How to survive fuel price increase
WHILE motorists will be hard hit by the looming fuel price hikes, experts reckon that altering driving patterns and servicing cars can help mitigate the effects to a degree. The fuel price increase in South Africa is likely to have a knock-on effect on the Mountain Kingdom with speculation that the Petroleum Fund Lesotho could announce an increase in the price of fuel.
“With a little forethought, planning and minor adjustments to your driving style, you can survive the petrol price hike,” said Budget Insurance spokesman Graham Craggs.
He said motorists should regularly change components of the engine such as the spark plugs and filters.
“It is very important to keep up with engine maintenance and service your car regularly. Also make sure that spark plugs and filters are changed according to the vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations,” he said.
He added: “If your car is kept in optimal condition, you can reduce petrol costs and save yourself even more money by preventing costly repairs further down the line.
“Well-aligned wheels and correctly inflated tyres will also help motorists save fuel.
“This is because under-inflated tyres offer more road resistance, which means that fuel consumption goes up.
“Unsuitable wheel alignment can cause your car to use more power, which also increases the amount of fuel it needs to keep going and, of course, decreases the lifespan of the tyres.”
Before you go weight: extra weight means extra fuel so if there’s anything in the boot you don’t
need on the journey take it out
lstreamline: roof-racks and boxes add wind resistance and so increase fuel consumption. If you don’t need it take it off — if you do, pack carefully to reduce drag
promptly: don’t start the engine un- til you’re ready to go as idling wastes fuel and the engine warms up more quickly when you’re moving; in the winter, scrape ice rather than leave the car idling to warm up
ldon’t get lost: plan unfamiliar journeys to reduce the risk of getting lost and check the traffic news before you leave lcombine short trips: cold starts use more fuel so it pays to combine errands such as buying the paper, dropping off the recycling, or collecting the kids
lconsider alternatives: if it’s a short journey (a couple of miles or so) could you walk or cycle rather than taking the car?
Driving Tips Accelerate gently and be as steady as possible with the pedal when on the move.
Avoid harsh, stop-start driving. Your car is at its least economical when pulling off from a standstill — momentum is your friend. Anticipate traffic light changes (without taking risks) so that accelerating and braking are minimised.
Always drive in the highest gear possible, with the lowest possible revs, without straining your engine.
Without slowing the flow of traffic, avoid excessive speeds. At 110km/h your car uses up to 25 percent more petrol than it would cruising at a more moderate 90km/h, for instance. Keeping the previous tip in mind, extremely low speeds can also be uneconomical.
Keep your aircon off for as long as you can bear it as this adds significantly to the engine load.
Also avoid driving with the windows open, especially at high speeds, as this causes drag. Above 80km/h, an aircon is known to create less of a fuel-use penalty than an open window.
Use your handbrake on hills, rather than riding the clutch. This technique will also increase the life of your clutch.
— Iol/staff Writer
Fuel prices in Lesotho are likely to increase.