3 false myths that will not help you to save on fuel this holiday

With the summer holiday season. And with the holidays comes the time to go on a trip, often in the car, at which time any fuel savings that we get will always be well received for reducing the bill, which in these times is always received well. But do you really know what techniques are the ones that will help you more to save? To what extent these techniques are helping you to really save fuel? I have here 3 false myths that don’t make you save fuel, these holiday, but rather the opposite.

1. Use higher gears are not always a saving of fuel.

Generalizing is never good. And the generalization that using a long march, circulate it with the needle of the rev counter to a minimum, it is always the most appropriate solution to save fuel is a mistake. If we want to master the art of saving fuel is important to seek a regime of revolutions suitable, and optimal, and the system optimum is usually found to a regime under, in which the car can move freely and the motor requires the minimum of fuel to cover the effort. Probably the regime be a more suitable one in which to tread on the accelerator in your car does not have problems to gain speed without dropping a gear. Everything else will lead to unnecessary stress on the engine. And that is if your car takes to react, or the gear position requires that we hold the right pedal to fund for a long time to gain speed, it is likely that we are forcing in excess of our car and that, in short, the result is contrary to our goal.

Remember that in a car heavily loaded, or in sections with slopes rising, it will cost us more to keep the engine of our car to a regime under without incurring in the error of having engaged a gear too long for you to get the expected fuel savings. Do not listen to, without question, to those who advise a regime of revolutions determined, because this depends on many factors, from the gear ratios of the car, and the nature of its engine, until the load of the vehicle.

last year I already gave a more detailed explanation of this myth in the article about the not-so-magical saving use the highest gear.


2. To open windows is not always a saving with regard to use the air conditioning.

Yes, air conditioning consumes fuel. The problem is in finding a balance between a solution relatively comfortable for the passengers, avoid these to pass too much heat, especially in these days of summer, and that this solution leads to the minimum fuel consumption.

The air conditioning is composed of a series of systems, such as the compressor, which demand an energy consumption. And that energy consumption is achieved at the expense of the performance of the engine, and therefore require additional fuel consumption. The big problem is that download windows, and especially at speeds of dual carriageway and motorway, also implies an extra effort for our car, while its effect on the aerodynamics leads to a higher consumption. It is preferable to use the air conditioner only when necessary, to take full advantage of the recirculation of air on very hot days (to take advantage of as far as possible the fresh air of the passenger compartment), travel with adequate clothing, or even open the windows and doors of the car a few minutes before starting our trip, especially if the car has been parked in the sun.

On this topic as we delve in the past year in the following article: the eternal debate, to open windows or use the air conditioning, what consumes the most?


3. The eternal debate on the point of dead on the downhills.

Another controversial topic where there is the advantage of the dead spot on the slopes descending. At the time desengranamos a march, and the transmission is disconnected from the engine of our car so that the movement is not transmitted to the primary shaft of the engine, our car necessarily will require to consume fuel to keep the engine running. If we release the throttle, in gear, and leave “llanear” to our car, the fuel consumption during that time will be null and void, in that the inertia will be more than enough to keep the engine running.

The problem, and therefore the aspect that most questions generated, is that with a gear engaged, the retention of the engine and the losses due to drag will limit the ability of our car to gain speed, or to keep it. That means that pending very mild will not be sufficient for our car to maintain speed when you release the throttle. Hence, in certain circumstances, disengaging a gear and stay in neutral yes be an optimal solution to maintain the speed, consuming fuel, but the minimum possible to keep our pace. In any case, this practice is not recommended for drivers who are not very familiar with it, and can even be dangerous, because a deadlock of our car will not have the engine braking to decelerate safely in a very steep slope.

What doesn’t make sense, in any case, is to descend a very steep slope in neutral if you to maintain a speed that is safe and legal we have to use the brake. In that situation, not only will you be consuming fuel, but in addition we will be increasing risks and creating unnecessary stress on the brakes.