Wednesday, December 02, 2009

How to Maximise Your Fuel

Before you drive

1. Tune and service your engine – A well-tuned engine can improve fuel economy by up to 5%*, so always use the recommended grade of motor oil like Shell Helix and follow your car manufacturer’s recommendations on servicing.
2. Keep your tyres at the right pressure – Correctly inflated tyres are safer, last longer and drive more efficiently. A tyre that is under-inflated by just 1psi can reduce fuel efficiency by 1-2%.* An under- or over-inflated tyre is also more susceptible to failing and blowout.
3. Avoid carrying excess weight – For every extra 100lbs (45kg) you carry your fuel efficiency can drop by 1-2%*, so keep your boot or back seat clear of unnecessary items that just add weight to your vehicle.
4. Take the roof rack off – If you’re not using your roof rack then remove it. Racks affect the aerodynamic efficiency of your car, creating drag which can result in your car using up to 5% more fuel*. It all adds up to less mileage.
5. Plan trips carefully - Cutting down on the time spent in the car is the easiest way to conserve fuel. To reduce driving time, know where you’re going and, if possible, travel outside of peak times.

While driving

1. Drive smoothly and keep calm – Aggressive driving can use as much as a third more fuel than safe driving. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard and try to keep your steering as smooth as possible.
2. Use high gears and avoid over-revving – The higher gear you drive in, the lower your engine speed is, which can improve fuel efficiency. Change up a gear whenever you can, without labouring the engine. Never ‘redline’ the rev counter because you unnecessarily waste fuel.
3. Use cruise control and avoid high speeds – Using cruise control on major roads helps you maintain a constant speed and, in many cases, will reduce fuel consumption.As well as potentially dangerous, fast driving can waste fuel. Approximately at 70mph (110kmph) you could be using up to 30 per cent more fuel than at 50mph (80 kmph)**. So remember: the faster you drive, the more fuel you’ll consume.
4. Avoid excess idling – Idling gets you nowhere but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you’re in a queue or waiting for someone for more than a minute or two. Use ‘Start-Stop’ button/functionality, when available in your car.
5. Use air conditioning sparingly – Air conditioning puts added strain on the engine. Try to limit its use to particularly hot days only. Alternatively you can wind down the window - though you will lose some fuel efficiency with the window open, it is still far more economical than using the air conditioner.

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