Economy Hints and Driving Techniques – Petrol and DieselEconomy Hints and Driving Techniques – Petrol and Diesel

Learn to be cost- and consumption-conscious. The following fuel-saving tips may seem obvious at first glance. But it’s surprising how effective they can be:

Don’t overfill. Never overfill the fuel tank of your car. If you have done so, don’t park in the sun, or on a gradient with the filter facing downhill.

Use correct Octane fuel. Using a fuel of a higher octane rating than that recommended for your car

doesn’t improve its performance. It’s simply money going up in smoke.

Avoid soft tyres. Tyre pressure which are too low not only increase consumption, but also markedly reduce tyre life.

Use multi-grade oil. Multi-grade oil in the engine will reduce drag.

Economical motoring through skilful driving techniques

Avoid stop-start driving. Learn to read traffic patterns by anticipating traffic light changes so that braking and accelerating are minimised. It stands to reason that a car moving along steadily will use much less fuel than another constantly stopping and starting. By slowing down in advance it is sometimes possible to get to a red light as it changes, and to continue with slight acceleration instead of starting from a dead stop.

AA tests have shown consumption can increase dramatically over the first few hundred metres from a standing start.

Drive smoothly. Heavy braking and ‘flooring’ the accelerator both waste fuel.

Try and use just the first quarter of the accelerator movement and for the best results under normal

driving conditions, try to keep the accelerator pressure steady.

When your tank’s almost empty and you need to stretch every drop to reach a filling station, you can

actually halve your consumption by using this effective technique:

Accelerate slowly, using only the first quarter of the throttle movement, until you reach 70km/h to 80km/h.

Shift into neutral, leave engine idling to keep brake and power steering operative, and allow road speed to drop to 25km/h. Repeat the cycle.

Change up quickly and save. Lower gears use an excessive amount of fuel.

Change up as quickly as circumstance permit. Skip a gear, say first to third, if you can.

Close your windows. Open windows create a drag that increases fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

Use your handbrake on hills. Never ride the clutch to hold your car on an incline. You’ll waste fuel

and dramatically reduce the life of your clutch. With an automatic transmission, never use the accelerator to hold against an incline.

That’s what your handbrake is for.

When and how to use your car

Every motorist can achieve a positive and significant saving in fuel consumption simply by prudent use of the car. The more you drive, the more fuel you use. Especially on those short trips. Here are some startling facts.

The cold facts on cold starts: Fuel consumption can increase by as much as a staggering 400% on each cold start, as compared to starting when the engine is warm. So by cutting down on unnecessary short trips you’ll be making a substantial saving.

Short trips: Not only do unnecessary short trips waste excessive amounts on each start, but they

dramatically increase oil dilution, engine wear and are a major cause of premature exhaust failure.

Pool your resources: It makes sense to use one car instead of several. Get involved with lift-clubs. The saving is well worth the slight inconvenience.

As the crow flies: The shorter the trip, the less fuel you use. Experiment with various routes and

various departure times to see where you can save.

Think about others: Parking your car where it interrupts the flow of traffic, failing to move your car after a minor accident, are typical daily occurrences that thoughtlessly waste hundreds of litres of fuel.

Tips for Paraffin users

  • Keep appliances clean so that they burn efficiently.
  • Turn off burners and any appliances when no in use.
  • When it’s time to replace an appliance buy one of the new energy efficient appliances.
  • Do not heat more water than needed at any time.
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