Fuel saving tips: Drivers can use a smart engine warm-up hack to save fuel
Ahead of autumn and winter, UK drivers are likely to do everything in their power to save money on petrol and diesel. As the colder months approach, motorists can expect to pay 165.77p per liter of unleaded and 190.23p per liter of diesel on average.
With that in mind, Tom Hixon, Instructor Support Manager at the Bill Plant Driving School, shared a little-known engine warm-up tip with drivers.
The hack is not letting the car warm up before driving. Instead, drivers should begin driving immediately and later use expelled engine heat to help power the heater.
The hack could be very useful for drivers, especially when temperatures start to drop.
Mr Hixon told Express.co.uk: “While the advice may wobble, it may be wise not to let your car’s engine warm up for any considerable amount of time.
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Dorry Potter, car and scrap expert for National Scrap Car, told Express.co.uk it’s “much better” to fuel the car when refueling.
She said: “Although affordability is a huge issue for motorists at the moment, forcing many to top up £10 or £20 here and there as and when they can afford it, it is in much better to refuel your car when you are refueling.
“When you only refill your fuel with a small amount each time oil deposits and poor quality substances that sink to the bottom of the fuel tank are pumped around the vehicle for an extended period of time.
“This can damage the fuel filter, which can lead to fuel pump overheating and engine clogging.
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“The latter can be very dangerous as it could cause the engine to cut out at higher speeds, which could lead to a fatal accident.
‘At best this will result in a hefty repair bill for motorists, as new fuel pumps start at around £200 minus labour, and this can vary from car to car.’
Ms Potter added that while having a lighter load is legitimate advice for improving fuel efficiency, the benefits of having a full tank outweigh the difference the weight will make on fuel consumption.
She continued: “Of course there is the added risk of breaking down when you run out of fuel, which is riskier if you only add small amounts each time.
“For an unleaded vehicle this would simply require refueling, but for a diesel engine this could lead to your fuel pump sending air into your fuel system instead of gasoline.
“If this happens, your vehicle will stop and not restart until the air is pushed out – this process is called purging, similar to a radiator at home, and although motorists may find means to do it themselves, it’s probably a job for a mechanic, which means even more costs.
Motorists can also save hundreds of pounds a year by avoiding premium fuels, especially for standard cars.
Retailers often claim that premium fuel provides performance and economy benefits and may even protect the engine.
In reality, unless a motorist is driving a performance vehicle, they are unlikely to see much improvement.