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Vehicle Fuel Economy

Tuesday, 22 March 2022 at 14:00

Rising fuel costs are forcing businesses to look for alternative options to reduce their costs, especially businesses that run a fleet of vehicles.

Read more below about fuel economy, filling up your tank and how to reduce costs by driving clever to conserve fuel.

Filling up your tank

Each time you visit the petrol station, does filling your tank actually improve fuel economy?

If you fill up your tank with fuel to the maximum on each visit to the forecourt, this obviously means you’ll have to make less visits, resulting in less miles driven. If drivers were to fill up every time the result will be fewer miles driven because they’re making fewer trips meaning businesses could save money.

Fuel tank condensation

When the temperature of the air is different to the temperature in the fuel tank, this is when fuel tank condensation occurs. When condensation forms it sometimes enters the fuel pipes. When this happens, it can often cause a reduction in fuel efficiency and also problems with a vehicle's performance. This problem usually only occurs with older models of vehicles, as newer fuel tanks are better & fully sealed. An advantage of keeping a fuel tank full is that there is much less space for condensation to form.

The weight of a full tank

When a fuel tank is full it will obviously weigh more, meaning when driving a car or van the fuel economy will be reduced. The fuel in a full tank weighs approximately 5% of the total weight of a car or van, therefore if you only fill the tank halfway it weighs around 2.5%. This is unlikely to make much difference to the vehicle fuel economy.

Is it more economical to put a full tank or half a tank of fuel in your van or car?

To save cost and ensure you are getting the best fuel economy is to fill the tank when you visit the petrol station. It means less trips, less mileage, and less time. As it says above, the difference in weight that the fuel makes on the vehicle is very minor, therefore it is better to save time and mileage by filling up each time.  

Below are a few tips that should help you to improve your fuel economy

  • Tyre pressure – If your tyres are underinflated tyres this has a big impact on fuel economy.
  • Weight – Remove any items such as tools, equipment, to reduce any unnecessary weight for your journey
  • Aircon & Electrics – Try to use air conditioning sparingly and also reduce the use of things like heated windscreens as much as possible.
  • Sudden acceleration and sharp braking should be kept to a minimum. Try to accelerate gently, brake and change gear early when possible.
  • An idling vehicle uses unnecessary fuel, if possible and use stop/start technology and if your sat waiting for a long period of time in traffic, turn off your engine.
  • Avoiding coming to a complete stop will actually help save fuel
  • Top up oil, water coolant and other fluids and ensure vehicles are regularly maintained.




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