Transport Tips: Save On Fuel
Transport Cost Saving Tips
It is no joke when we say fuel is expensive. Over the last 5 years, the Rand has consistently lost a Rand a year vs the Dollar and petrol prices are linked to the US Dollar. This means that fuel is costing us more and more each year.
With fuel prices reaching record highs this places more and more pressure on our already stressed wallets. It thus becomes important to look for ways to keep your transport costs down.
How You Drive Can Save You Money
A guide on fuel saving says that motorists can save as much as 37% just by changing the way they normally drive. If you drive smart you can save on fuel. So, how should we be driving to get the most bang for our buck at the petrol station? We look at 10 Tips to save you money.
1) A Well Maintained Car Goes further on Less Fuel
If your car is regularly serviced at the correct distance and time intervals this means your engine will be running at its best.
Make sure your spark plugs are in good condition. Not all spark plugs are created equal. Did you know you get high performance spark plugs that create larger sparks which can help create a bigger cleaner burn in the combustion chamber? This gives you slightly more power and lower emissions.
2) Tire Pressure & Alignment
Aligning your tyres can have a huge impact on your fuel usage. Balancing wheels also ensures even wear and tear over time.
Checking tyre pressure also ensures that you have less drag and enough traction on the road. Too much pressure and you lose traction and increase wear on your tyres. Too little pressure and you will have more drag.
3) Get That Junk Out Your Trunk
Taking unneeded items out of the car can improve fuel efficiency by 1% or more.
Note: Don’t remove your spare tyre or jacks etc. You may need them one day.
4) Steady Does It
Maintaining a steady speed and driving at a nice cruising speed for longer time periods is the biggest fuel saver.
One tip is to drive as if you don’t actually have brakes (you do…so don’t forget to use them when you need to).
Newer cars use fuel injection. If you have the car in gear but your foot is not on the accelerator then these newer cars will shut off the injectors and only use a tiny amount of fuel. So taking your foot off the accelerator when possible is a good thing.
Note: Keep your foot close by in case you need to suddenly accelerate.
Keep your car in gear when driving. Putting your car in neutral while driving (eg. down a hill) actually causes some cars to use more fuel as the car switches to idle.
5) Coast Through Life
Try coasting (with your foot off the accelerator if possible) and only accelerating as needed. Slight downhills and slow movement in traffic without using the accelerator can be your savings friend. Keep your foot near the brake peddle and try pick your lane so that you are moving at a steady pace along with the majority of cars in the area.
When accelerating try to do so slowly. Harsh or sudden accelerating uses a huge amount more fuel than a slow and steady increase in pressure.
‘Many of us like to ‘put the peddle to the metal’. This wastes a lot of fuel’
If you see that you are approaching a stop or slow traffic, be quick to take your foot off the accelerator and already start slowing down in advance. This means you immediately start using less fuel and do not need to brake harshly when you reach the stop street or traffic light.
When accelerating try to put the minimal pressure on the accelerator peddle possible. Try pushing it down by 2cm at first and see how the car slowly will speed up. Many of us like to ‘put the peddle to the metal’. This wastes a lot of fuel and is only needed in emergencies.
When Pulling Away
When accelerating from a stop is probably the best time to give a little more “stick” and accelerate slightly faster than when you are already moving and cruising on the highway. Many new cars favour a quick pull away, ironically. So, more pressure on the gas pedal when pulling away can actually save you fuel (but not once you are already cruising).
But Wait, There’s More…