Auto tips: Fuel saving for the better

In Malaysia, the topic of fuel economy and fuel save have been well documented on almost every known medium. For petrolheads in this country, those on a tight budget would constantly calculate trips and other related costs for example, toll and parking charges. Fuel prices in this country are determined by global forces and fluctuate according to the commodity markets. A simple way to tell, whenever there’s a price hike in fuel prices, thousands of the people in this country would cramp into nearby petrol pumps to fuel up before the stroke of midnight. This scenario happens every time and it practically points out the mentality of this country’s people, who just wanted to squeeze out a few cents per liter of black gold.

The other alternative in using less fuel is to drive an economical car for example, low displacement cars, hybrids or even a full-electric one without the need of fossil fuel, whatsoever. Fully electric cars, however, are still rather elusive from the availability, price and facility standpoint. The best thing you have now is plug-in hybrids.

In this guide, we offer you top five tips to save fuel with whatever you’re driving without the need to cramp yourself into a gas station whenever you heard news of a price hike or having to drive your car on Comfort mode all the time…

Truth to the matter of fact is fuel is expensive but a few small changes in the way we prepare our cars and plan our journeys can make a big difference in fuel consumption. Remember that safety and fuel saving can be complementary if we drive effectively.

The first tip is really easier said than done; it is Avoid over revving. Most motorists, especially younger drivers have a knack to rev more frequently due to many factors. Revving up simply means speeding and forcing the car to accelerate beyond normal requirement.  Here’s an excruciating thing to do: try to keep your driving as smooth as possible, it takes a lot of fun away but it would save you fuel. It does however takes some practice and a whole lot of patience, especially on local roads.

On local roads, particularly  city driving, it’s difficult to use high or top gears. The only options are usually for inter-city link roads or paid highways. That’s why it’s usually more fuel efficient to drive on intercity freeways or highways, due to smoother and more gentle acceleration and the car’s usually on a highest gear. However, there’s a way to be more fuel efficient in city driving too. The trick is to ease off the accelerator early for traffic lights if they’re about to go red. Unless you’re going to see your wife give birth, try not to beat the yellow to red light.

The second tip is to reduce speed, again easier said than done. Here there’s two tricks, one is to drive at the speed limit and second. keep your speed low. Depending on conditions, this helps to reduce fuel consumption by up to 25%. For heavy steppers, try pressing more lightly on the accelerator or maintain the same speed with less pressure on the pedal. That said, try to avoid heavy traffic as stopping and starting in traffic need the use of the first gear and a lot fuel is used to get the vehicle moving again. And that means, avoid excessive idling.

Third tip is to ensure that your car’s tyres are maintained and always at optimum pressure; not over- or under-inflated. After several thousands of kilometers, it’s advisable to check on tyre’s tread depth. In addition, when it comes to choosing new tyres it’s advisable to look out for tyres designed for extra economy.

Number four on the list is to reduce excess weight, kind of like the human body. More weight means more energy to move around. Take heavy items out of the car if you don’t need to carry them. A roof rack or roof box will increase drag and you will use more fuel to overcome this, so remove it if it is not being used

Tip number five is to warm up the car, but not for too long. When  engine is trying to warm up it uses more fuel for the first few kilometers or so. Your engine stays cold when you drive less than few kilometers and your car will produce 60 per cent more pollution than a warm engine. In other words,  avoid short journeys. Some think that by turning off the air-conditioning, it automatically reduces fuel consumption. This has been a constant topic amongst car purists, but there might be some who believe otherwise.

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