Re­duce petrol bill by driv­ing smarter

Lesotho Times - - Motoring -

THERE are a few things you can do to ease the pres­sure on your wal­let (and your tank) … “Your style of driv­ing is one of the pri­mary fac­tors in de­ter­min­ing how much you will end up spend­ing on your car over and above re­pay­ment costs,” says Jeff Os­borne, Head of Gumtree Au­to­mo­tive.

Keep calm and carry on “Ag­gres­sive driv­ing” can in­crease fuel con­sump­tion and the amount of the wear and tear on parts. This in­cludes speed­ing, rapid ac­cel­er­a­tion, racing from traf­fic light to traf­fic light and slam­ming on your brakes that will use more fuel.

Ed­munds Test­ing found that ag­gress­ing driv­ing can in­crease your fuel us­age by up to 33 per­cent, which sug­gests you could ef­fec­tively re­duce your fuel bill by a third by driv­ing more se­dately.

Keep the air­con off It might be a big ask in sum­mer, but keep­ing your air con­di­tioner off can save you quite a bit of petrol in the long run. Your A/C com­pres­sor is run by a belt in the en­gine, which uses more fuel when ac­ti­vated.

The added con­sump­tion will be more no­tice­able at idle. Test­ing has shown that air­con can ac­count for about 5 per­cent of a car’s an­nual fuel bill and for the mod­ern en­er­gy­ef­fi­cient ve­hi­cle it’s about half of that amount.

Share your ride Form­ing a lift club can save you over R70 for ev­ery 100km trav­elled if you split the costs. “There are more than a 1000 lift clubs on Gumtree, so it’s easy to join one,” says Os­borne.

Plan your trip It may not sound like a petro-sav­ing ini­tia­tive, but leav­ing ear­lier can ac­tu­ally re­duce costs be­cause you aren’t rushed. Ex­perts have said that you want to take at least 15-20 sec­onds to get to 80km/h — a rel­a­tively gen­tle start in the low gears, with a more rapid shift through the mid­dle gears be­fore set­tling at an eco­nomic speed in top gear. If your car is fit­ted with an in­board com­puter that tracks fuel con­sump­tion, make use of it. You might be sur­prised at how your fuel con­sump­tion fluc­tu­ates based on the way you drive.

Take a load off Try not to over­load your car where pos­si­ble. “Where pos­si­ble, avoid over­load­ing your car with goods (and pas­sen­gers). The heav­ier the car, the heav­ier the fuel con­sump­tion.”

Keep the win­dows rolled up The ex­tra drag caused by open win­dows is not good for your fuel econ­omy. It’s much bet­ter for aero­dy­nam­ics to keep your win­dows shut. Of course, air con­di­tion­ing uses the most fuel when the car idles. Keep your air con­di­tion­ing turned off un­til you’ve reached cruis­ing speed and then turn it on.

Keep your tyres pumped up Drivers can also ben­e­fit from main­tain­ing the cor­rect tyre pres­sure. The in­cor­rect tyre pres­sure will not only af­fect your fuel con­sump­tion, but also your tyre life. “It’s also im­per­a­tive to buy qual­ity, known brand tyres and to have your car tyres fit­ted pro­fes­sion­ally. The wheels them­selves must be bal­anced cor­rectly and the align­ment reg­u­larly checked. Align­ment can be thrown out eas­ily by sim­ply hit­ting a pot­hole or a curb. This will af­fect your fuel econ­omy.”

Buy bet­ter Fi­nally, if you know that you have reg­u­lar long com­mutes, you may want to look at pur­chas­ing a more eco­nom­i­cal car. “You don’t have to spring for a hy­brid (which can be pricey to buy and main­tain), but a smaller hatch­back such as a Fiat 500 or Hyundai i10 uses sig­nif­i­cantly less fuel be­cause they are lighter on the road.” — Al­l4­women

There are a few things you can do to ease the pres­sure on your wal­let and your tank.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Lesotho

© PressReader. All rights reserved.