Simple ways to get better fuel efficiency without you having to be adept at the mechanics that power your car, so that you can drive past the fuel pump more often than you stop there.
1. KEEP THE PRESSURE ON
Driving with optimal tyre pressure makes a huge difference to your car’s fuel efficiency. Reduced tyre pressure means increased contact area between the tyre and the road.
As a result friction between the rubber of the tyre and the road increases, resulting in higher fuel consumption. Over-inflated tyres will mean a lower consumption, but at the cost of grip and ability to disperse water on the road.
Make sure the tyres are inflated at the manufacturer recommended levels and you’ll be fine. And don’t forget to check them once a week, always in the morning.
2. SMOOTH OPERATOR
Be as smooth as possible with the car’s controls. Treat the accelerator and the brake pedals with respect.
Rough speedy acceleration and sudden brakes might be more fun on the road but harms your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
3. CONSOLIDATE TRIPS
Two short trips will inevitably consume more fuel than one that is slightly longer. This is because your car consumes extra fuel each time you crank the engine.
Combine as many trips as possible to keep fuel efficiency high. As a bonus, you’ll also be saving on travelling time.
4. KEEP IT SHUT
A car’s fuel efficiency has a lot to do with how it parts air on the move. In other words, aerodynamics.
Open windows, even partly, at high speeds can impact fuel efficiency and result in the tank draining out quicker due to increased drag.
Contrary to popular notion, you’ll save more fuel with the windows up and the air conditioner turned on.
5. ALL GEARED UP
Shift to the highest possible gear without the engine knocking.
A car consumes more fuel in lower gears when accelerating. If the engine’s not pulling, shift down instead of pressing the throttle.
Shifting up at 2,000 rpm (1,500 rpm for diesel) gives the best mix of speed and economy. On an automatic with manual shift, short shift to save fuel.
6. LOSE SOME WEIGHT
The heavier the car, the greater will be its thirst.
You don’t have to be a quantum physicist to know this.
So ditch that child safety seat you don’t use anymore, the spare tyre that’s not fit for use or even the tonnes of garbage that you lug around.
Keep the boot empty and clean and watch the fuel gauge become more stable. The extra bucks will make up for the trouble.
7. IDLING IS THE DEVIL’S WORKSHOP
An idling car burns fuel without really going anywhere.
So if you have your engine running while you’re waiting for someone, you’re effectively getting 0 kmpl at that time.
Improve car mileage
Some cars even give a litre per hour consumption on their trip computers to help you keep track. Simple solution. Switch the engine off. Or, if you have the budget, buy a car with auto start-stop technology.
8. KEEP IT CLEAN
Don’t drive your car with dirty or clogged filters, such as the air filter or the oil filter if you don’t want to shell out at the pump. Get them cleaned or replace them.
It will be money well spent since you won’t be bleeding slowly. A serviced engine will also consume less fuel, so don’t ignore the schedule.
9. USE A ROUTE PLANNER
This might seem like pushing it, but before you go somewhere, choose your route carefully. Delays due to traffic lights, congestion can be minimised. Also, start 10 minutes before rush hour starts, especially if you’re a daily commuter.
10. TAKE A WALK
A no-brainer this one really. If you don’t need to drive somewhere, don’t. Also, if you have to visit a crowded area, such as a market or a fair, park your car some distance away where you don’t have to drive around to find a parking spot.
It will save you time, the hassle of navigating through congestion and of course a lot of fuel. Moreover, a bit of exercise can do you and the family no harm either.
None of these tips require too much effort to implement and you don’t need to be an expert mechanic to understand the ways in which these help improve efficiency. Follow them diligently to save money in times of inflated fuel prices.