Drive smart save fuel in 2014

By Staff Writer

It’s a new year and already we’ve been hit with a petrol price increase. As of the 1 January 2014, petrol will increase by 39 cents and diesel by 32 cents a litre. But if you drive smart you can save yourself some money. Follow these money saving tips on how to adjust your driving habits to save on fuel:


1.    Don’t drive erratically: Don’t accelerate harshly from stops and try to keep your accelerator in a constant position while you drive. Decelerate early for stops, keeping your engine revs as low as possible.


2.    Keep moving: Keep your car moving as much as possible as accelerating from a stopping position uses more energy than when you are moving. So try and ‘pace’ yourself in traffic and always keep a safe following distance of at least three seconds.


3.    Know your torque: According to the AA, your car is at its most efficient when its being driven at the right revolutions per minute (RPM) and the engine is producing the most torque. Check your manual under 'engine specifications' to find out your RPM.


4.    Maintain your car: Make sure your car is regularly serviced and ensure the wheel alignment is on point. This will not only save money during petrol price hikes but will prevent you from paying more on future maintenance costs.


5.    Travel light: If you load the car up to the brim in the boot, chances are your engine will work harder when the car accelerates. Reducing the amount in your boot and back of the car will reduce your fuel consumption and emissions.  


6.    Don’t overdo it with the aircon: It may be difficult as summer approaches not to use the aircon too much but unfortunately the air con’s compressor pump uses power from the engine. As the engine’s workload increases, so does its need for more fuel.

7. Make sure your tyres are properly inflated: Flat or even slightly deflated tyres mean more petrol usage.

 
8. Consider driving a fuel efficient car. If you own a gas guzzling old jalopy, it's time to upgrade to a more fuel efficient vehicle. This move will save you money and help to preserve the environment too.
 

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