1. Buy On The Right Day Of The Week
It’s obvious – buy your fuel when it’s at its cheapest. This will save you up to 12 cents a litre. But be careful! The unwary motorist is already being caught out as the fuel companies are changing their cheapest days.
The ‘cheap days’ do vary from state to state, but in the Eastern States, for example, the cheap day was Tuesday, then Wednesday and now it’s Thursday morning.
2. Don’t Buy Ethanol Added Fuel
E10 fuel contains 10 per cent ethanol and is usually about 3 cents cheaper than 91 octane unleaded (when you can get it). But we reckon it’s a false economy. Check out why here
3. Pump Up Your Tyres
The car maker must place a label in the car (door jamb, glove box, fuel cap etc.) which displays the correct tyre pressures. If it gives a range then inflate your tyres to the highest limit (though it may give you a slightly harsher ride).
Under inflated tyres are not only dangerous, their increased ‘rolling resistance’ can increase fuel consumption by up to six per cent.
4. Slow Down
Again an obvious answer, reduce your speed, squeeze the accelerator more gently, anticipate conditions ahead to reduce your braking – all good ways to save your fuel bills.
Under motorway conditions over 50 percent of the power produced by your engine is used to overcome aerodynamic drag.
This drag factor increases rapidly at speeds above 90 kph. It’s reckoned that on average a car uses 15 per cent more fuel at 100 kph and 25 per cent more fuel at 110 kph than at 90 kph. Slowing down to 90 kph results in huge savings, probably much more than most realize.
5. Keep a Clean Air Filter
Clogged air filters increase fuel use by restricting air flow to the engine. It can cause an increae in fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent, yet it’s an easy fix.
6. Engine Idle – the 60 second bench mark
Minmize fuel wastage by turning off your engine when you are stopped for an extended period. Idling for more than a minute consumes much more fuel than re-starting the engine.
7. Turn Off The Air-Con
Air conditioners can use up to 10 percent more fuel when operating. But, on the other hand, it’s better to use the aircon at speeds of 80 kph and above than having an open window
8. Maintain your car
Keep your engine tuned, use fresh engine oil and follow the manufacturer’s service intervals. Studies have shown that a properly maintained car can reduce fuel consumption by up to a massive 20 per cent.
9. Use Proper Start Up Procedures
Don’t prime your engine by repeatedly pumping the accelerator pedal. Once you have started your car there’s no need to let it idle to warm up. An engine will warm up faster on the road, but avoid sudden acceleration until the engine is warm.
10. Buy A Fuel Efficient Car
This is another obvious one, but it’s not so self serving. New models are becoming incredibly fuel efficient right through the size ranges.
Small cars are posting efficiency figures as good as 3.7 litres per 100km, a performance thought to be utterly impossible just a few years ago. Techniques such as automatic engine shut downs at traffic lights, hybrid or diesel power, and aerodynamic excellence are becoming more and more commonplace.
Of course there are other logical techniques such as combining journeys, leaving you car at home or car pooling. If there are others that come to mind then let us know here