5 extra ways to save fuel

Motorists face another financial knock this month with the petrol increasing by 37c per litre and diesel rising by 72c per litre. This means the fuel price remains below R25 per litre but is still around R20 a litre at least. Petrol-using motorists will get approximately one less litre per tank for the same price while diesel users will get almost two litres less - tank size dependant, of course.

The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, says that with an uncertain economy and a fuel price that does not drop as fast as it rises, saving fuel at every opportunity is vital. “We have covered the most common methods to save fuel, such as avoiding speeding or not idling too long, on many occasions. Yet, there are other ways we may not immediately think of as having an effect on our fuel consumption. These are some less commonly discussed potential enemies to fuel consumption.”

  1. Low quality engine oil

If you use oil with the incorrect viscosity the pistons and other moveable parts are placed under more pressure which uses more fuel. Check your manual or ask your dealership for the correct engine oil and do not neglect to change your oil at the correct mileage.

  1. Tyre condition

Bad tyres have less traction and use more fuel as they spin faster to maintain speed. Low tyre pressure and tyres that are not correctly aligned can also consume more fuel. This is besides the other risk factors associated with tyres not in the correct condition.

  1. Avoid short trips

Trips less than 5km consume more fuel as the vehicles have not warmed up yet. Get all your chores done on the same day to get more kilometres from your tank. Conversely, on the other side of the debate, vehicles with newer technology do not need to be warmed up for longer than what is necessary to warm the interior or defog the windshield. Extended idling can potentially use more fuel than what it can save.

  1. Car servicing

Failure to replace spark plugs or fuel and air filters can increase fuel consumption. Worn fuel injectors also burn fuel faster. Do not neglect to replace faulty parts or neglect to service your vehicle on time.

  1. Bad driving

Driving in the wrong gears results in driving with high RPMs, accelerating harshly from a standstill or driving in high gears up hills or around corners and uses more fuel. Manual vehicle drivers with poor clutch control or worn clutches can also cause increased consumption.

Every effort one makes to conserve fuel makes a difference. When all of these are combined the effect will be even greater.