Tips for Fuel Efficient DrivingPublished Friday, July 19, 2019
The way you drive and the condition of your car has an impact on the amount of fuel you use.
Here we look at a few tips for fuel efficient driving which will help you save money at the bowser.
Minimise your vehicle use
Vehicles are least fuel efficient and most polluting at the start of a trip and on short trips. One of the most obvious and best ways you can save on fuel costs is to stop using your car so much. Explore other options such as public transport, car pooling, walking or riding a bike and consider if they can work for you.
Plan to do a number of errands in one trip rather than several trips and save both time and fuel. You can also avoid short vehicle trips by walking or cycling instead.
Drive in the right gear
Driving in a lower gear then you need wastes fuel, and letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners is also wasteful. In a manual vehicle, change up gears as soon as the car is comfortable with the higher gear but without accelerating harder than necessary.
Automatic transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car gathers momentum. Avoid the use of power options which drop the car into a lower gear and therefore use more fuel.
Fuel consumption increases significantly over about 90 km/h. At 110 km/h your car uses up to 25% more fuel than it would cruising at 90 km/h. If your car is fitted with cruise control, using it during highway driving will help to maintain a steadier speed, which will save fuel.
Look after you vehicle’s tyres
Check your tyre pressure on a weekly basis and inflate your vehicle’s tyres to the highest pressure recommended and make sure you wheels are properly aligned. Looking after you tyres will not only reduce your fuel consumption it will also extend the tyre life and improve overall vehicle handling.
The more weight a vehicle carries, the more fuel it uses. Don’t use your vehicle as a mobile storage facility. Leave any heavy items like tools and sports equipment at home if you are not going to need them on a trip.
External attachments such as roof racks will increase wind resistance and fuel use. If possible remove them when not in use; and when you are using them, load them carefully to minimise wind resistance.
Maintain your vehicle
Keep your vehicle up to date with servicing and ensure it is regularly maintained. Get your car serviced at the intervals specified in the manufacturer’s handbook.
As part of caring for your car, you should:
- Keep the engine correctly tuned
- Keep filters in good condition
- Keep the fuel ignition systems in good working order
- Regularly change the engine oil using the correct grade of oil as recommended by the manufacturer
Use air-conditioning sparingly
Did you know that air conditioners can use about 10% extra fuel when operating. It’s tempting to leave the air-con on the whole year round. It stops the windows misting up in winter and you don’t ever need to think about the temperature inside the car, but it uses quite a bit of fuel, so why not turn it off when it’s not hot?
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