With fuel prices hitting an all-time high, it’s worthwhile to review a few driving habits which might be causing you to visit the petrol station more then you need to. Here are just 5 of my go-to tips for saving fuel. By Vuyi Mpofu
1. Slow down. One of the best ways to save fuel is to simply reduce your speed. As speed increases, fuel economy decreases. If you are heavy footed on the gas your face will become very popular at fuel stations all over town! As unexciting as it might sound, sticking to the speed limit is a sign of a frugal driver. It will save you fuel and money!
2. Dump the junk in the trunk. If you live out of the boot of your car, and carry your wardrobe around with you on a daily basis, chances are your car is burning up more fuel than it should simply because it is weighed down by unnecessary luggage. The more stuff in your car, the heavier it is, and the more energy your car needs to use to propel it forward.
3. Accelerate with care. The saying “drive it like you stole it” doesn’t apply if you want to conserve fuel. Always pull off gently so as not to “spike” your fuel consumption and keep an eye on what is happening in traffic 3 cars ahead of you so as to notice slowdowns well in advance.
4. Check your tyre pressure regularly. If your tyre pressure is low your engine will need to use more power in order to propel your car forward, resulting in, you guessed it – higher fuel consumption. Spend a few minutes every two weeks to check your tyre pressure. The best time to check your tyre pressure is first thing in the morning when the gas in your tyres is still cold and before you drive more than 5km from your starting point. And just so you look super knowledgeable about how much pressure goes into your tyre, take a peek at the table of figures near the lock of the driver’s side door, or on the lid of the fuel cap.
5. Close the windows and sunroof. The best shape for driving at higher speeds is when your windows and sunroof are closed and there is nothing “protruding” from your car (roof racks, spoilers etc.). When your car is in a sleek shape it cuts smoothly through the air ensuring little chance of getting dragged back by the air around it. Anything that makes wind noise around your car is usually a sign that its making your car costlier to run. You can’t do much about the car’s shape but you can decrease the chances of making things worse by closing your windows and sunroof. Opt to use the air vents instead and the air-con when it gets really hot.