Switch On The Air Conditioning To Save Fuel

Kiwk Fit

Kiwk Fit

In light of the possible forthcoming fuel strikes research from Kwik Fit reveals that motorists are wasting almost £1 billion a year on excess fuel by driving with under-inflated tyres.

In its nationwide survey of 2,700 cars it shows that over two thirds (69%) of cars in the UK are being driven on tyres that are at least 3psi under the manufacturer’s recommendation.

And with the warm weather we are currently enjoying according to Kwik Fit’s research 9.7 million drivers are unwittingly increasing their consumption by turning off their air conditioning and opening a window instead.  But this is a false economy as the drag created by the open window can significantly affect their car’s aerodynamics and therefore fuel consumption.

In warm weather an open window may be a better option for fuel saving motorists in stop-start traffic but once moving freely Kwik Fit advises drivers to turn on the air conditioning.  New analysis of the latest traffic data for Kwik Fit reveals that with just an average 5% drop in fuel efficiency, on a single warm day, drivers opting for a ‘windows down’ approach could be increasing the nation’s fuel bill by over £650,000 a day.

Roger Griggs, communications director at Kwik Fit, says: “Rather than panic-buying excess fuel, motorists could consider finding ways to improve their fuel efficiency. This can be achieved by making relatively simple adjustments motorists can drive further on one tank and shouldn’t really need to store extra fuel in jerrycans.

“Soaring fuel prices have already increased the pressure on motorists to squeeze every last mile out of their tank but the threat of shortages has upped the ante even further.  But there are several measures motorists can take to make what fuel they’ve got last longer such as checking tyre pressures and using the air conditioning at speeds over 40 mph.  Motorists should also consider using fuel additives such as BG44K, which can improve fuel economy.”

“With research showing that many petrol station tyre gauges are inaccurate, motorists may well feel safer coming to Kwik Fit where their tyre pressure can be checked for free using calibrated pressure gauges by a tyre expert.

“Car owners should make sure their air con system is working effectively, and like other parts of the car, this means giving it a regular service to get the best from it.  Gas naturally leaks from the system and they need to be re-charged every two years.”

Kwik Fit offers an air-conditioning gas recharge service at centres nationwide for just £49, and if the lowest air vent temperature hasn’t been lowered by 10% there’s no charge.

29 March 2012 Staff

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