Car economy questions

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Peggy Sue
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Car economy questions

Post: #94411 Peggy Sue
Mon Apr 07, 2008 12:18 pm

Does anyone know if having your tracking and balancing done really make any difference to the fuel consumption.

I ahd mine done about a month ago because the wheel was shaking badly.
It seems to be back to square one and I doubt I've done more than about 100 miles. I have (for a change) been really carefull over speedbumps, even driving round the long way to avoid them, and with pot holes of which there are loads round here but having spent £30 I'm not sure I saved even £30?

I would be curious to know what really does make a difference with fuel consumption, I realise speed, acceleration, tyre inflation, aircon are the obvious ones, but what about choosing a route- do I use less fuel going on a motorway for 120 miles or cutting cross country though towns, villages and millions of small roads for 80 miles when I visit my Dad (no trains there!). And if aircon makes a difference does the radio/CD?

Plenty of daft fodder here!
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Post: #94436 Smooth Hound
Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:33 pm

tyre presures, drive at 55/60 on the motorway, did you have new front tyres when having the tracking done?
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Post: #94446 Peggy Sue
Mon Apr 07, 2008 1:57 pm

No I didn't have new tyres, but they are in pretty good nick, not that old- if you need new tyres to save on your fuel consumption then that IS a long payback :cry:

In my twenties I drove at 90+, in my 30s I decided my licience was valuable so I stuck to 80-90, by the time I was 40 I was 70-80mph, now I'm just fine 60-70 and it won't be long before its 55-60!

Would be fun to have a little gauge telling you how many mpg you are doing :?
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Post: #94917 Enormous Sage
Wed Apr 09, 2008 11:42 am

If your wheels are shaking badly, check that one of the little balance weights on the wheel hasn't come off and that the wheel nuts are tight (both things that I've had go wrong after paying someone to fix my car "properly"!)

The air con system takes a significant amount of power to drive, whereas the power consumption of a radio is relatively low (think how long the batteries last in a portable radio)
Best thing to do for economy, is check the tyre pressures and if you do a lot of motorway driving or load the car up, see if the handbook recommends higher pressures for this (some do)

Also, take all unneccesary weight out of the car and make sure the engine is serviced properly.
If you have an older car, old and aged HT leads on the ignition cause a horrible loss of power - just cleaning the dirt off the outside of them with WD40 makes a difference. Try it, it works.

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Post: #94943 Peggy Sue
Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:42 pm

I'll have a look at the weights, I'll be cross if I've paid for that and they've not done it! and the wheel nuts are a good idea

I don't use the aircon but it would be a shame not to use the radio so I'm relieved there!

My car is 5 years old- is that old?
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Post: #95036 GingerKatieSparkles
Wed Apr 09, 2008 8:54 pm

It might have an mpg reading then, if it has a little onboard computer - dh's 8-year-old Golf does, as does our new S-max (the S-max despite being about twice the size is more fuel efficient). Try having a look around the menus.

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Post: #95064 ina
Wed Apr 09, 2008 10:26 pm

Peggy Sue wrote:I don't use the aircon but it would be a shame not to use the radio so I'm relieved there!

My car is 5 years old- is that old?


5 years old? Mine is K reg, and still going strong (but getting rusty).

And as for the radio - my tip: get yourself a wind-up one. Wind it up for a couple of minutes before you set off on your journey, When it runs down, you know it's time for a break - so it serves the purpose of letting you have regular breaks as well!
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Post: #95104 Peggy Sue
Thu Apr 10, 2008 7:40 am

Just wondered if 5 years was old enough to worry about the HT leads and ignition....

Luckily I don't have to drive that far these days, at least not very often anyway so the radion is purely entertainment for 20 mins. I was hoping to get one of the wind up ones for Xmas last year but hte OH got me a DAB one which he thinks is wonderful- but I can't get my favorite station on and they apparenently use more electric than normal ones...will attempt to get one this Xmas by larger less subtle hints!
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Post: #95295 mybarnconversion
Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:12 am

My car has a mpg read out that I've become somewhat addicted to monitoring and trying to improve (sometimes I think it'd be best not to know - but the ignorance is not really bliss).

The key is speed - for example driving at 60mph rather than 70mph can make a 10% difference (just estimated figures but pretty close).

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Post: #95301 Marc
Fri Apr 11, 2008 9:40 am

Hi Peggy Sue, what car is it and what fuel consumption are you getting?

Tracking would have to be way out to have a noticeable effect, in which case the tyres would be wearing badly, but if you are still getting wheeel wobble then there must be a problem.

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Post: #95309 Peggy Sue
Fri Apr 11, 2008 10:43 am

Its an Astra 1.6i hatchback. I get about 9 miles per litre... what si that mpg...33? But that is mostly town driving, I do get more if I do a long journey.

The tyres haven't been wearing fast or unevenly, I realise it won't be the most efficient car ever but it's a bit extreame and expensive to get something new I really need to 'make do' and get the best I can.

I'd love to have a mpg just for a day so I could sort out best economy routes. There are short but lots of juntions and trafffic options and longer but constant 60mph options for my regular journeys. I do cycle as often as I can but there are times I realistically can't
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Post: #95321 Stonehead
Fri Apr 11, 2008 11:45 am

What would be even better than an MPG readout would be a cost per mile readout that included servicing, depreciation, insurance, road tax, MoTs etc. I think many people would drive rather differently if they could see how much money was pouring into their car on a minute by minute, week by week, month by month basis.

Our H-reg Land Rover Defender 200TDi costs £275 a month to run last year, for a total of £3310. As we covered 17,689 miles, that worked out at 18.7p a mile.

By comparison, a new Land Rover Defender 90 station wagon 2.4 costs 24.92p per mile; a new Vauxhall Astra 1.6 (with air con) costs 19.23p per mile; a new Ford S-Max 1.8 TDCi (with air con) costs 22.81p per mile; and a new VW Golf 1.9 TDi just 16.94p per mile. (All cars manual.)

And remember, just because a car is economical doesn't mean it's cheap to run. Fuel economy is just one of many factors.
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Post: #95341 Peggy Sue
Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:43 pm

Its a bit ironinc that as you drive less miles the whole thisng is less efficient- £ per mile.

If you use your own car for business you can claim 40p per mile for the first 10,000 miles, but 25p per mile after (1.6L )that without having to pay tax on that claim. I worked it out with my car and they are not far wrong when you take everything into account.

Reckon I spend £5k altogehter on everything, and do less than 10,000 miles these days, much better than doing 40,000 miles 5 years ago!
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Post: #95342 Marc
Fri Apr 11, 2008 12:44 pm

9 miles per litre works out at 40.9mpg which is not bad at all if it's town driving :-)

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Post: #95353 Peggy Sue
Fri Apr 11, 2008 1:37 pm

I guess I don't spin my wheels all that often! Your maths is obviously better than mine...seems unlikely I could get loads more from a newer car (not enough to justify the expense) so that makes me happier :cooldude:
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