|Car Care: Make the most of your Fuel
Fuel economy is something one can never have enough of. Here’s how to get more from your car irrespective of the vehicle you drive… Most of these tips will give you a very slight increase in efficiency -- but use several together and the mileage improvements will really add up…
Accelerate and brake as smoothly as possible
Think ahead! By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Try to predict traffic at junctions and when in queuing to avoid accelerating and then braking. Research suggests driving techniques can influence car fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent.
Use highest gear possible
Driving in the highest gear possible without laboring the engine is a fuel-efficient way of driving. A vehicle travelling at 60kmph in third gear uses 25 percent more fuel than at the same speed in fourth gear.
If you're the type who takes a leisurely attitude towards car cleanliness periodically go through your car and see what can be tossed out or brought into the house. Think carefully what you need before going on a journey. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions and the higher the fuel efficiency.
Check your tyre pressure
It is estimated that about 50% of tyres on the road are under inflated. Aside from increasing the rate of wear, this wastes fuel and decreases fuel efficiency. Check your tyre pressure every fortnight.
Plan ahead and combine small trips - If you can plan your errands and small trips a few days in advance you’ll save fuel and time.
Avoid excessive idling
There is no longer any need to warm up your car for 5 or 10 minutes. Remember you only need to idle your car for 30 seconds on cold days. Extra idling can add extra wear and tear to your engine as well as use extra fuel. This stands true even for the stops outside the grocer, school gate, office entrance etc. Switch off while you wait and then restart.
Close windows at high speed
Driving with your windows open drastically reduces fuel efficiency. So keep those windows up and air conditioning slow. Of course air conditioning decreases fuel efficiency too so try not to over use it.
Don’t drive when you can walk
Many of us have become very dependent on our cars. If you can get to your destination by walking, get some exercise. Rule of thumb is, if you can walk it in 5 or 10 minutes, don’t drive.
Change your lube at intervals specified by the owner’s manual.