One of the few ways we can cut down on spending in this austere period in the country is to cut down on our vehicles’ fuel consumption. Here are six ways we can accomplish this.
General note on fuel consumption
Please note that although the kind of vehicles we use, their ages and general performance have some impacts on their fuel consumption rate, yet there are some simple steps we can take to moderately control their fuel consumption.
1. Tune your vehicle
This is standard. Make sure your vehicle is in its best condition possible. Pay closer attention to your fuel and oil filters, fuel and ignition systems, engine oil grade, level and status.
2. Drive Economically
We can save more fuel when driving within the town by driving smoothly and maintaining a steady speed. Do not accelerate unnecessarily especially when your vehicle has gained enough speed. Avoid driving on roads with many bad portions and spots. Avoid peak hour and other heavy traffic where possible and avoid engine idling for long periods.
When driving on express ways, you can reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 25% by taking 20 km/h off your speed. You may also want to reduce the use of your vehicle air conditioner to the barest minimum.
3. Drive Light
The more load your vehicle is carrying, the more fuel it is bound to use. When within your control, empty your vehicle of unnecessary loads and baggage and carry only what is necessary.
Remember that filling your vehicle tank to the brim will also increase the load carried. Except where and when necessary, avoid driving around with full tank.
4. Regularly check and keep your tyres in good shape
Poorly inflated tyres are bad for fuel consumption because they increase rolling resistance. This will then increase the amount of fuel you need to gain and maintain a certain speed. It is said that setting the tyre pressure slightly higher than that recommended in the vehicle manual will aid in fuel economy.
5. Reduce drag on the vehicle
When driving more than 50km/h and your vehicle windows are down, you will increase the drag on the vehicle and by extension its fuel consumption. It is advised that you keep the windows up and use the ventilation system when travelling at or above this speed.
Bad or poor wheel alignment and brakes also increases drag on your vehicle and will ultimately increase fuel consumption.
6. Use your car less
This is straightforward. Use your vehicle only when necessary. Mix this up with public transport and carpooling where available.