Use less petrol: here’s how

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

IT’S as good a time as any to start eval­u­at­ing ways of low­er­ing your con­sump­tion. There are two pri­mary ways of re­duc­ing your fuel bill – good main­te­nance and good driv­ing be­hav­iour. 1. Check your tyre pres­sure reg­u­larly and do not over­load

You can im­prove fuel con­sump­tion by check­ing your tyre pres­sure reg­u­larly. Over time, tyres nat­u­rally leak air, which re­duces over­all ef­fi­ciency. Se­condly, any­thing that’s weigh­ing your car down is go­ing to cost un­nec­es­sary fuel. Keep your spare tyre in the boot, of course, but you don’t need to keep your roof rack or other ac­ces­sories on hand un­less you are us­ing them. It will also re­duce un­nec­es­sary drag.

Buy qual­ity tyres from the start. Only buy known brands of tyre from rep­utable tyre deal­ers, and have your tyres fit­ted pro­fes­sion­ally. Make sure that your wheels are bal­anced cor­rectly and your wheel align­ment checked. Align­ment can be thrown out eas­ily by sim­ply hit­ting a pot­hole. Your tyres play a huge role in fuel econ­omy. 2. Find out how eco­nom­i­cal your car re­ally is

Be­fore you can re­duce your con­sump­tion, you have to know what it is. Set your trip me­ter to zero when you’ve filled your tank, to es­tab­lish costs, or use an app de­signed for that pur­pose. It might be time to trade your fuel guz­zler for some­thing more com­pact, or to in­vest in a com­pact car for daily com­mut­ing. Com­pare the op­er­at­ing costs of other mod­els and find out whether or not you can add to your bud­get by choos­ing a more eco­nom­i­cal model. 3. Drive for con­sump­tion

Speed should not be the pri­mary fo­cus when you drive – un­less you are on the race track. Aim to drive smoothly, ac­cel­er­ate gen­tly and avoid un­nec­es­sary, sharp break­ing. Avoid bring­ing the car to a to­tal stop when pos­si­ble – start­ing from halt uses less fuel. Driv­ing just 16km/h slower will use nine per­cent less fuel. Tak­ing your foot of the ac­cel­er­a­tor and pulling up your hand­brake up can save a lot of money – and re­duce the pres­sure on your clutch, which can burn out af­ter fre- quent use. 4. Plan your route

If pos­si­ble, plan your jour­ney to find the short­est route with the least traf­fic. Again, use apps to plot your route and keep up to date. Fail-

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