Drivers urged to stop using brakes excessively to save fuel – what to do instead

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Motorists have been warned by experts that excessive braking can lead to bigger fuel consumption and even damage to the car. Constantly using brakes can not only wear down and damage the brake pads and rotors but also increase the driver’s fuel bill by a considerable amount.

Car owners who accelerate or brake harder, burn much more fuel.

According to, the bad habit can lead to vehicles using 60 percent more petrol or diesel.

Drivers should instead coast to a stop rather than slam the brakes as it helps in conserving fuel.

Motorists can also use engine braking to slow down the car.

This can be done by releasing the accelerator and shifting down through gears, rather than using the footbrake.

Engine braking shuts off fuel consumption, as opposed to just braking or putting the car in neutral.

Motorists who use this type of breaking will enjoy a safer and more economical drive that also preserves the brakes.

Experts have also provided drivers with several other techniques that are simple to follow.

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James Andrews, personal finance expert at told “Hypermiling has burst onto the scene as a money saving trick because everyone’s so concerned about fuel prices.

“If done right, hypermiling can add 40 percent to the stated range of a tank of fuel, which is roughly how much petrol and diesel prices have risen in the past year.

“The main secret to hypermiling is a simple one — slow down.

“Travelling at 60mph rather than 80mph uses far less fuel per mile travelled and adds remarkably little time to journeys overall.

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“But there’s much more you can do.

“Using your accelerator as lightly as possible is a big winner.

“So shift up through the gears at the earliest opportunity and cruise in a gear that uses the least pressure on your right foot.

“Heating, air conditioning and stereos add to fuel consumption too so cut all that out.”

For those who wish to use engine braking, they should do so when they see traffic slowing down ahead rather than waiting until the last minute to stop.

This will give drivers adequate time to stop and respond to the changing situation.

Motoring experts added that drivers also have the advantage of being in a better position to react if something unexpected happens.

A lower gear also means drivers can either slow down or speed up in order to avoid an emerging hazard.

Graham Conway, Managing Director of UK car and van leasing website, Select Car Leasing, said: “We all know how to take care of our cars, checking tyre pressure and tread, regular MOTs and keeping them topped up with fuel.

“But what many people don’t realise is the damage they are causing in their everyday use. The good news is that these things are easy to rectify once people become aware of what they are doing wrong.”

Mr Conway added: “Watch your speed and ensure there’s enough space between you and cars in front so you don’t have to brake so often.”

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