By Emsie Martin
Driving around unnecessarily is now becoming a luxury. Consumers are facing a huge increase in the price of fuel, which means that you will have to delve deep into your pockets. Depending on the data released by the Central Energy Fund (CEF) on 14 October, motorists are now going to pay approximately R19,30 per litre for 95 octane petrol and R17,00 for diesel. According to the AA the increase in diesel and paraffin will be the biggest in South African history. It is quite possible that motorists will have to pay R20,00 a litre before the end of the year. All of us have to drive and even if you save now by working from home, fuel is expensive. The time has come to think seriously about ways to save fuel.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Lift clubs are by far the best solution to rising transport costs. Yes, it is not always ideal, but the time has come to consider it. At the same time it limits wear and tear on your car. Even if there are only two people in your lift club you can halve your fuel expenses.
- Plan your excursions and shopping (make a list) so that you can buy everything that is in one area in one shot and don’t have to drive because you’ve forgotten something.
- Do not rush. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. Rather drive at 5 km below the speed limit, it will also prevent you from getting traffic fines.
- Do not charge at vehicles in front of you. It wastes fuel. Rather slow down.
- Accelerate evenly. A lot of fuel goes waste if you floor the accelerator.
- Do not drive with your foot on the clutch and brakes. It increases fuel consumption and wear and tear.
- Drive a car with a manual gearshift in the highest possible gear without straining the engine.
- Keep the windows closed on the open road. Open windows create resistance that can increase fuel consumption by up to one fifth.
- You can save up to 10% on fuel by switching off the air-conditioner when you don’t really need it.
- Do not cart around unnecessary baggage like golf clubs, the extra pram or bottles for recycling. The heavier the load, the more fuel you use.
- Have the car serviced regularly.
- Check the tyre pressure. Tyres that are not properly inflated increase your fuel consumption and can also be dangerous.
- Reduce wind resistance. If you do not use the luggage rack or roof tent on your vehicle every day, rather remove them to decrease fuel consumption.
- Stay in a lower gear on inclines. Do not strain your engine by staying in a high gear. A low gear keeps the engine speed higher and uses less fuel.
Other suggestions by Chris Failkner, head of the Breitling energy Corporation in Texas in the USA .
- Park in the shade – Petrol evaporates out of your fuel tank and will evaporate faster if you park in the sun. If you park in the shade the temperature inside your car will also be lower and you will not have to use the air-conditioner so much when you drive the car again. To cut evaporation further, make sure your petrol cap is airtight and buy petrol when it is cooler during the day (preferably early in the morning or in the evening).
- Switch off your car if you have to queue for longer than a minute. Most newer models do it automatically. It uses more fuel when the engine is idling than switching on the car again.
- Consider buying a more fuel-efficient car and rent fuel-efficient cars when you travel.
- Lastly, fasten your seat belt before you start the engine to save a few seconds of engine use.
Remember, every bit helps to reduce fuel consumption.
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