Drivers urged to follow clever petrol station trick to save fuel

Woolwich resident says petrol prices are 'astronomical'

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Motorists have been advised that they should visit a petrol station when their tank is half full. More frequent trips to a filling station will also mean that drivers can keep an eye out for their fuel levels and avoid running out.

Experts have claimed that a full tank of fuel will contribute to the overall weight of the vehicle and will reduce fuel efficiency slightly.

However, the fuel in the tank only weighs a very small percentage of the overall car or van weight, an average of around five percent.

By making sure that the level of fuel is always topped up, drivers will also be able to prevent costly damage.

James Baker, from RegCarCheck, said: “The more petrol that you hold in your tank, the less air filling its empty space.

“When fuel meets air, it evaporates faster. Petrol tanks hold an inner roof that limits evaporation, driving with less oxygen in the tank eliminates this further. It’s a great tip.”

Filling up a tank halfway compared to a full tank of fuel only reduces the weight by two and a half percent.

With this in mind, it is very likely that the change in fuel economy would be marginal.

Oil deposits and bad quality petrol or diesel always fall to the bottom of a fuel tank and should not be pumped around the vehicle for a prolonged period.

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By constantly refreshing the tank with petrol or diesel, these deposits don’t have the chance to damage the fuel filler.

If it does, this could cause the fuel pump to overheat and cause damage to the car.

Dorry Potter, car and scrappage expert for National Scrap Car, echoed Mr Baker’s claims saying: “Although affordability is a huge issue for motorists at the moment, causing many to top up by £10 or £20 here and there as and when they can afford it, it is actually a lot better to fill up your car when you refuel.

“When you are just topping up your fuel by a small amount each time the oil deposits and bad quality stuff which falls to the bottom of the fuel tank gets pumped around the vehicle for a prolonged period.

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“This can cause damage to the fuel filter, which can lead to the fuel pump overheating and the engine clogging.

“The latter can be very dangerous as it could cause the engine to cut out while doing higher speeds, potentially leading to a fatal accident.

“At the very best it will land motorists with a hefty repair bill as new fuel pumps start at around £200 minus labour, and this can vary from car to car.”

Ms Potter added that although having a lighter load is a legitimate tip for improving fuel efficiency, the benefits of having a full tank outweigh the difference the weight will make to the fuel usage.

She continued: “Of course, there is the added risk of breaking down when you run out of fuel too which is more of a risk if you are only adding small amounts each time.

“For an unleaded vehicle this would just need refuelling but for a diesel engine, it could lead to your fuel pump sending air through your fuel system instead of gas.

“If that happens, your vehicle will shut down and not restart until the air is removed- this process is called bleeding, similar to a radiator at home, and although motorists can find ways of doing it themselves, it is probably a job for a mechanic, meaning even more costs.”

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