Six ways to dodge fuel price shock

The Witness - Wheels - - FRONT PAGE - AL­WYN VILJOEN • al­wyn.viloen@wit­ness.co.za

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.

PHOTO: SUP­PLIED

A To­tal driver busy fill­ing one of 2 800 bowsers that tank up ev­ery month at the Is­land View Ter­mi­nal in Dur­ban har­bour.

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