Sa­ve fu­el cos­ts with good dri­ving ha­bits

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - News -

Pe­op­le of­ten un­de­res­ti­ma­te the im­pact that their dri­ving ha­bits ha­ve on fu­el con­sump­ti­on. On­ly mont­hs af­ter a sub­stan­ti­al fu­el p­ri­ce in­cre­a­se, SA con­su­mers will ha­ve to fa­ce that the pe­trol p­ri­ce cur­rent­ly is going on­ly one way - and that is up.

The Au­to­mo­bi­le As­so­ci­a­ti­on of South A­fri­ca (AA) ex­pects no mer­cy for mo­to­ris­ts re­gar­ding fu­el cos­ts for the ne­ar fu­tu­re. Ho­we­ver, so­me of the cu­re may be in the mo­to­ris­ts' own hands, the as­so­ci­a­ti­on says.

"Pe­op­le of­ten un­de­res­ti­ma­te the im­pact their dri­ving ha­bits ha­ve on fu­el con­sump­ti­on, but mi­nor twe­aks can help pro­tect your poc­ket at the pump," says Su­san S­te­ward of Bud­get In­su­ran­ce. "Ac­cor­ding to the de­part­ment of e­ner­gy in the US, s­mart dri­ving could in­cre­a­se your fu­el e­co­nomy by as much as 40%. T­his me­ans if you fill up 48 ti­mes a y­e­ar at R800 per tank, you could sa­ve mo­re than R15 000 a y­e­ar. Just by chan­ging the way you d­ri­ve and keeping your car in tip top shape, you could ha­ve an ex­tra R1 250 e­very month."

To help you furt­her re­du­ce your fu­el con­sump­ti­on, Bud­get In­su­ran­ce re­com­mends so­me practi­cal tips:

A­lign and in­fla­te

In­cor­rect w­heel a­lig­n­ment and un­der-in­fla­ted ty­res le­ad to in­cre­a­sed re­sis­tan­ce be­t­ween the ty­res and the ro­ad. T­his in turn le­ads to hig­her fu­el con­sump­ti­on as well as in­cre­a­sed we­ar and te­ar on ty­res. Check the ty­re pres­su­re at le­ast on­ce a month. A­lig­n­ment should be chec­ked at le­ast on­ce a y­e­ar, but a check e­very six mont­hs or af­ter in­ci­dents li­ke hit­ting a pot­ho­le or curb, is ad­vi­sa­ble.

Smooth and ste­a­dy

E­very harsh bra­ke and acce­le­ra­ti­on guz­z­les fu­el. Keep a sa­fe fol­lo­wing dis­tan­ce and a­void speeding off from a g­reen traf­fic lig­ht. Your fu­el tank and poc­ket will t­hank you.

Squash the need for s­peed

High speeds re­sult in high fu­el con­sump­ti­on. It's as sim­ple as that. At 110km your car u­ses up to 25% mo­re fu­el than it would crui­sing at 90km.

Hi­ke it up a ge­ar

As a ru­le of thumb: the hig­her the ge­ar, the lo­wer the pe­trol con­sump­ti­on. So al­ways d­ri­ve in the hig­hest ge­ar pos­si­ble wit­hout strai­ning the en­gi­ne by let­ting the re­vs drop too low.

Don't be a drag

The­re are ma­ny t­hings that cau­se or in­cre­a­se drag, in­clu­ding dri­ving with the win­dows o­pen and at­ta­ching car­riers or bi­kes to the roof. To de­cre­a­se drag, keep the win­dows clo­sed, es­pe­ci­al­ly at high speeds.

At­tach ad­di­ti­o­nal weig­ht to the re­ar of the car inste­ad of the roof.

Air con con­t­rol

Did you know that a car u­ses mo­re fu­el po­we­ring air con w­hen tra­vel­ling at lo­wer s­peed and less at a hig­her s­peed?

The hig­her the re­vs, the mo­re po­wer the en­gi­ne pro­du­ces, al­lo­wing it to run the air-con mo­re ef­fi­cient­ly. If you're dri­ving a short dis­tan­ce and tra­vel­ling at a s­peed un­der 80km, o­pen the win­dow inste­ad of swit­ching on the air con.

Ha­ve that he­alth check

Ma­ny com­po­nents of a car im­pact fu­el con­sump­ti­on.

If t­hey're not all wor­king pro­per­ly, you could be paying a hef­ty p­ri­ce.

E­ver­y­thing from dir­ty oil or air fil­ters to dir­ty in­jec­tors, a faul­ty exhaust, worn s­park plugs or low cool­ant le­vels can con­tri­bu­te to bad fu­el ef­fi­cien­cy. So ma­ke su­re t­hey all get a re­gu­lar check-up.

Practi­se pa­tien­ce

If you can a­void ma­jor con­ge­s­ti­on, do. It will end up sa­ving ti­me, frus­tra­ti­on and fu­el.

If you can't wait, use the techno­lo­gy at your fin­ger­tips by checking al­ter­na­ti­ve, less con­ge­sted rou­tes, on a re­li­a­ble traf­fic app.

Te­am up

Joi­ning a lift club is not on­ly a gre­at way to sa­ve fu­el and re­du­ce we­ar and te­ar on a car, it can al­so be a gre­at stress re­lie­ver, gi­ving you the f­ree­dom to re­lax whi­le so­meo­ne el­se is dri­ving.

S­witch on and go

The­re's no­thing li­ke a warm car on a cold mor­ning, but the ti­me spent id­ling whi­le a car warms up is cos­ting mo­ney.

Don't let your car id­le for lon­ger than a mi­nu­te. - Bud­get In­su­ran­ce

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