Six ways to dodge fuel price shock
MONEYWEB’S Adriaan Kruger warns conservative estimates show SA fuel prices may hit R17,30 per litre at the end of this year and he predicts the petrol price could hit R20 per litre before December 2019.
This assumes an average oil price of $100 and an exchange rate of $13,20, as well as increases of around 10% in all the different taxes, levies, transport cost and industry margins, South African fuel prices can increase to above R20 per litre before the end of next year.
This means an average 40-litre tank of a small car will cost R800 to fill and that big double cabs and SUVs we love to drive, which give about 8 km/litre in town, will drink some R2,40 worth of fuel for every 1 000 metres driven between the lights, and not much less while the engine is idling.
Wheels recently visited the Total Island View Terminal and Lubes Manufacturing Plant in Durban harbour to hear at the source of most of SA’s fuel how the truck drivers, who deliver the stuff, get more out of each litre.
Here are their six tricks of the road to save fuel:
Drive on the rev counter
In a diesel, keep the needle at about 2 000 rpm or lower. In a petrol vehicle, try to stay under 3 500 rpm. This means pulling off slowly and never flooring the go-faster pedal.
Don’t touch the brake
Truckers only use the brake to come to a complete stop. For the rest its “bad drivers brake, good drivers regulate”.
Keep the oil fresh
Rub your palms fast and feel how soon the heat builds up. Now add some hand lotion and feel the difference. Friction in the engine works the same, and to understand why the lubricants must be clean, add a pinch of sand or metal shavings to your lotion and rub again ...
More speed means less money
The faster you drive, the denser the invisible wall of air becomes that the car has to punch through. Going slower means less air resistance and using a lot less fuel, saving you money.
Keep calm and carry on
Attitude is 80% of fuel consumption. Smile and make room for those who want to waste their fuel by racing to point B.
Think out of the car box
Car pool groups, scooters and electric bicycles are proven means to turn the fuel price into something other people worry about.
A Total driver busy filling one of 2 800 bowsers that tank up every month at the Island View Terminal in Durban harbour.