EVERY single person is being affected by the recent increases in the price of petrol.
After last week’s massive rise in the cost of fuel, consumers are paying R2 per litre more than last year this time.
And not only does the high petrol price affect drivers, but everyone is going to feel it. as all prices soar due to the increase.
But for those who own vehicles, there are a few ways to actually save fuel while driving.
One of the ways to cut down in fuel costs, is by making sure that your tyre pressure is correct. This is one of the easiest and most important things to do.
If a range is recommended by the manufacturer, the optimal pressure should be used to maximize fuel efficiency. Deflated tyres run hot and jeopardize safety. It will also cause the tyres to wear out prematurely, affect the vehicles adversely, and hurt the fuel economy by increasing the rolling resistance.
Tyres lose about 1 psi pressure per month due to air loss caused by the tyre hitting holes, bumps and kerbs. Therefore, the tyres should be checked at least once a month. Just one tyre deflated by 2 psi will result in a 1% increase in fuel consumption.
Drive at a moderate speed. Now this is a tricky one for the many people who love to press their foot down on the accelerator.
Fuel consumption increases rapidly at speeds above 90 km/h. Basically, the more you press down on the accelerator, the more your car consumes petrol.
On the average, a car uses about 15% more fuel at 100 km/h, and 25% more fuel at 110 km/h compared to when it is doing only 90 km/h.
Avoiding high speeds not only reduces petrol consumption, but also results in safer driving.
Keep your air filter clean. Clogged air filters increase fuel consumption by restricting airflow to the engine, and thus should be cleaned/replaced when necessary. Clogged air filters can increase fuel consumption by up to 10%.
Using thinner tyres on your vehicle also helps. While thicker tyres allow your vehicle to handle better on the road, they do increase your fuel consumption.
When starting the engine in the morning, idle it no more than 30 seconds to warm it up. Avoid sudden acceleration before the engine has warmed up sufficiently.
Drive in the highest gear possible.
The engine runs most efficiently between around 1,500 and 2,500 rpm. To maintain these low revs, you should change up through the gears as soon as is practical and before the revs reach 2500 rpm.
For automatic transmission cars, you should always switch on your overdrive to help save fuel.
Avoid carrying any unnecessary weight in your car. On the average, every 50 kg added load in your car will increase fuel consumption by 2%.
A driver can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10% by anticipating traffic conditions ahead and adjusting the speed accordingly and avoiding unnecessary braking and acceleration.
The fuel consumption remains at a minimum during steady driving at a moderate speed of about 90 km/h.
Keep in mind that every time the accelerator is pressed hard, the engine goes into a “fuel-enrichment” mode of operation that wastes fuel.
The vehicle should always be gradually and smoothly accelerated. Using cruise control on highways can help maintain a constant speed and reduce fuel consumption.
Additional parts on the exterior of a vehicle such as roof racks or having the window open, also increase fuel consumption.
Air-conditioners can use about 10% extra fuel when operating. However, at speeds of over 80 km/h, use of air-conditioning is better for fuel economy than an open window.
Minimise fuel wastage in idling by stopping the engine whenever your car is stopped or held up for an extended period of time. Idling more than a minute consumes much more fuel than restarting the engine.
And when in the market for a new vehicle, take into consideration the fuel usage of the model which you are looking at, and if possible, down-scale to a smaller model vehicle.
And before you get in your car, always ask yourself: “Is this trip really necessary, or can I walk?”