The price of fuel is up (again) and these tips will help lower your fuel consumption

South African motorists had to tighten their belts for yet another fuel price hike that saw fuel prices increase by up to R2.43 and R1.10 per litre for petrol and diesel grades, respectively.

Owners of petrol-hungry vehicles either have to pay more to fill up, make use of public transportation or join a lift club. Either way, the fuel hike will be felt and especially to those where being on the road is a core part of the business/responsibility. With South Africa’s fuel prices at an all-time high, most drivers are open to any suggestions on how to get a little bit more out of their tank.

The most fuel-efficient way to drive is with windows closed and the air-conditioner off. That, however, is not always possible and an air-conditioner uses less fuel than an open window that creates considerable drag.

Gumtree list a few ways in which to reduce your fuel consumption in the following ways:

Don’t speed – this goes without saying because the faster you drive, the faster the fuel needle will go down due to the higher speed at which injectors to deliver more fuel into the combustion chamber. Keep your RPMs around 3 000 because this can also reduce your consumption by as much as 20%.

Tyre pressure – As temperatures fall, so does tyre pressure, and this affects fuel economy. If your car does not automatically monitor tyre pressure, check it first thing in the morning when it is coldest to get the most accurate reading. An underinflated tyre requires the engine to work harder by powering the affected wheel(s).

Park inside: If you have a garage avoid the temptation to leave your car out overnight. When temperatures drop, engine fluids thicken and use more energy to thin out. Parking inside reduces the effect of this and can have a positive impact on your fuel consumption.

Plan your route – It might not be immediately noticeable but altering your route to and from work saves you that extra bit of fuel. To make things easier, use traffic apps and alerts to avoid potential traffic jams and congestion.

Lighten the load – Remove unnecessary items from your car, ensure maintenance is up-to-date, drive fuel-efficiently and remove anything from your car that can reduce its aerodynamics. Did you know that defensive driving can reduce consumption by at least 1-litre/100km?

Have it serviced – A dirty air filter can directly impact fuel consumption due to the clogging up of particles over time. This is particularly true in older models where maintenance is more frequent.

Now that you’ve got the knowledge, it’s time to shop! Head to gumtree.co.za or your Gumtree app (click for Apple & Android) and don’t forget to use your location settings to find local service information close to home.

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