Despite the fall in crude oil prices, there seems to be no change in the prices of petrol. This is due to the high petrol duty in Singapore which was raised a year ago. This means that even when the prices of petrol fall, the cost of running your car will be still very high. Therefore, the only way to save money on petrol is to reduce the amount of fuel you use. The amount of fuel you use is influenced by the way you drive and also the condition of your car. This means that for you to use less petrol, you have to drive in a way that increases your miles per gallon while saving you fuel. Here are 8 ways to save on petrol.
1. Drive at the speed limit
Speed control has the biggest impact on every car’s fuel efficiency. Every vehicle has it’s own optimum speed. When you go over this optimum speed or go under it, you burn more fuel. If you are wondering how going slower burns more fuel, I will explain it to you. There is a minimum amount of fuel consumed even when you go much slower. Therefore, it is better to drive at the optimum speed since it covers more distance with the same amount of petrol.
2. Drive in the right gear
When driving, you should shift gears carefully and according to the desired speed. When you use low gears at high speed or high gears at low speed, you are likely to use more petrol due to more strain on the engine. It has been found out that manual control uses less fuel compared to automatic control since a driver has more control over acceleration. Ensure that you don’t skip the first gear since the second gear is not usually as powerful as the first one and, therefore, leading to the use of more fuel.
3. Accelerate smoothly
When driving, always stick to a constant speed and also in the highest gear. Whenever you hit the gas to accelerate after you stopped, your car ends up burning more fuel not forgetting increasing tire wear. If you accelerate more slowly, you only use the fuel necessary for getting your car to the cruising speed. To keep it flowing minimally, maintain a steady acceleration when driving, stick to one lane, and avoid overtaking. You should also avoid pushing the accelerator down too far whether you are trying to avoid changing into a lower gear or not. It will just make your car burn more fuel. If you want to put your foot off the gas pedal while on the highway, consider using overdrive and cruise control. Overdrive extends your engine’s life by keeping it’s speeding down while cruise control enables your car to move at a steady speed.
4. Make your car lighter
The heavier your body is the more energy you will need to move and that applies also to your car. When you car carries a lot of weight, it needs more fuel to move. It is advisable to leave heavy luggage at home when you don’t need them on a trip. Unnecessary tools should also not be carried. If you are driving a pickup, you can lower the tail gate to reduce the drag. Leaving the tail gate not lowered creates an air cushion behind the carb thus creating a low drag surface where air travels over.
5. Minimize aerodynamic drag
Car designers try to make your car sleeker to reduce the drag on it. Though you can do nothing about the design of your car, you can avoid making it worse by using roof racks, bike racks, and leaving the windows open. When you really have to carry a load in the roof racks, make sure you carry them in a way that minimizes the resistance from the wind. By doing this, you can save up to 20 percent of your petrol consumption.
6. Avoid traffic and bad weather
Idling makes your car burn more fuel and makes the water pump spin at an inefficient speed. Fuel consumption is also very high in rainy and windy weather. This is because the high barometric pressure tends to create more drag making requiring more fuel to maintain a forward movement. When you are stuck in traffic, your car needs first gear and more fuel to start moving again. Apart from driving you faster to a filling station, it also leaves hot spots in your engine which are likely to result in mechanical failures. It is always better to travel when there is no traffic to save fuel. If you are carrying passengers in your car and have to make a stop somewhere, always remember to turn off the engine and wind down the windows.
7. Use air condition sparingly
Did you know that air conditioners can raise your fuel use by up to 10 percent? Though it is always tempting to leave the air conditioner on throughout the whole trip, it raises your fuel costs high. When it is not hot inside, it is advisable to turn the air conditioner off. If you find it very hot inside your car at the start, you can turn down the windows for some time before you turn on the air conditioning.
8. Check your tires constantly
Your car tires have a very big impact on the amount of fuel your car uses. When your car runs on very low pressure, more petrol is burnt. This is because they bite more into the ground creating a traction and the more traction there is the more petrol your car will use to move. You should, therefore, keep your tires always inflated to the proper pressure. Most people resolve to change their tires to the modern style ones which are much thicker. However, thick tires mean an increase in width and therefore a higher rolling resistance which translates to higher fuel consumption. Likewise, check on your engines and cylinders to ensure that they are always in good condition. Unmaintained engines work much harder to generate the required power to move the vehicle and therefore ending up burning more petrol.