Travel & Outdoors

Make the most of your tank

Make the most of your tank

With the Automobile Association forecasting a fuel price increase of up to 55 cents per litre, already cash-strapped consumers will have to make the most of every tank of fuel.
 
According to the US Department of Energy, smart driving could increase your fuel economy by as much as 40 per cent, meaning that on a tank that normally gets you 650 km, you could get more than 900 km. This translates to almost a tankful of savings for every two times you fill up!
Here are some handy money-saving tips from Budget Insurance …
  • Make sure that your vehicle is serviced regularly. Things like worn spark plugs, sticky brakes, low coolant levels, dirty oil, and dirty fuel- and air filters all add up to engine inefficiency, which leads to increased fuel consumption.
  • Check your vehicle’s wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment causes more friction, which takes more power to overcome and results in higher fuel consumption.
  • Check for underinflated tyres, as these, too, increase resistance.
  • Close the vehicle’s windows when driving, as open windows cause drag.
  • Reduce the vehicle’s weight by removing unnecessary items from it and, if you mostly do urban driving, consider driving with only half a tank of fuel.
  • Reduce drag by removing roof racks and other accessories when they aren’t in use.
  • Don’t “floor it”. Rather accelerate gradually.
  • Don’t speed.
  • Avoid stop-starting. Maintain momentum as far as possible by looking and planning ahead, flowing with traffic and timing your approaches to hills, traffic lights and crossings better.
  • Drive at the lowest speed in the highest gear that the road and traffic conditions allow, without labouring the engine.
  • Use the air conditioning only when necessary.
  • Plan your trips more carefully and do several tasks on one round trip, as opposed to many shorter ones. This not only limits mileage and the amount of time it takes to get your chores done, but also keeps your car’s engine running at optimal temperature.
  • Wait out the traffic. If traffic is heavily congested, spend a bit more time at the office to tick more items off your to do list, or stop at a spot where you can have coffee or a bite to eat. Battling through traffic not only increases fuel consumption, but also wear and tear on your car’s transmission and brakes.
  • Keep your finger on the pulse by reading or listening to up to date traffic reports and monitoring your GPS for faster routes.
 
 

Get It Magazine (Ballito/Umhlanga) August 2017


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