EfficientDynamics are a range of economy and economy-promoting technologies and visual aids from BMW, aimed directly at helping drivers reduce their monthly fuel bill. The EfficientDynamics BMW badge doesn’t come cheap, but for drivers doing thousands of miles a year – like company car drivers – the fuel efficiency figures can be very attractive.
However, as much green technology as your car can have, no matter how cutting edge, if the driver doesn’t work with the systems to get the best effect, the fuel savings will be negligible, and the extra money spent on an EfficientDynamics car will be mostly wasted.
Search the horizon
Anticipation and working with your surroundings is your best weapon in the battle to save money at the fuel pump. Constantly braking and accelerating the car will not only burn the fuel, but it’ll wear out the brakes and tyres, too. Look ahead and anticipate what the traffic and surroundings will do and where your car needs to be in relation to all of that, and plan your driving a few moves ahead accordingly.
For example, if you can see the car a few cars ahead of you braking firmly then chances are the car more directly in front of you will begin to brake firmly within seconds. Anticipate this by rolling off the throttle – but not braking – and letting your car coast back away from the others. Hopefully, by slowing before the car in front, you’ll negate the need to brake and will have enjoyed some free-fuel running as you coasted.
Coasting, leaving the car in gear but letting out the accelerator uses no fuel whatsoever, and if you’re travelling down even a slight hill, you’ll be surprised by how far you can coast, especially if your tyres are inflated to the right pressure. Check your tyres every month or two, or at least from summer to winter and vice versa.
However, don’t take your car out of gear and coast in neutral. Not only is this dangerous – you are not in full control of the vehicle – but the engine will also require some fuel to keep it ticking over. So, this is pointless.
Warmer the better
Like toast, the warmer the better for your EfficientDynamics engine, for its best efficiency. Driving an engine hard from the moment you start it, especially on these cold mornings when the engine oil is even thicker – is a sure fire way to use more fuel.
Basically, the colder the engine and the colder the engine oil inside it, the harder the engine will have to work to turn – as there will be less nice, warm oil to lubricate the moving parts – and the harder an engine works the more fuel it uses. So, if you can, leave an extra couple of minutes before your early morning commute to sit in the car and warm the engine on tickover. This will also give the car time to warm its heater on frosty days.
Passive, not aggressive
Road rage never got anyone anywhere and if you can drive smoothly and calmly you’ll be saving fuel every day and every drive. Driving aggressively to keep pace with other aggressive drivers is a great way to get licence points, have an accident and waste fuel.
Let the aggressive guys do their own thing and just let them race past you, smug in the knowledge that you’ll be saving £s at the petrol pump.