How to drive a diesel car efficiently to maximise kilometres per litre

Written by josh baum
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How to drive a diesel car efficiently to maximise kilometres per litre
Efficient driving can reduce fuel consumption. (Getty Creative)

The fuel economy of diesel cars, much like those that run on unleaded gasoline, is greatly influenced by the way the car is driven. With modified driving methods and good habits, you can dramatically stretch your fuel budget, and help the environment by reducing emissions.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Maintain a constant speed during sustained motorway driving. Use cruise control, if available.

  2. 2

    Favour speeds between 88 and 105 kph where possible. Fuel economy decreases dramatically at speeds above 105 kph.

  3. 3

    Avoid unnecessary idling.

  4. 4

    Accelerate and brake gently, at a constant rate. Quick starts, sudden bursts of acceleration and rapid braking consume high amounts of fuel.

  5. 5

    Drive in the highest gear that is safe for your speed. Downshift to a lower gear if you slow down to the point where you hear the engine struggling.

  6. 6

    Don't drive with unnecessary heavy loads in your car; there is a direct correlation between the total weight of your vehicle and its fuel consumption.

  7. 7

    Use the air conditioner only when necessary, as it puts an added burden on the engine and consumes fuel.

  8. 8

    Take the most fuel-efficient route possible. If necessary, use a GPS unit that offers turn-by-turn directions.

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