Good fuel economy is not only relatable to those who drive hybrids. Any car can achieve a fuel economy that’s better than the documented average consumption. I’m not saying that a Range Rover can have the consumption of a Suzuki Alto but it can do better numbers. It all comes down to a few tricks and tips. Considering the bipolar change in fuel prices (like how they went up recently after they had been reduced), most drivers are trying to save money spent at the pump. Well, here’s a few tricks and tips to achieve better fuel economy.
- Check the gas cap.
A simple mistake can be costly. A simple thing like leaving the gas cap open can lead to poor fuel economy. The fuel attendant can mistakenly leave the cap open or you might leave it open after cleaning. Make a point of checking to make sure the cap is closed. If your side mirrors are properly adjusted you should see the cap. If you want to be sure sure you can get out of the car, go round and check. In some cars you should see the check engine light when the cap is open when driving. Leaving the cap open will provide a way for fuel fumes to escape which is a wastage.
2. Use the right oil.
We humans have different skin types which means that we should use skin products that align with the skin type. Crossing the products can damage your skin. Like I remember when I was in class 8 I used lotion that was not meant for my skin type and I had millions of pimples on my forehead for a year (I even tried scraping them off with a sandpaper. Dumb idea, right?). Same thing with cars. Car engines and mechanisms are designed differently. The mechanism of a Probox is not that of a Harrier. Check the car’s manual or with a trusted mechanic to know the right type of oil to use and stick to it.
3. Check tyre pressure.
Make a habit of regularly inspecting your car’s tyres at least once or twice a week. You can observe how the tyres sit on the ground. If a tyre is somehow flat then check for punctures and if there’s none then add pressure. If you have a tyre gauge use it to check the pressure and if it’s less even by 1 PSI add the recommended pressure. To know how to check the tyre pressure recommended by the vehicle manufacturer, click here. Lower tyre pressure increases rolling resistance and also causes premature tread wear which worsens fuel consumption.
4. Check wheel alignment.
Still on wheels and tyres, check to ensure they’re aligned. This is especially if you regularly drive on rough terrains and potholes. If you feel your car pulling to one side (that is if you’re not a learner) or you notice that the steering wheel is off-centre, take your car for an alignment check. Misalignment increases the rate of wear of the tyres and makes the engine to work harder which results in more fuel usage.
5. Drive smoothly.
I wrote a whole article on this (click here to refer to it). Smooth driving not only increases safety when driving but also helps to improves fuel economy. I won’t write much on this. Go read the smooth driving article, will you?
6. Remove junk.
The heavier an object is the more the energy required to move it. Remove unnecessary objects to make your car as light as possible. Don’t keep a 20-litre jerrycan filled with water or fuel all the time in the name of equipping yourself for an emergency situation. Making your car heavier makes the engine run harder which uses up more fuel. That’s why cars consume more when loaded with goods or passengers (mostly excess passengers). On a light note I need to hit the gym and shed weight and see if I’ll hit my target of 20 km/l when driving alone.
7. Avoid idling.
Idling in car language means keeping the engine running when stopped for some time. Talking more even when it’s unnecessary dries up your mouth faster. Leaving the engine running even when it’s safe to turn it off dries up the fuel tank faster. When stopping to buy something from the shop or when waiting for someone to buy something, turn the engine off. Basically, if you’re going to stop for more than a minute, don’t leave the engine idle. Those with cars with starting problems can be exempted. These days cars are equipped with start-stop technology to avoid idling. Some people advice that you don’t warm up your car before driving. They term it as unnecessary and a waste of fuel but it is very very useful. It gets the engine components to at least minimum operating temperature that will facilitate the running of the engine without a strain and prevent premature damages.
8. Have a light foot.
This is like telling loud mouthed people to be silent but sometimes you just have to. If you’re not on a race track or trying to get out of a potentially harmful situation, have mercy on the gas pedal. I know it’s fun to pull from 0 to whatever speed with the throttle flat out but sometimes it’s unnecessary and unsafe. It doesn’t make sense to get up to that speed only to brake and waste the fuel used. Be modest unless you’re on a race track.
I’ve finally done an article with less than 1000 words! I hope this has made you or will make you read the whole thing. Now go forth and practice the tips that thee hast given thou. You will have a shilling or two left to buy tropkos to enjoy as you drive. Drive safely and responsibly, save lives. Till the next post, have a fruitful week.