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Monday, May 11, 2009

Make Your White Van Green

Modern vans are considerably more fuel efficient than before. They have all the high-tech features you'd expect to see on any flash new cars, all with the intention of cutting emissions.

Tip: Sat navs are a real time saver - they can find the most efficient route to your destination and stop you getting lost - sometimes!
Top 5 tips for drivers

Old or new, it's the way you use your van that has a greater influence on environmental impact.

By changing your habits, you'll reap the ecological and financial benefits. Here is how…
1. Driving style ->

As you might have guessed, pedal to the metal isn't going to do you, or the planet, much good. The secrets to green driving are:

A. smoothness
C. maintaining a constant speed

Harsh acceleration or braking wastes fuel, so use your high driving position to your advantage.
2. Maintenance ->

If your van's in top condition, you'll save on fuel. Here are a few tricks to maximise efficiency:

Keep your van as empty as possible: carrying around unnecessary loads increases fuel consumption.

Check your tyre pressures every time you fill up. Under-inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by 3%, as well as wearing out faster and being unsafe.

Check your air filter for leaves or dust. This can increase fuel consumption by 5% as the engine has to work harder.

On an older van, a squirt of fuel system cleaner will keep the injectors unclogged and avoid wasted fuel.
3. Travel light ->

Lots of vans have external racks, ladders and other equipment strapped to the outside, but they add weight and reduce aerodynamic efficiency. Removing racks will lighten the load and cost you less at the fuel pump.
4. Get into gear ->

Selecting the right gear and changing up or down at the right time is crucial to saving fuel.

For many diesels, the optimum change-up point is around 2,000rpm. Any lower and the engine will labour and use unnecessary fuel; any higher and you could be going faster for the same fuel usage, if you've changed up already.
5. Kill your speed ->

Keep your speed down, especially on motorways and dual carriageways. Cut your speed from 70mph to 65mph and you could cut 10% off your consumption. Drop another 5mph and you could save another 20%.


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