrors and look around and basically assume everyones standard of driving is really shit. assume they are going to make mistakes. I drive my yellow car with my lights on, day or night, if they dont see me then they cant have been looking can they?

Comment on this rant/helpful hints. Add more to it. I may just have stopped that new bumper you have on your car get ruined by other cars. I also might have saved you some money.

Although cars are insured it does cost money to have an accident. If its a write off they give you the money that the car is worth on the market, not how much u paid for it last year. If u start with a £10,000 2nd hand car and 1 year someone crashed into you/you crash (if u have fully comp) they will give you about £7,500 for the car, so you go out and buy another car for that much, then coincidentally you have a crash every year for about 4 years you end up going to buy a car thats worth £500. basically if someone cocks you up u need more money to get what you had back. Modifications should be told about to the insurance companies. otherwise its void.

Im going to stop ranting now lol.

1,513 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
1st 0-40
2nd 40-65
3rd 65-90
4th 90-115
5th 115-135+

full throttle changing up through the gears. i get vtec lag in 1st.... the changeover needs to be lower in 1st to like 4k then it might be good!

13 Posts
driving instructor would be a not bad job i think, lot worse jobs out there, read in the paper that they could be charging up to £32 an hour in edinburgh by the end of this year, i would do it but i ain't a good passenger!!! think i'll stick to flooring, no stress and can earn over a grand on a quiet week!!!

13 Posts
Stug- haha very good mate, never thought of that!!!

alec- funny you should say that i have been thinking of putting a red carpet throughout my car like the jdm spec ones have, got one in mind same colour , feel etc. you wouldn't know the difference when i 'm finished, watch this space!!!!! ;)
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