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Motoring

13 fuel-saving tips that'll help you survive the petrol price hike

The petrol price has gone up ... AGAIN! Make every drop count by following these tips and you'll need to fill up less often

03 April 2018 - 11:03 By Thomas Falkiner
Petrol pump. (File photo.)
Petrol pump. (File photo.)
Image: ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS

1. Make sure that your vehicle is serviced regularly. Things like worn spark plugs, sticky brakes, low coolant levels, dirty oil, and dirty fuel/air filters all add up to engine inefficiency, which leads to increased fuel consumption.

2. Check your vehicle’s wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment causes more friction, which takes more power to overcome and results in higher fuel consumption.

3. Check for under-inflated tyres as these also increase resistance.

4. Close your car's windows when driving as open windows cause drag.

5. Reduce your car's weight by removing unnecessary items from it (think roof racks). Also, if you mostly do urban driving, consider driving with only half a tank of fuel.

6. Don’t “floor it” like Vin Diesel. Instead rather accelerate gradually and as smoothly as possible.

7. Don’t speed. The faster you go the more wind resistance you'll encounter and this means you'll burn more fuel.

8. Avoid stop-starting. Maintain momentum as far as possible by looking and planning ahead, flowing with traffic and timing your approaches to hills, traffic lights and crossings better.

9. Drive at the lowest speed in the highest gear that the road and traffic conditions allow, without labouring the engine.

10. Use the air conditioning only when necessary.

11. Plan your trips more carefully and do several tasks on one round trip, as opposed to many shorter ones. This not only limits mileage and the amount of time it takes to get your chores done, but also keeps your car’s engine running at optimal temperature.

12. Wait out the traffic. If traffic is heavily congested, spend a bit more time at the office to tick more items off your to do list, or stop at a spot where you can have coffee or a bite to eat. Battling through traffic not only increases fuel consumption, but also wear and tear on your car’s transmission and brakes.

13. Keep your finger on the pulse by reading or listening to up to date traffic reports and monitoring your GPS for faster routes. We recommend the traffic app Waze.

This article was originally published on IgnitionLIVE. Visit the site for the latest motoring news, insightful car reviews and more.

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