Driver SOS (UK)
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10 tips on driving
Sometimes people are not aware of things that can make their life easier. So here are some advice that will help you when driving:
- As a new driver you might wonder how do you know when your petrol tank is full? When filling up your tank at a petrol station, it’s impossible to overfill because the pump will cut off the petrol supply automatically when your tank is full and will not allow you to go over the maximum limit.
- When de-icing car windows, many people find it more convenient to throw water over the windows as scraping ice off is often time consuming and de-icing liquid can ruin paint work and can be very messy. However, if you want to use water make sure it’s lukewarm water instead of hot water, as hot water will crack the glass.
- Many young drivers will fork out thousands in insuring their cars. A common mistake they make when insuring their vehicle is putting it solely on their name. I had the same problem before and I was quoted £2,500 fully comprehensive on my new Nissan Micra that cost only £4,800. In total that would mean my new car cost me £7,300. It’s cheaper to be added on as an additional driver rather than being the policy holder. When switching it into my partner's name it came down to £1,200, a total saving of £1,300. A year later it went down to £600!
- When taxing a vehicle, it costs less to insure for 12 months than for 6 months. 12 months of vehicle tax for cars that have CO2 emissions of 131-140 costs £115 whereas 6 months will cost you £63.25, saving you £11.50. You can also renew it online nowadays instead of going to the Post Office.
- Many newer car models have a toggle switch which is located just below the rear view mirror. When the toggle switch is adjusted this can prevent glare from cars behind and help you drive better at night.
- Did you know that when the red light appears on the dashboard, it means it is now critical for you to top up your oil to ensure the engine doesn’t overheat. You may be far from the next fuel shop or on the motorway. However, in an emergency, you can use any oil to fill up, for example cooking oil, hair oil etc, but you must remember to change it as soon as you can though.
- When checking tyre pressure before or after a long journey, it’s better to check them when the tyres are cold. Checking them just before a long journey will give you a more accurate reading.
- When driving on ice and your car skids steer into it rather than against it.
- When you go abroad, you will see a lot of taxi drivers pushing their cars. They do this as a method of saving fuel when driving downhill. I wouldn’t advise it though because of coasting but if you’re running low on fuel, you can always shift into neutral as this uses up less fuel.
- In your car, you will find under the boot lining that there is a spare tyre. This can be used temporarily to replace a flat tyre but you should limit to a maximum speed of 50 MPH.
Hope the above tips help.
Coasting in neutral does use up less fuel, yes, but why would you advise any driver to do this? New drivers in the UK are taught to NEVER coast in neutral for a reason. In the event of a potential crash, coasting in neutral affords the driver EXTREMELY LITTLE control over the vehicle to avoid the danger. Also, in modern cars (ie a car with fuel injection as opposed to carburetor) coasting in neutral uses infinitely more fuel than simply releasing the accelerator and remaining in gear. In that situation (remaining in gear) the gears are powered by the car's own inertia, still propelling you forward and keeping the engine running. If you release the accelerator you force the car to in fact use petrol to keep the engine running at idle speed (~800-900rpm). By comparison, simply remaining in gear and NOT pressing the accelerator at all will use ZERO fuel.