Improving your car’s fuel economy is simply about changing a few vital driving habits. Here are a few tips to start trying today!
Published: Tuesday, February 21st 2017
With the fuel price sitting around the R13 mark, and household expenses simply getting higher each year, saving money is at the top of everyone’s minds. We thought we would assist you in saving costs in one of the most important parts of daily life; driving. Driving to and from work every day can take a large chunk out of your pocket every month. So, it is important to know little hints and tricks to save fuel on a daily basis.
Here are a few things you can start doing to save at the fuel pumps.
1. Don’t Ride The Clutch And Accelerator At Traffic Lights
This might be somewhat obvious, but a surprising amount of people do not ensure that their car is totally stationary when stopped at a stop street or traffic light. Riding the clutch not only continues to use fuel, but also wears out the clutch. Rather, stop completely, put your handbrake up, put your car in neutral, and ensure that your car is entirely stationary.
2. Check Your Tyre Pressure
Next time you are at a fuel station, check your tyre pressure. Should they be too flat, more resistance is created when driving. This will increase the amount of fuel needed to maintain the same speed as if your tyres are fully inflated. Also beware of over-inflating your tyres. It could create more wear on the walls and sides of the tyres. Over inflation also means you have less grip on the road, as there will be less tread contact.
3. Turn Your Aircon Off
Having an aircon on while driving can reduce your fuel efficiency by up to 10%. Have you ever felt the change in power in your car as soon as you turn it on? This directly affects the amount of fuel your car is consuming. Rather, on hot summer days, open your windows. Even though there is an argument that the increased drag on the car increases the fuel used, it has been proven to be less than what an aircon uses.
4. Stick To Speed Limit And Keep Your Car In The Right Gear
Make sure that you keep your speed reasonable and your gear in the highest gear possible at all times. Lower gears labour the engine and will use more fuel. Driving at 60km/h in third will use 25% more fuel than in fifth. Speeding also vastly increases your fuel consumption. Should you have an onboard trip computer, watch the fuel usage in the instant fuel economy setting. As you accelerate and increase your speed, you can use up to 45% more fuel than when sticking to the average 60 kms/hr.
5. Take Your Foot Completely Off The Brake While Driving
You might not be touching the brake all the time, but every slight tap puts a small amount of drag on the car. Not only does this mechanical drag wear down the parts and components and create premature wearing, but it will also increase fuel use. Remove your foot completely and make sure you have a smooth, controlled drive.
6. Make Use Of Cruise Control
Driving in cruise control on a highway will keep the car at a constant speed. Braking and accelerating increases the amount of fuel used. Unless you are a steady driver and can keep the speed stable without shifting speeds on the accelerator, rather pop the car into cruise control when driving.
7. Keep Up Regular Maintenance Of Car
Clean oil and air filters will have a significant impact on fuel consumption. Ensuring that your car is properly maintained will have a huge impact on the performance of the car. Also, make sure that you are using the right grade of oil for your car. If you are using an oil that is thicker than the recommended grade, your car will have more difficulty in pumping it through. This, in turn, affects the horsepower and uses more fuel.
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