How to make life difficult for yourself and others

Tips and tricks for economical driving

Saving money when refueling: One mistake costs almost every motorist money

02.02.2022 updated: 13:44

Record fuel prices make life difficult for motorists. There are tips on how to save money.

Dortmund- Fuel prices in Germany continue to rise. It’s not just the CO₂ tax that’s driving up prices, but also the crude oil market and the Corona crisis that have played their part in the horrendous increases*, some of which have led to diesel costing 1.66 euros per liter and even Super E10 now hovering around 1.70 euros. But there are tricks for saving money despite high gasoline prices.

Fuel prices extremely high: Error when starting the engine is expensive

For many, it is impossible to do without a car in everyday life. Therefore, as a small consolation, there are at least some tips from* to help save fuel. It already starts when starting the engine. Because what looks simple at first glance, some motorists do quite automatically wrong.

In order to be as economical as possible, the engine should not be switched on until the seats and mirrors have been properly adjusted and all occupants have fastened their seat belts. So at least a minimal amount of fuel can be saved, which can add up at some point after all.

Tips for saving fuel for drivers: Mistakes can tear a hole in your wallet

Then it goes straight on – as soon as the engine is running, it should go straight on. It is not necessary to let the car "warm up" first. As the German Automobile Club (ADAC) discovered in a test, "warming up" actually only has the effect of unnecessarily increasing fuel consumption and polluting the environment in car models built after the 1980s. In addition, this can also cause engine damage.

Another life hack that too many drivers still don’t follow is turning off the engine while idling. An expensive mistake! Vehicles with automatic start-stop systems are a help here, because they eliminate the need for manual intervention. But anyone who has a car that does not switch itself off at traffic lights or at a level crossing when idling should do so urgently.

According to Allianz Direct, it makes sense to turn the ignition key when the car is idling for more than 20 seconds. Because even when the vehicle is not moving, it consumes about 0.5 to 1 liter of fuel per hour.

How drivers save fuel: Correct gear changes and silent fuel guzzlers

The next tip applies to all drivers who do not drive a car with an automatic transmission. Because the way the gears are changed also affects fuel consumption. The crux here is: Shifting up the gears quickly can save fuel. At lower speed a vehicle consumes less fuel. But isn’t it harmful to the engine to shift up too quickly??

According to the ADAC, the answer is: No. Modern diesel and gasoline vehicles no longer soot when driven at low speeds, as the fuel is now atomized much more finely than was the case with older cars. The recommended maximum speed is usually 2.000 revolutions per minute.

However, what can also be a big fuel guzzler is the electronics in the car. That’s why every driver should always ask himself: Do I need air conditioning, a fan or a navigation system right now?? Because the electrical devices in the vehicle naturally all draw their energy from the vehicle electrical system, which is fed by the combustion engine.

How drivers save fuel: air conditioning off, windows open? Here is what to watch out for

But if you think it would be smarter to switch off the air conditioning and open the windows while driving, you’re not quite right. Because, as the ADAC reports, even open side windows or sunroofs can cost fuel.

They affect the airflow surrounding the vehicle and thus slow the car down. Accordingly, only at low speeds in city traffic can open windows actually provide a fuel economy advantage over air conditioning.

Fuel prices

High prices when refueling: the right tires save fuel and thus money as well

Tires also play a role in fuel consumption. It makes sense to fit energy-saving tires with optimized rolling resistance to the vehicle – this can save 0.5 liters of fuel per 100 kilometers. In addition, it is important to check tire pressure regularly. Even a minimal deviation can lead to the vehicle unnecessarily consuming more fuel than necessary.

In general, it can be said that driving style can also make a significant difference to fuel consumption. Driving with foresight and using the engine brake can lead to fuel savings here. For example, a situation at traffic lights can be cited here.

Saving fuel for drivers: Classic tip – drive with foresight and in moderation

If you don’t brake abruptly, but instead use the engine to brake slowly and let the car coast to a stop, you not only reduce the risk of an accident, but also don’t use any fuel at all during braking. Similarly, it makes sense for the environment, the risk of accidents and fuel consumption not to push maximum speeds too far.

Because the lower the engine speed of a car, the lower the fuel consumption. Means: Especially at speeds of over 100 kilometers per hour, fuel consumption continues to rise as the speed increases.

In general, it can be said that constant driving at a speed of between 100 and 130 kilometers per hour on the highway not only consumes less fuel than constantly accelerating up to higher speeds – it is also safer and usually not much slower.

High gasoline prices and other rules for drivers: changes from 2022

But for vehicle safety, there are other things motorists should urgently consider. For one thing, some rules have changed at the turn of 2022*- for example, the first-aid kit needs to be extended* by two materials.

On the other hand, drivers must always be up to date with traffic signs. In Stuttgart, a new sign* is currently confusing road users and many drivers are making a big mistake even at traffic lights with green arrows*. * and RUHR24 are part of the editorial network IPPEN.MEDIA

Column list image:© Jens Buttner/dpa

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  • Author Christina Rosenberger
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