We would all like to save petrol

Here are principles to follow to squeeze as much mileage out of every litre of fuel as possible.

Whoa! Slow the pace
The faster you drive the more fuel you use – it’s as simple as that. Sticking to the speed limit is not only the most important rule when it comes to road safety but will also save you a wad of cash in your back pocket.
Refrain from revving
Revving off into the distance might look super cool on Top Gear, but it isn’t the answer to economic fuel consumption or your safety. If your car is an automatic, use moderate acceleration so that the transmission shifts into higher gears. Gear shift drivers should shift down before accelerating. If you accelerate and need to put on the breaks straight away, you are wasting precious fuel.

Hang back with the big guys
In serious bumper to bumper traffic jams the pace seems to slow down and then pick up again while more heavy duty vehicles, especially trucks, seem to hang back and take their time driving along at an easy pace. There is a reason why they do this. A steady pace and hanging back keeps gear shifting to a bare minimum making travelling from point A to point B a far more economical journey. It takes less fuel to keep a car moving than it does to get it going at an increasing rate.

Pure pressure
Keeping an eye on your vehicle’s tyre pressure is a good idea if you’re looking to gain as much mileage from your tank as you possibly can. Tyres lose air at approximately one psi every month and one pound per-square-inch (psi) for every 10 degree drop in temperature. Tyres with less pressure than they require create more rolling resistance, meaning you will need to use more fuel to keep the car moving. Purchase a reliable tyre gauge no less than once a month. Driving warms up the tyres and the air inside them therefore it is best to check the tyre pressure when they are cool or you will get a false reading. Your car’s owner manual with give you the correct tyre pressure for your vehicle.

Check your filter
Filter checks and changes are one of the best ways to save petrol. Dirty air filters restrict air flow to the engine which doesn’t make for great performance or fuel efficiency. Filters are simple to check and change; just remove the filter and hold it up to the sun. If light shines through, you need to replace it. Rather use filters that are cleaned – they are far more cost effective than throwing away paper filters and have less impact on the environment.

Use the air-con sparingly
Your air-conditioner can use up to 10% more fuel when operating, so roll down your window and let the wind blow through your hair. That said, if you drive faster that 80 km/h the air-con may be more efficient considering the wind resistance from open windows.
As drivers in South Africa, we can’t do anything about the cost of fuel, but luckily we can control the amount of fuel we spare! Now let’s try save petrol.