Hypermiling: Drivers go to extremes to conserve fuel
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Many motorists have been looking for and using fuel-saving techniques to lower their bills after months of rising petrol and diesel prices. But now, drivers are being told they can slash their fuel consumption, simply by pressing a button seen in most cars.
Motorists have been left stunned by a fuel-saving hack popularised by TikTok user “Megan’s Bubble”.
She questioned whether everyone had made use of the tip, saying: “I bet you didn’t know what this car button is actually used for.”
The driver points out the air recirculation button, which is signified by a car with an arrow inside.
She explains: “Essentially what it’s going to do for you, it means that you are recirculating the air inside the car.
“So if it’s extraordinarily hot inside of your car when you first get in you want to turn this off so that you suck in the outside air.
“If you’re sitting in front of other cars where you’ll be getting all the exhaust fumes sucked into your car, you use this button so that the air inside your car recirculates and you don’t suck in all that bad air.”
Many of the commenters were amazed to find their car has the button and that they had never used it before.
The hack even has the backing of AA’s fuel spokesperson, Luke Bosdet.
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He said not knowing about the button could mean drivers are seeing more expensive bills.
He said: “If you don’t know what the recirculation button does and have been blasting the air con to try to cool passengers on the back seat, you’ve been missing a trick and paying for it,” he told the Mirror.
The RAC says that using air con, especially when driving in warmer weather, can increase a car’s fuel consumption.
It added that drivers should not use the air con unless they “really have to”.
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Instead, it is best to turn the air conditioning off after a few minutes and use the air recirculation button to keep cool air trapped inside the car.
The cheapest way to stay cool while keeping fuel consumption down is to switch off the air con.
Drivers should instead wind down the windows when travelling at lower speeds.
However, when travelling at higher speeds, air conditioning might be the best bet.
When driving on the motorway with the windows open, the car experiences far more drag, making the vehicle work harder to move forward.
The less resistance on the car, the further the fuel will go.
No matter where a person is driving, air conditioning will always use a lot of energy, with that affecting fuel economy.
Mr Bosdet added: “It is possible on longer trips and faster roads that the air vents will generate enough air flow for the car to remain comfortable after the air con has done its initial job and can be switched off.”
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