How to sur­vive fuel price in­crease

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

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

lleave

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.

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