How can you reduce your car expenses when fuel prices are rising?
By driving smart !
In this day and age of rising fuel prices, it is always prudent to consider fuel savings strategies, even for those who think they can afford it.
Here are some personal tips on how to save fuel by driving smart.
1. Plan your route regularly. A miss turn here and a miss there will cost you valuable fuel and time wasted. Listen to the radio DJ that gives regular updates on traffic. Avoid congested roads and take the shortest routes. If you can afford one, invest in a GPS guidance device. The amount of wasted time and money circling and looking for the destination will recover back your initial investment in no time. In your route planning, avoid roads that are undulating, if that is possible, so that there will be less acceleration to climb hills or slopes.
2. Drive at consistent speeds. It has been found that if a driver cruise consistently between the range of 70kph to 90kph, the car or vehicle does not consume fuel unnecessarily. Avoid sudden stops and starts. You need more fuel to increase speed and waste fuel when you brake regularly.
3. In acceleration and deceleration, do it slowly and smoothly. Sudden acceleration causes more fuel to be consumed for bigger momentum change. Decelerate slowly and if possible avoid braking by using the engine's drag to slow the car down. You save on brake pad replacement cost too.
4. Off your engine while waiting. It is normal to be stationary for much of your driving experience because you need to wait to pick up passengers or wait for a parking space in a crowded lot. Some traffic jams can be horrendous. In such cases, switch off the engine to avoid wasting idling fuel. Hey, that's what hydrid cars do - when a hybrid car is stationary, the electrical motor takes over from the petrol driven motor and no fuel is used!
5. Use less air conditioners. In short trips, say to the grocer or school, off with the air conditioners will reduce your fuel cost. The air conditioner's condenser unit depends on your engine's fuel to power the motor thus burning more fuel.
6. Wind up your windows on the highways. The rational behind this is to reduce air friction or drag. With less air resistance the engine uses less fuel to move the car from one place to another.
7. Maintain equal and consistent tyre pressure. Check your tyre pressures regularly with a portable tyre pressure reader. Adequate pressure in all the tyres will reduce tyre drag and also less wear and tear for them. Don't forget to inflate your spare tyre as well. That is your insurance in case of a puncture.
8. Send your car for regular maintenance. Change your engine oil, oil filter, air filter, brake oil, coolant etc. according to the manufacturer's guideline. Tune your engine regularly. Most cars are recommended to be serviced after 5,000 km. However, no harm will come to your car if you can service your car somewhere between 5,000 to 10,000 km. Do not avoid this reminder. It can help you avoid costly engine repair.
9. Remove unnecessary luggage. Keep your golf bags at home. Carry them only when on golf trips. Keep other bags, luggage or equipment out of the boot. Reduce your car's gross weight and you will need less fuel.
10. And lastly, invest in a good fuel saver device. Some of them are inexpensive and very effective to regulate your vehicle's driving condition. Spark optimizer will give you consistent sparking voltage thus optimizing your fuel usage. Good electrical cables will have less voltage drop thus giving your battery a longer lifespan.
There you are, some of my fuel saving tips.