A little known and arguably under-used button in your car could help reduce your fuel bill. And with the costs of petrol and diesel continuing to rise, using this trick could come in handy and possibly save you some money this summer.
This driving hack works particularly well at reducing fuel consumption during short journeys and what’s more, it’ll also help keep you and any of your passengers comfortable.
The button is connected to your vehicle’s air-conditioning system which uses engine power in diesel and petrol cars, and battery power in electric vehicles. And when that system is engaged in vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, it can lead to a huge amount of additional fuel being consumed according to the Daily Express.
When air conditioning systems are turned on, usually air from outside the vehicle is heated or cooled before being pumped back inside the car or van. However, this method uses much more fuel compared to an alternative which lets the vehicle’s air-con system utilise the air already inside the car.
In many vehicles, there is a button specially designed to let motorists choose which option they prefer. If activated, the air recirculation button allows the air-con to use the air from inside the car by drawing it through vents.
At the same time, it stops the outside air from getting in. This button is usually located around the aircon dial that allows the driver to set the internal temperature.
It has a picture of a car with an arrow inside it. Using the button will help reduce fuel consumption as it puts less strain on the car’s engine.
The principle is the same for electric cars as the aircon will put less strain on the battery. Bradley Jando of Kwik Fit said: “The compressor requires energy to run your vehicle’s air conditioning system and so will use a small amount of fuel whenever the system is running.
“It could increase your fuel usage by as much as 10 percent, and the effects are particularly noticeable on short journeys. When you initially set off, the air con has to work hard to bring the internal temperature down to a comfortable level.”
Despite the reduction in fuel consumption the RAC adds: “Don’t use your air conditioning unless you really have to as it uses engine power and therefore increases fuel consumption. This goes for heat as well as cooling, so try to dress for the weather, even inside your car, if fuel efficiency is a big concern.”
The news comes as British motorists are facing the highest petrol and diesel prices on record. Fuel prices hit record highs with motorists expected to pay 185.04p per litre of petrol and 190.92p per litre of diesel.
The latest RAC Fuel Watch indicates that both prices are still likely to rise. The cost of filling up an average 55-litre family car went above £100 for the first time ever last week.
And the crisis is not showing any signs of slowing down. Several motorists reported that they even spotted some filling stations asking for over £2 for a litre of fuel.
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