Your car’s condition and your driving style affects your overall fuel consumption and, although petrol has recently stopped its unwavering price hike, it still holds one of the biggest cost of owning a car. Here are a few and easy driving tricks to help you save fuel and alleviate your hurting pocket.
Drive in the correct gear
The higher the engine revs the more it’ll consume fuel, and this makes driving in a lower gear than necessary less economical. When driving a manual car, changing your gear to the next higher as soon as the engine is comfortable to do so is a good trick to save on fuel. If you’re using an automatic car, go easy on the gas pedal as soon as the car has gained momentum so that it’ll shift gears earlier.
Avoid rush hour
Driving on congested road traffic is an expensive way to drive. Making ‘starts’ and ‘stops’ are unavoidable in traffic jam situations; your car requires more power when driving from a full stop and this requires more fuel, too. Try to avoid driving during peak-hours as traffic jams are worst during these hours. If your work makes it inevitable for you to drive during rush hours, then getting a smaller car designed for city driving would be a smart move to save on fuel.
Do it all in one go
A cold engine needs more power to warm-up and therefore uses more fuel. This is one of the reasons why short trips are least fuel efficient. Try going after several errands all in one go, and if you can, go for a walk or ride your bicycle. This will save you fuel and give you a good dose of exercise.
Inflate your tires properly
Under-inflated tires increases rolling resistance due to the excessive amount of tire rubber in contact with the road, and this also increases the fuel consumption by up to 6%. Get your tires checked routinely, or check them yourself (at least once a month) to make sure that they are properly inflated. If unsure what the proper pressure is for your tire, see your owner’s manual for the recommended tire pressure.
Avoid vehicle idling
Idling wastes fuel and contributes more to the greenhouse effect. If you need to stop your vehicle for more than a minute (except in traffic), just turn the engine off and park it.
Maintain an economical speed
Don’t be too hard on the accelerator. At speeds above 90 kph the fuel consumption increases significantly. Depending on your vehicle, the most economical driving speed is usually around 80-90 kph using the highest gear, so don’t be rough on the gas pedal and the fuel cost won’t get rough on you.
Avoid unnecessary weight
Get heavy items off your car like sports equipment or tools if you don’t need them for your trip. Make sure to clean your car and remove unnecessary weight before you leave.
Park in shaded parking
You might think that leaving your car in an open parking area instead of a shaded one to avoid parking fees will save you money, but it might not! A heated car will take much longer to cool (especially during the summer) and will consume more fuel to do so if you use your air conditioning, and besides you wouldn’t want your car to turn into a sauna in exchange for a little parking fee.
Carlos is a digital marketing and lead generation expert who has helped advocate driver education websites since 2012.