Do you feel that you are not getting the best fuel consumption from your car? Do you feel a little bit cheated by the car company's claim on your car's fuel consumption?
We all feel that way from time-to-time. Remember fuel consumption depends on a variety of factors and is largely dependent on your driving habits and how well you maintain your car.
Luckily, there are ways to get your car to fulfil its fuel economy potential and you can get started right after reading this article. No extra cost and no special gadgets or treatments needed. A change of attitude may be in order but it's a good compromise for the amount of money you will save on fuel.
Before we get into the nitty gritty and before you say that fuel prices have gone down significantly since 2014, know that if you look at the trend historically, prices have consistently gone up. It may dip a few times but the general trend is upwards.
Here’s another tip. We all know that there are high points and low points in fuel prices in Australia so monitor the petrol price cycles and know when to fill up and when to wait awhile.
Get a 2 wheeler or a smaller car where possible – If you usually ride around alone and have no problem riding a motorcycle, go ahead and make that your daily drive. If you want the safety and comfort of a four wheeler, buy a smaller car instead. A 1-litre engine like the Ford Fiesta is great for driving around in the city and is top notch on fuel consumption. As low as 4.9L per 100km!
Go easy on the accelerator – We all want to get to where we’re going quickly but slamming on the accelerator especially when starting from a full stop consumes a lot of fuel. Accelerate smoothly then switch to higher gear as soon as you safely can. That brings us to the next tip;
Make sure you’re in the right gear – Staying in low gear when not necessary wastes a lot of fuel. The same when you are in high gear even at low speeds.
Turn off the engine instead of idling – Except maybe in stop and go traffic, you should turn off the engine if you expect to be idle even for just a minute. Contrary to what many people believe, warming up your car before heading out is not needed.
Turn off the air conditioner on cold days – Use the flow through vents to let cold air in instead of turning on the air conditioner. During hotter days, roll the windows down for a while to cool the car before turning on the air conditioner.
Use cruise control – When on a highway where traffic is usually light, use the cruise control to keep your speed at 100 km/h.
Fuel efficiency is not only affected by your driving style but also by how well you maintain your car.
Moreover, those accessories like the roof rack, bike rack, bull bar, etc… add weight to your car and therefore reduces fuel efficiency.
Never miss a scheduled tune up – A poorly maintained engine consumes way more fuel than a well maintained one. In fact, an engine can consume up to 50% more fuel if it is poorly maintained.
Check your tyre pressure and alignment – Flat and misaligned tyres make the engine work harder and therefore increase fuel consumption.
Fuel efficiency is a journey that involves the car and the driver. It is trial and error but once you get the right combination between driving style and maintenance, you are sure to travel further in-between visits to fill your vehicle.
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