Jun 01, 2016 Written by Euro Image Smash Repairs
According to a recent study, there are almost 15 million vehicles that are registered to drive on the roads of Australia. Many Australian citizens drive a car as their primary means of travel, purely because it is a comfortable, private and convenient way to transport between desired destinations!
Even though we can determine and stick to a budget for the amount we want to spend on a new car, having a strict limit for fuel spend is a bit more tricky. Fuel can be very expensive and may make of up a sizeable portion of your overall spending. To help lower this cost, here are some EASY ways that you could improve your fuel efficiency, leaving you with a little extra spending money for your next holiday!
1. Don't lug around excessive weight
Similarly to our human bodies, the heavier your car is, the more fuel it requires to move from point A to B. Just as you would avoid carrying around a backpack with unnecessary and hefty items, do the same with your vehicle and don’t haul around pointless, miscellaneous items in your boot. Unless you need it, leave it at home because the heavier the items are, the greater impact they will have on your long-term fuel usage.
2. Stay aerodynamic, take off the roof racks!
Cars are designed to have an aerodynamic shape, helping them to easily glide through winds. When empty roof racks or ski boxes are put on top of the vehicle, it causes an unnecessary drag on the car. Therefore, whenever roof racks are not being utilised, opt to store them away in the boot, or even better, keep them at home.
3. Try to combine your trips
Whenever your car has been stationary for a few hours, the engine becomes cold, causing it to burn through much more fuel when it gets up and going again. A great way to combat this is to reduce the number of trips you take. Obviously it's not always practical to combine all of your daily errands into the one trip, but wherever possible, aim to cut down on the amount of trips you take overall. It saves your petrol and your precious time, killing two birds with one stone!
4. Avoid rush hour
Not only are traffic jams annoying, but they are also wasteful to your fuel tank. Whenever you constantly stop and start, it takes up much larger amounts of fuel to transition from stationary in first gear into moving. Instead of constantly breaking and accelerating, a simple way to save fuel in these scenarios is to try and comprehend what the cars ahead of you are doing, and travel at a slow, steady speed. The most effective way to save fuel is by avoiding rush hour all together, but we all know that’s not going to happen! Fun fact – Hybrid cars use up significantly less fuel in these types of situations.
5. Close the windows
A very similar concept to keep the roof racks at home, open windows or sunroofs can obstructing the effortless movement of the car. Whilst this doesn’t apply much to inner city driving, it definitely makes a big difference to your fuel usage when you are driving long distances at high speeds.
6. Understanding acceleration; more revs = more fuel
Do you find yourself revving your car frequently? These kinds of acceleration peaks can drastically increase your fuel consumption, unnecessarily. In order to use less fuel, it is best to switch to a higher gear with lower RPM rates when possible, or to keep it really simple it is best to take off and slow down smoothly.
Try to keep your speeds constant whilst driving, consistency is the key. An ideal speed to sit at is around 50mph which is approximately 80km per hour. Press the accelerator lightly and being more efficient can save some fuel each time you drive.
7. Regularly check tyre pressure
By maintaining your tyres at their optimal pressure level, your vehicle will require less fuel to maneuver around! If you want to reduce your fuel consumption, we would advise that you add a quick 5 minute tyre check, to your regular routine each month. If you’re not sure what your optimal tyre pressure is, just check the digits on the driver-side door!
8. Keep your car in good condition
Just like tyre pressure maintenance, overall car health is important to ensure that your car is running well with the right components working efficiently. Don’t overcomplicate it – book in for regular checkups with your car specialist every 6 - 12 months.
Whether you can try all these tips and tricks or simply implementing a few, you’ll be sure to see improvements in your fuel economy. It might only be $100, or it could be $1000, every little bit counts especially when we all hit the roads so often. Small changes could be big dollars – don’t miss out!
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