MANY drivers believe that flying in the neutral zone saves gas – but they may not know that you could damage your engine and be fined £1,000.
‘Downhill’ on the road while driving in neutral or pressing the clutch is a violation of the Highway Code.
Drivers ‘hanging’ are breaking the code because they don’t have full control of the vehicle while it is in neutral.
That means braking is harder, downhill speeds can increase too quickly, using the foot brake more can reduce its effectiveness, steering response will suffer – especially on sharp turns. corners and turns or it can be more difficult to choose the right gear when necessary.
Police can fine motorists who fail to properly operate their vehicle up to £1,000 or make a disqualification at their discretion.
However, just under half (45%) of the more than 1,000 motorists surveyed by car rental comparison website LeaseLoco admitted to sitting still while driving.
John Wilmot, chief executive officer of LeaseLoco, says letting go of the throttle is no longer beneficial for energy savings due to the fuel system in most modern cars.
“When we were driving downhill while shifting gears, our engine ECU would detect that the accelerator wasn’t working and cut off fuel going to the fuel injectors,” he said.
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“We used no fuel or very little fuel when going downhill in gear. However, when we went downhill in neutral, our engine and wheels became disconnected.
“This forces a small amount of fuel to be sent to the engine because the car isn’t getting the rotational power it needs from the wheels, instead of getting that power directly from the wheels.”
Chances are the driver can also brake all the way out much faster, and decelerating with clutches will cost a lot more in the long run.
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