Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Increasing Fuel Economy

I suppose I should have done this before but it does seem daft to pour petrol down the drain by not driving as economically as I can. Seems to me that if the fuel tank of our Corsa holds about 45 litres of fuel that's going to weigh around 45 kilos, or not far off 100lbs.  Given that the heavier the car is the more fuel it will use at any speed it makes good sense to drive with a lighter fuel load.

My plan is to run the tank down until the fuel light comes on and then to put around 25 litres of fuel in instead of filling it up. This compromise will reduce fuel consumption whilst still giving an adequate range for general driving around. 25 litres is 5.5 gallons which at 43mpg will give us a range of about 236 miles, more than adequate for general driving around locally.

If we get snow and ice I'll increase the fuel load to hopefully improve traction but also as a precaution should bad weather cause delays etc.


  1. You need to be a little careful with that strategy. There is always sediment and various contaminents in a tank of petrol and if you let it run too low those sediments will get in your fuel filter and pump, possibly causing damage. I've spoken to mechanics who suggest never letting the tank get below 1/4 full.

  2. Hi Anon, thanks for the perspective on that. I'm going to give it a go and rely on the fuel filter which is after all what it's for. The AA recommend the approach I'm taking and as long as the car is serviced properly and the appropriate filters etc. changed I think it will be fine. Certainly not been a problem when I've run the tank low in the past. Thanks again.