A Bit About Fuel Economy

We all know that quoted fuel economy figures are pretty close to fantasy, but they do actually have their uses.

The figures are produced independently using a test rig which reproduces the same test “route” each time. It’s designed to give the best figures and therefore an idea of what’s achievable.

Of course manufacturers cottoned on to this and began to tune torque outputs at certain revs and use gear ratios more suited to the test. This had the unfortunate effect of maximising the test figures at the expense of what you could actually do in the real world.

So why do I think they are still relevant? Continue reading A Bit About Fuel Economy

Michelin Energy Savers – Any Good?

If you follow my blog regularly, you’ll know that to me, tyres are not just black, rounds things you have to have fitted to your vehicle.

I do spend money on getting good, branded tyres, and for very good reasons, see my blowout post.

However, with the economy what it is, even I have succumbed to looking into energy saving tyres for our main car.

Michelin energy savers seem to be the one’s to have at the moment, but they’re damned expensive. So are they worth it?

Continue reading Michelin Energy Savers – Any Good?

Tax, tax, tax… and how to save money on motoring

But what’s the answer??

Lately, it seems we’ve had the most indeterminate budget in years, and after the Transport Secretary confirmed August would see the planned 3p/litre rise in fuel duty go ahead, George/Gideon/Whatever he’s really called – Osborne, decided to do yet another U-turn and drop the increase.

OK, fair enough, but when over 60% of the price of fuel is tax, I should think so. Continue reading Tax, tax, tax… and how to save money on motoring

Veg Oil Update

Well, we’ve now used up a whole tank, with good results:

40 litres of diesel @ £1.43.9
+ 20 litres of new and unused cooking oil @ £20.00

gives the cost of a tank @ £77.56 (this is equivalent to £1.29.3/litre)

Mileage has gone up too 😀 so we now get 690 miles out of a tank before the warning light comes on. This equates to almost 55 mpg, a 10% increase on the best we’ve seen previously, which was already a pretty good figure. Continue reading Veg Oil Update

Ferrari’s new Hybrid System

As you can probably guess, I’m not the greenest of people, but I do think electric hybrids are definitely the way to go, providing both power and economy when you need it.

First, a little aside: With my old V6, the fuel economy was shocking. I barely got 27 mpg if I drove like an old fart, but with an onboard computer giving fuel economy readouts, I noticed some very interesting things. I know it’s obvious that acceleration uses more energy and therefore fuel but quite how much I didn’t realise, and then there’s also the efficiency of the engine over the rev range. Continue reading Ferrari’s new Hybrid System

Running a Car on Cooking Oil

OK, this is the next crazy idea. I’ve done this before with a renault clio, but unfortunately I had to scrap it shortly after, so I’m giving it another go with this car, (a renault laguna 1.9 dCi turbo diesel).

So far as I can see, there are relatively few drawbacks to using vegetable oil, the main one to worry about though, is that it’s thicker than diesel. Naturally, this puts extra strain on the fuel and injector pumps, and can possibly lead to clogging of filters, injectors and stuff. Continue reading Running a Car on Cooking Oil