The Extra Mile

Summer’s longest day has passed and the roads are now packed with families heading off for their summer holidays. You might be looking forward to the relaxation of going away on holiday, but the journey? Traffic jams, fractious families and delays getting to airports can all be guaranteed to send a driver’s blood pressure skywards. […]

The Extra Mile

Car aerodynamics, as we know, play a major part in determining fuel consumption, particularly at higher speeds. The virtues of good aerodynamics were probably best exemplified in the post-war mass car market by the Volkswagen Beetle and small Saabs, although there’s plenty of evidence from earlier times, such as Rumpler’s Tropfenauto (teardrop car) of 1921, […]

The Extra Mile

This issue focuses on performance, and here we tackle the subject of whether, and how, electronic tuning of diesel engines for added performance delivers a fuel economy bonus, as many tuning companies claim. You may well wonder how you can get more power without burning more fuel, particularly if the whole objective is to go […]

The Extra Mile

Let’s think about engine oil and its relationship to fuel economy in this issue. Using the correct engine oil keeps your engine running smoothly and efficiently, by stopping the metal surfaces in your engine from grinding together and wearing, primarily by creating a separating oil film between them. That means less friction, and less wasted […]

The Extra Mile

We recently came across a little snippet that might spark a few pub debates regarding speed humps and fuel consumption. A car tested at steady speeds gave 58mpg in fourth gear at 30mph, but only 52mpg at a steady 20mph in third gear, which supposedly supports the case of those who insist that speed humps […]

The Extra Mile

Everyone who keeps a keen eye on their fuel economy will have their own way of checking their figures. Long term, the most accurate way is to log all fuel purchases and the mileage covered, and then calculate mpg by dividing the miles you’ve driven by the number of gallons you filled up with, maybe […]

The Extra Mile

We return to the subject of automatic transmissions and their fuel economy, because the progress seen in recent times has been remarkable. Many manufacturers are now offering automatics that are far more economical than in times past, although the infamous EC economy figures will rarely be delivered in real life, just as is the case […]

The Extra Mile

Nearly 15 years ago, the concept of “car allowances” was launched by the government in a scheme designed to relieve companies of the capital investment and management costs involved in running large employee car fleets. It offered employees a viable alternative to taking the taxable “company car” benefit by allowing them (sometimes with some restrictions, […]

The Extra Mile

With winter fast approaching, and maybe even already with some readers by the time they read this, it’s time to think about how this sometimes cruel season affects our fuel economy. Referring to records of four varied vehicles we have run, over a total of 130,000 miles, the winter to summer variation appears to be […]

The Extra Mile

With that annual extravaganza of economy motoring, the MPG marathon, fast approaching, there’s no better time to revisit the basic principles involved, because without applying them you’ll never get the best economy out of your car.