What can be done to drive economically – saving money and benefiting the environment?
There are many ideas for more ergonomic driving: from good car servicing, to proper operation, to using the machine only when it is really necessary. What are the most important things to keep in mind? We suggest.
Technical condition of your car
Economical driving begins with taking care of the technical condition of the machine itself. You should take care of it in at least several aspects. We should remember that even small lifehacks which enable lower fuel consumption may bring a considerable sum of money saved annually. We are even talking about a few hundred zlotys. It is worth thinking about what you can buy for yourself.
What to remember about in the first place? First of all it counts:
- the correct pressure level in the tires: we should maintain the pressure recommended by the manufacturer; high pressure may make us less comfortable when driving over bumps, but it will wear the treads more slowly and save fuel;
- proper wheel size;
- keeping air resistance as low as possible: a roof rack can increase air resistance a lot;
- removing unnecessary weight from the trunk: we should leave at home everything that is not necessary – extra kilos always mean higher fuel consumption.
We should also constantly take care of other aspects of the car’s technical condition – for example, a working thermostat. Each defect may result in higher fuel consumption.
Plan your driving
Anticipation is also important: plan your route in such a way that you don’t have to stand in traffic jams for a long time while driving in the city. A long traffic jam is not good for economical driving. So it is better to plan your day in such a way to avoid traffic jams. Often, it is better to buy a public transport ticket or walk a shorter distance than to get in the car when there is no chance for economical driving.
It is also important to keep track of what is happening on the road. It is worth anticipating what is happening 200 or 300 meters ahead. Thanks to this we will be able to adjust the speed accordingly and avoid “sudden driving” with very fast and sudden braking. It is not worth riding on the tail of other drivers.
It’s no coincidence that a lot of fuel is consumed during “jerky” driving around town. Usually the most appropriate speed for a car is between 90 and 120 km/h. Of course you can’t always reach that speed, because it would be against the law. However, you should try to drive at a constant speed so that you don’t have to brake suddenly. In cities, 50 to 60 km/h is usually considered to be the optimum speed. The main thing, however, is not to have to increase or decrease your speed suddenly
Start as soon as you start the engine and don’t brake suddenly
Although it’s sometimes advised to warm up the engine, it works inefficiently the whole time. In addition, it’s against the law. So it is better to start the machine and after a few tens of seconds slowly move on the road. Violent braking also has a negative effect on the efficiency of the car – engine braking is much better.
Air conditioning and other gadgets
It’s definitely true that on a long drive on a hot day, air conditioning is a great convenience. However, it’s not like it has to be set to maximum power right away. It should be used judiciously and sparingly. It is calculated that per 100 kilometers driven in urban conditions, air conditioning can increase consumption from 0.5 to even 1.5 liters. The same is true of all other systems, which are increasingly equipped with new cars, and which are not essential for the functioning of the car
Use good quality fuel
This primarily extends the life of the engine, which will serve much longer. In this way we can also provide the drive system with more power
Automatic or manual transmission – advantages and disadvantages
“Automatic” or “manual”? Is either transmission better or does it all depend on the personal preferences of the driver? Learn the advantages and disadvantages of both solutions before you make a decision on the purchase of a car!
Among motorists, the arguments about what is better: automatic or manual transmission are not quieting down. Proponents of traditional solutions complain about the automatic transmission, proving that there is nothing better than “manual”. Others again praise the convenience of the “automatic” and vow never to return to a manual transmission. As in any dispute, each side is a little bit right. We will try to give you a factual presentation of the pros and cons of both solutions.
Manual transmission – advantages
Ability to use the full dynamics of the engine
On a manual transmission you can immediately accelerate your car to the highest speed. A classic automatic at a certain rpm begins to shift gears, so a manual transmission provides greater driving dynamics.
Lower fuel consumption
With efficient gear shifting, as well as the ability to idle, you can save a lot on fuel. Such benefits will not be provided by an automatic transmission, in which even putting in slack while driving is discouraged.
Lower oil consumption
Every transmission needs a special fluid. An automatic transmission requires 6 to 10 liters of oil, while a mechanical transmission requires about 3 liters.
Manual transmission – disadvantages
The first disadvantage of a manual transmission is lower driving comfort, which is felt primarily by novice drivers. They find the starting maneuver especially difficult, as well as driving uphill.
Poorly dynamic and smooth driving can lead to clutch burnout. And this caution applies especially to inexperienced drivers. And replacing the clutch is already an expensive repair, which automatic drivers, by definition, do not have to worry about.
Lower engine life in cars with mechanical transmissions is due to the fact that their drivers easily allow the engine to overheat, especially if they like to drive fast.
Automatic transmission – advantages
While a classic automatic with a torque converter actually severely limits the car’s performance, automatic dual-clutch transmissions such as DSG perform better than a manual transmission. When driving on such an automatic, two gears are engaged at the same time, which makes shifting up or down very fast.
Different fuel consumption
A classic automatic actually consumes more fuel, but newer models or transmissions use much less fuel than manual transmissions.
Smoothness of driving
An automatic transmission means a more comfortable driving experience. Even an inexperienced driver can smoothly, without nerves or the so-called “kangaroo”, start the car without posing a risk on the road.
Longer engine and transmission life
Automatic transmissions control the revs more and protect the engine from overheating.
Automatic transmission – disadvantages
As noted above, a car with a classic automatic accelerates more slowly than a vehicle with a manual transmission. The classic also has only four gears and consumes more fuel than a manual transmission. All models, both newer and older, require more transmission oil.
The undeniable downside of automatic cars is also their higher price. The cost of operating and repairing an automatic transmission is also much higher, and you should know that according to statistics, manual transmissions break down much less often.
main photo: unsplash.com/Jean-Philippe Delberghe
How to care for upholstery in the car?
Proper care of car upholstery will help keep it in good condition for longer and thus reduce unnecessary expenses. See how to take care of the upholstery in your car.
Regardless of the type of material used, each car upholstery requires care in order to serve longer and remain in good condition. How to properly take care of it?
Upholstery in the car is exposed to dirt and damage with every use. Therefore, proper protection and care are necessary to keep it in good condition. How to care for it?
Protect upholstery from dirt and damage
Upholstery can be damaged for example when getting into the car with pockets stuffed with keys or other sharp objects. It’s just as easy to get stains that are difficult to remove, especially when the car is used by snack fans. It can be very difficult to remove some stains and even end up with discoloration. Therefore, it is worth protecting the upholstery with covers that can be easily removed and washed. The variety of available models will surely allow us to choose the right one.
Remove dirt on a regular basis
The key to success in keeping upholstery clean is to remove dirt on a regular basis. It is much easier to get rid of fresh stains and dirt. Continual procrastination in cleaning the upholstery may lead to a condition where it can only be replaced. The way of cleaning and cleaning agents should be adjusted to the type of material.
Striking leather upholstery definitely requires systematic cleaning. Especially that stains from leather can be removed relatively easily if we do it as soon as the dirt appears.
The first step when cleaning leather upholstery is thorough vacuuming. Do not forget about the spaces in the bends between the seats and the backrests of the seats. After removing dust, wipe the upholstery with a soft cloth dampened with water.
Then, using a special preparation for cleaning leather upholstery, wipe the entire surface again. Especially if there is visible dirt on the leather, you should not use any other agents than those designed for leather car upholstery.
For the effect to last as long as possible, it is good to use a preservative, such as a special cream or wax. In this way we will put on the upholstery additional protection against dirt and abrasion.
In case of fabric upholstery, we should act as soon as we notice contamination. The material is characterized by the fact that it absorbs dirt, so delaying its removal may end up in such a situation that the stain will become impossible to remove without visible damage to the upholstery or discoloration.
Upholstery cleaning, just like leather cleaning, starts with thorough vacuuming of its surface. Then we proceed to clean the material using products for car upholstery. Some people use household cleaning products, but if you do not want to risk possible damage or discoloration, it is best to use special products designed for cleaning fabric upholstery.
Remember to wait a little after washing the upholstery before using it – preferably a few hours. Then the cleaning agent will have a chance to be absorbed well and the fabric will have time to dry.
main photo: pexels.com/Iwan Wasyl
Year-round or seasonal tires?
Wondering whether to switch to winter or all-season tires? Find out what the differences are!
Summer is slowly giving way to autumn, it’s getting cooler, it’s raining more and more – before we know it, October will be on our calendars
For many drivers this is also the time of the annual tire dilemma. Is a change to winter tires still necessary in the current climate, or will good all-season tires suffice?
Comparison of seasonal and all-season tires
Replacing worn out tires with new ones can be a painless process – just buy the same make, model and size that are matched to your vehicle by the manufacturer when it was new. But there are many makes, models and sizes available that can affect how your car performs in certain weather conditions.
For most people, tires come in three different versions – summer, winter or all-season. Each is designed for a specific set of parameters that vary between brands and each has specific advantages and disadvantages. It is important to understand what each tire can and cannot do, and to compare its capabilities to the driving conditions we are likely to experience.
Typically marketed as performance tires, summer tires are best suited for warmer weather. They are made of a softer rubber compound and usually feature large tread blocks to ensure maximum contact with the road.
As a result, summer tires generally have better grip in both wet and dry conditions and provide optimal cornering and braking. However, as temperatures drop, their soft rubber hardens, which significantly reduces grip. In addition, lower temperatures can cause the edges of the tread block to chip or the rubber compound to crack.
When temperatures drop significantly, you really should consider a set of winter tires for your car. These have a deep tread pattern and a series of very thin cuts, called sipes, across the tread. The deep tread can help flush out excess slush, while the sipes and other ridges help push the snow itself between the tread blocks, providing excellent grip. Sipes also provide balance on icy surfaces.
Winter tires also use rubber that is specially formulated to provide better grip on cold, dry pavement. Even if you don’t experience snow on a regular basis, winter tires are still the best choice when temperatures are cold.
The vast majority of new cars arrive at dealerships equipped with all-season tires, however, because they can perform well on dry or wet roads, as well as on roads with light snow.
However, we should think of all-season tires as a “something for something” solution. All-season tires may perform adequately on dry, warmer roads, but they won’t give you the same level of handling and grip as a summer tire.
They may have a longer life than summer or winter tires, and they may get you to the ski slopes as long as the mountain road is only lightly covered with snow. But even then, they won’t stop or corner as well as winter tires when it gets really cold.
So when deciding which tires to choose for your car, it’s worth considering what conditions you plan to drive in. If you need a car for city driving and are not planning any long trips, especially in winter, all-season tires can be the ideal solution. Otherwise, it is nevertheless worthwhile to go for more safety and precision.
Main image: Vedat Kandemir/unsplash.com
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