Drivers warned of mistake that can lead to ‘staggering’ fuel costs

RAC explain how to check a cars engine oil level

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Despite falling in recent weeks, the prices of petrol and diesel still remain fairly high compared to a year ago. With that in mind, motorists across the country have been urged to check their car’s engine oil level as it can have a significant effect on their fuel consumption.

The latest RAC Fuel watch shows that drivers can expect to pay 168.36p per litre of unleaded and 183.19p per litre of diesel on average.

With that in mind, a spokesperson for Insurance Revolution warned drivers of the importance of using engine oil to keep their cars up to standard.

They said: “Car owners are often not mindful about the engine oil specifications on the vehicle handbook.

“But you should know that when the handbook has mentioned a certain kind of engine oil for your car – it has done it for a reason.

“Not all engine oils are compatible for every kind of engine. Some engines need specific lubricants to make the most of their efficiency.

“If you don’t give them that, they cannot perform at their best.

“As a result they would ask for more volume of fuel, thereby staggering your driving costs.

“So, be smart enough to check out for the engine oil specifications in your vehicle handbook.”

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GSF Car Parts are also urging drivers to keep on top of their oil and water levels, especially before going on long journeys.

Aside from keeping the engine lubricated and running smoothly, the engine oil can also have an important bearing on a driver’s fuel efficiency and the vehicle’s overall performance.

Engine oil can improve the fuel economy of a vehicle as it has a lower viscosity.

Moving thicker fluid through the engine uses more energy due to friction in key places like the oil pump and piston.

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GSF Car Parts stated: “When buying engine oil, look out for a few important numbers that indicate its viscosity.

“Taking 05W-20 oil as an example, the number before the ‘W’ stands for ‘winter’ and refers to the cold viscosity performance, and the one after it stands for the oil’s viscosity after the engine has warmed up.

“In the 1990s, 20W-50 and 10W-30 were the most commonly used oils, but today these have been superseded by 05W-20 and even 0W-20 oils in newer engines.”

With standards improving for the fuel efficiency of vehicles, drivers are set to benefit from having to visit the petrol station less often.

Automotive manufacturers are also under constant pressure by consumers to improve the fuel economy of their vehicles.

In 2012, the US Environmental Protection Agency set a goal that the average new vehicle would get 54.5 mpg (23.2 km/L) by 2025.

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