Fuel saving tips
Skyrocketing fuel prices are getting to all of us, and we need to do our best to get the most out of every drop of fuel we put into our tanks. According to the South African AA, a well-maintained car uses between 10%-20% less fuel.
With that fact in mind, it is obviously very important to get your car serviced at the intervals recommended by your manufacturer as it helps to reduce your fuel consumption and properly working parts make for more efficient fuel usage. There is more that you can do and keep in mind though, and we’ve got some good tips for you.

Shave off the weight

The heavier a car, the more fuel it needs to get to its optimum performance. In other words, a lighter car makes for better fuel consumption. So what can you do?

• Only fill your tank with the amount of fuel you need, added fuel will increase the weight of your car unnecessarily.
• There will be times that you have to transport heavy items, but don’t drive around with heavy items in your car if you don’t have to.

Don’t skip tyre maintenance

Your tyres will wear over time, but incorrect tyre pressure and/or wheel alignment will speed up the wear-and-tear process and also cause unnecessary drag increasing fuel consumption.

Smooth driving helps

• Harsh acceleration or braking will increase your fuel consumption. Focus on what is happening ahead of you and try to avoid both.
• Gear down rather than labour your engine when you’re heading uphill.
• Avoid idling for too long as this also increases your fuel consumption. If you are stuck in heavy traffic, rather switch off your car and restart when the traffic moves - it uses less fuel than idling would.
• Don’t coast in neutral - it doesn’t save fuel and is quite unsafe as you have far less control over your car.
• A bit of good news, some insurance plans will even reward you for smooth driving styles.

Use your air-conditioning wisely

Air-conditioning vs. open windows is a hot topic, but the speed you are driving will determine which one is best.
• At low speeds - wind down your windows. Your air-conditioning will use additional fuel while winding down your windows won’t.
• At higher speeds - use your air-conditioning. It will be the lesser of two evils as open windows will decrease the car’s aerodynamics, increasing drag and fuel consumption more than air-conditioning will.

Keep an eye on your fuel consumption

It is usual for your fuel consumption to fluctuate as you travel up- or downhill, experience headwinds, etc. It shouldn’t be any cause for concern, but when your fuel consumption climbs and remains high, it could be an indicator that your car requires proper service or maintenance.