The ever fluctuating petrol prices are beyond our control but practicing good driving habits could save you money
Motorists often underestimate the impact their driving style has on the fuel efficiency of their cars but the truth is that a few adjustments could make a huge difference. Here are a few useful tips to help motorists be greener and more fuel-efficient drivers.
- Drive smoothly
Aggressive driving such as rapid acceleration, speeding and braking can lower your fuel mileage significantly. So, accelerate smoothly, brake softer and earlier, and stay in one lane while it’s safe to do so. Not only do these driving techniques save fuel, they also prolong the life of your brakes and tyres.
- Slow down
Speeding wastes fuel. Aim for a constant speed. Driving at 90 km/h instead of 100 km/h can improve your fuel efficiency by 10-15%. Pumping the accelerator sends more fuel into the engine, emptying the tank faster.
- Don’t keep your engine idling
Today’s engines don’t need a warm up. Start the car immediately and gently drive away. Don’t leave your car idling. Prolonged idling increases emissions and wastes fuel. Turn the engine off whenever it is safe to do so, such as when stationary for more than 30 seconds, this avoids unnecessary energy consumption of an idle running engine.
- Remove unnecessary cargo
Reducing the amount of cargo you keep in your boot or on your back seat can improve your fuel efficiency as less energy is needed for acceleration. Try to travel as light as possible, keep only the most important items (like an emergency kit, jumper cables, a small toolset, and a small jack) in the vehicle.
- Only use A/C on the highway
Your fuel economy drops by up to 15% when you use the air conditioner at low speeds. So, if it isn’t too hot, turn off the air conditioner and roll down your windows instead. However, at 90 km/h or higher, using the air conditioner is preferable to opening windows because your vehicle has much lower wind resistance with the windows closed; and because the engine produces more power at higher revs, so it is able to run accessories like the A/C compressor more efficiently.
- Ensure your tyres are correctly inflated: Incorrect wheel alignment and underinflated tyres lead to increased resistance between the tyres and the road. This makes your engine work harder than it ordinarily would, leading to higher fuel consumption, and increased wear on the tyres. Check your tyre pressure at least once a month and before and after a long distance drive. Alignment should be checked at least every six months, or after run-ins with potholes.