March 19, 2021
The various lockdown levels in South Africa continues to have a severe financial impact on most motorists. Fuel is expensive, so to learn some tips on how to save fuel while driving is very encouraging during this time.
Manufacturers clearly specify in the owner’s manual when a particular service must be done. Strictly sticking to the service requirements will ensure optimal fuel consumption. Poorly tuned cars are likely to use more fuel than is necessary.
Regular checking of tyre pressures is crucial and should be done once a week. The next time you stop at the garage, ensure that all the tyre pressures have lost about the same pressure. Any large drop in tyre pressure indicates a likely leak from e.g., a nail. Immediately have the tyre examined and repaired by a tyre dealership. Under-inflated tyres present a surface area on the road that is larger than that of correctly inflated tyres, causing greater friction. This causes additional heating up of the tyres and extra fuel consumption due to increased drag.
Any unnecessary weight in the car can cause extra fuel consumption. For example, you may still be carrying that extra bag of fertilizer in the boot, which you should have taken out last week. Although the spare wheel is extra weight, it should never be removed from the car.
The engine works harder in lower gears, which requires more fuel. Avoid staying in second gear when you could have already changed into third. Some newer models have an indicator showing when to change to the next higher gear.
Motorists are stuck in traffic jams every day, resulting in cars often having to stand still. Idling consumes unnecessary fuel, and for this reason, modern cars automatically switch off after a certain time. If you have an older car, switch off after more than 10 seconds of idling.
Increasing wind resistance of a car by having luggage piled up on the roof rack or having open windows results in higher fuel consumption.
Air conditioning places a demand on a battery which increases fuel consumption. Remember to check the battery’s condition from time to time.
Staying in first or second gear and then idling for a long time will harm your fuel economy. If possible, going to work after the rush hour means less fuel will be used.
Instead of rushing towards the traffic light, and slamming on brakes, drive slowly towards the traffic light. The traffic light may turn green by the time you get to it allowing you to improve on your fuel economy.
After saving considerable funds on fuel-saving, how about saving money on car insurance? Why not contact PMD for more information on affordable car insurance with unique benefits like premiums that don’t increase*. T’s and C’s apply.