With the price of fuel at a seven-year high and showing little sign of falling in the near future, there are lots of simple things you can do as a driver to maximise your fuel efficiency.
This short guide will teach you about the fuel system in your car and what you can do to ensure it remains running efficiently.
You will also learn about the signs to look out for when the fuel system isn’t functioning properly and, most importantly of all, tops tips for making the most of the fuel you put in your car.
The fuel sending unit is responsible for measuring the level of fuel in your car so it is vital that it is working properly.
The fuel sending unit is located within the tank and sends information to the fuel gauge which is located on your dashboard.
If you have filled up your tank and the gauge is saying that you have low fuel then there is obviously an issue with, one or all, of three things, the fuel gauge, the fuel sending unit or the wiring in between the two.
As soon as you realise something isn’t right, take your car to a garage and explain the inconsistency in the fuel reading and the mechanic will know exactly what to do.
The fuel pump is responsible for, you guessed it, pumping fuel from one part of a car engine to another.
A car engine works by burning fuel and air which is mixed together in the carburettor, however the fuel needs to travel from the tank to get there.
That’s where the fuel pump comes in, it pumps petrol into the carburettor from the fuel tank.
The carburettor is where fuel is mixed with air, after this process is complete, the mixture is sucked into the engine itself.
If the fuel pump isn’t working, you will notice your car stumbling and running roughly, your car will most likely fail to start if the fuel pump is completely broken so this can be one of the biggest reasons for a car not starting.
Once more, there is nothing you can do to resolve this issue without taking the vehicle to a garage.
The fuel filter is an essential part of the fuel system which, you as a driver, can keep a close eye on. It carries out an important function and prevents the system from getting too clogged.
The fuel filter can be located by checking your car owner’s manual and should be replaced at least once a year. If your can is spluttering at a high speed, then it is likely that the fuel system is clogged.
Once more, if the car doesn’t start then the system may need cleaning.
The majority of cars are now fitted with fuel injectors and only older vehicles will be lacking this part of the fuel system.
These small parts are responsible for spraying extra fuel into the engine in the form of a fine mist, as the combustion process is improved significantly.
Fuel injectors get naturally dirty over time as particles of dirt get past the fuel filter. The best course of action to take when a fuel injector gets stuck open, is to replace the part itself.
Make sure to securely close the fuel cap after you finish topping up as fuel will actually evaporate out of the tank while you are driving if the cap is loose.
Ensure that the tyres in your car are fully inflated as even ones with slightly lower pressure will cost you fuel.
Keeping your engine tuned and healthy can also have a massive effect on fuel efficiency and fuel system health. A properly tuned vehicle gets around a 5 per cent increase in fuel efficiency.
A misfiring spark plug can cause issues with the fuel system and reduce the efficiency by around 30 per cent. You may also be at risk of catalytic converter failure if a spark plug misfires.