If you’re planning a road trip this December with your family to your favourite holiday destination, the fuel expenditure could be rather pricey. With the price of fuel fluctuating month to month, you’re probably looking for ways to save and use fuel sparingly. If you are serious about saving fuel, there are some things you can consider to achieve that. In this post we’ll have a look at some expert tips on how to save money on petrol. Another post to have a look at before packing your bags are our helpful driving tips for a South African road trip.
1. Accelerate Smoothly From Pull Off
Pulling away smoothly from a standstill, avoiding wheel spins, and selecting the next gear as soon as possible are some of the best ways to save money on petrol. The most fuel-efficient way to accelerate is to take up to 20 seconds to get 80 km/h, starting gently in the lower gears, moving quicker through the middle gears, before settling into one of the higher gears.
2. Stay With The Flow Of Traffic
Drive at a reasonable pace around town and stay with the traffic. If it slows down too much you will not only be an obstruction, but you might also have to change to a lower gear which could use more petrol.
3. Gentle With The Throttle
Accelerate slowly and use the lower gears when you start from a speed below 1 500 r/min to avoid over-stressing your car’s engine. Large throttle openings will increase the fuel flow rate.
4. Manage Tyre Pressure And Wear
A car’s tyres play a huge role in its fuel, so you’ll want to buy the best you can afford and ensure they’re inflated to the right level. Check the wear and tear regularly, this can also impact alignment and performance.
5. Drive Slightly Slower
Reduce your cruising speed by 10 km/h. This should result in a measurable drop in fuel consumption because the air resistance increases dramatically with an increase in speed.
6. Anticipate The Traffic
Try to break as little as possible. Breaking converts the car’s momentum into heat energy. When you accelerate again, the engine has to supply the lost energy to get the car back to top speed again.
7. Avoid roof racks and trailers
Carry as much excess luggage inside the car as possible. A roof rack or trailer increases the air resistance, which in turn, increases the amount of fuel used by a fair amount while you accelerate. You may also want to reduce some weight from your car by removing unnecessary items from it.
8. Don’t Stop-Start
Try to maintain momentum as far as you possibly can, keep your eyes on the road, flow with the traffic, and time your approaches to hills, traffic lights and crossings.
9. Wait Out The Traffic
Battling through traffic increases fuel consumption and wear and tear of your car’s transmission and brakes.
10. Windows Vs Aircon
If it’s a boiling day and you need to keep cool, open your windows when driving at low speeds, instead of using the air conditioning. But when driving at 80km/h or more, open windows will cause significant drag, in which case it’s better to use your air conditioning.
The increase in fuel prices has had an impact on all of our daily lives, especially those of use who travel regularly. So, if you’re going on a road trip, it’s best to keep these tips in mind to ensure you know how to save money on petrol, and your car keeps running smoothly.