Did you know that a well-maintained car uses between 10 and 20% less fuel than an improperly maintained vehicle? Things like regular services, correct tyre pressure and proper wheel alignment can make the world of difference to your fuel consumption, and your pocket.
The Automobile Association of South Africa (AA) compiled a list of nine ways to save on your fuel consumption:
Stick to the speed limits
Speeding is not only dangerous but also negatively affects your fuel consumption. By driving at 110 km/h instead of 120km/h, you can save on your petrol bill in the end.
Don’t accelerate harshly
Harsh acceleration contributes to higher fuel consumption. Rather look at pulling away from robots or stop streets slowly and gradually. Don’t overwork your engine by driving at too high revs, and if you drive an automatic car, accelerate on a light throttle for early gear changes.
Keep your eyes on the road
By keeping your eyes on the road, and keeping a safe following distance, you can travel at a more constant speed, and avoid harsh braking. By slowing down gradually for changing robots, or stationary traffic, it is more economical for you and your car.
Make momentum work for you
Save some fuel by making your car’s momentum work for you. Build up speed before an uphill stretch, and when you crest a hill, take your foot off the accelerator pedal and use your car’s momentum to get you over.
Don’t use your aircon too much
We know South African summers can be brutal, and even though using an aircon is more fuel-efficient than driving with your windows down, it still increases fuel consumption. By using your aircon more judiciously, you can save fuel when driving.
Don’t overload your car
This may seem obvious, but overloading your car makes the engine work harder, using more fuel in the process. Pack lightly, and remember to remove unused heavy items like bike racks, or roof racks from your car when not in use.
Try to reduce idling time
We know how is this even possible with our current traffic? But wherever you can, try to not let your car idle for more than 30 seconds – rather switch it off. Also, try to avoid peak hour traffic where you can to save on your fuel consumption.
Avoid short trips
Trips of two kilometres or less use more fuel than longer trips. Even more so if your car’s engine is cold. Try not to make unnecessary trips to reduce your fuel bills.
By making some of these small changes, you will be able to save on your fuel costs and keep your car running more efficiently.