Another petrol hike has just hit South African consumers. Not only do rising fuel prices present direct challenges to household budgets, but they also cause a whole host of indirect problems as they cause the costs of other essential consumer goods to rise too.
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We at Highway Bakkie Hire would like to help you avoid this “double whammy” to your bank account by offering some key tips to maximise fuel consumption and keep your travel costs down. Here are the top five tips to help motorists cope with petrol price increases. The way you drive, and the condition of your car has an impact on the amount of fuel you use and therefore, the amount of money you spend on travel.
Your vehicle consumes the most amount of petrol when the engine is cold, particularly in the first 10km. It also emits more pollution. By making numerous trips and allowing your engine to cool between each stop-off, you are using a lot more fuel. Plan to do a number of errands in one trip rather than several trips and save both time and fuel. Try to avoid short vehicle trips by walking or cycling. This will save you money, as well as over a quarter of a kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions per kilometre of driving it replaces, as well as giving you healthy exercise.
Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel, and letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners is also wasteful. In a manual vehicle, change up gears as soon as the car is comfortable with the higher gear but without accelerating harder than necessary. Automatic transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car gathers momentum. Avoid the use of power options, which drop the car into a lower gear and therefore use more fuel.
During start-up, your engine burns a little extra petrol. However, letting your engine idle for more than a minute burns more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it. Most cars don’t need to be warmed up, so just start your car when you are ready to go. Once on the road, minimise fuel wasted in idling by turning off the engine whenever your car is stopped or held up for an extended period of time. By having the engine switched off, even for a short period, you will save more fuel than is lost from the initial burst needed to restart the engine.
Fuel consumption increases significantly when driving faster than 90 km/h. At 110 km/h your car uses up to 25 per cent more fuel than it would if you were cruising at 90 km/h. If your car is fitted with cruise control, using it during highway driving will help to maintain a steadier speed, which will save fuel. Stick to the speed limit and stay in the slow lane; your tank will reward you for it.
The lower your tyre pressure, the more traction there is on the road’s surface, which results in increased fuel consumption. Inflate your vehicle’s tyres to the highest pressure recommended by the manufacturer and make sure your wheels are properly aligned. Looking after your tyres will not only reduce your fuel consumption, it will also extend tyre life and improve handling. This makes for safe driving too, along with saving fuel.
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Drive safely, and get in touch for all your rental requirements