Tips to make your petrol last longer

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

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MANY of us are foregoing the use of the air conditioning units in our motor vehicles, even on hot days, to conserve on petrol amid high gas prices.

Auto mechanic Dermaine Johnson says there are a number of other smart and effective ways to reduce the amount of petrol that our cars use. Check out his tips on how to make our fuel, and in some instances or cars, last longer.

Follow your car maintenance guideline

Knowing when to service your car and adhering to the established guidelines is the best way to conserve on fuel. Johnson says that getting your car serviced regularly will maintain engine efficiency. Servicing your car also includes other important things like changing transmission oil and worn spark plugs because misfiring spark plugs can significantly reduce a car's fuel efficiency.

Modify your driving habits

When you drive fast or carelessly, you not only increase your chances of being in an accident, but the amount of fuel that your car consumes also increases. So adhere to the speed limit.

Use your brake less

Fast driving and failing to focus adequately on the road are some of the most common reasons people apply the brake when driving.

“When you hit the brake repeatedly, each time you will have to hit the gas right after to regain the speed lost from braking. Doing this over and over, repeatedly, drains your fuel,” Johnson says.

One way of reducing this is to avoid tailgating. He also explained that if you engage the brake often, your car not only converts fuel into unnecessary heat energy, but it also greatly reduces the service life of your brakes.

Buy gas on a schedule

Purchase gas early in the morning or later in the evening. This is important, Johnson says, because gas is denser at cooler times of the day. When the temperatures increase in the day, the density tends to fall and as such you get less gas.

Change air filter

Aim to clean your air filter as outlined in the owner's manual.

However, Johnson says that you should consider increasing the number of times that you do so if you regularly travel to dusty places, because when clogged with dirt, it causes your engine to work harder, thereby consuming more fuel to run at its optimal standard.

Travel lightly

Get rid of unnecessary load in your car. Johnson said the lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions will be.

He also recommends that if you have a car rack installed on your car, remove it when not in use. Also, if you can carry items in the car as opposed to on the rack, Johnson says that this will also help to conserve on gas because when anything is on the top of the car, it takes more fuel for it to accelerate because there is a drag.

Avoid excessive idling

Switch your car off if it will be idle for an extended period.

“Whether you are warming up your car or you are going to be at a standstill for a while, it is best to switch off your engine because running it wastes more gas than restarting the engine,” Johnson advises.

Maintain your tyres

Check tyre pressure regularly and ensure that they are well-maintained. Tyres are essential for safe and economical driving.

“When your car is correctly inflated, for example, you might not realise, but it improves your car's fuel consumption,” Johnson explains.

In the case of under-inflated tyres, you might experience lower gas mileage, which can affect braking as well as tread life.

Wait until you are near empty to fill up

Unless you know that gas stations will be difficult to find or the gas prices in the area you are going is ridiculously high, don't fill up until your tank is near empty.

“Most people like to run to the gas station as soon as the fuel indicator shows half tank but you are using more gas when you do this because this is more load to carry. A car with a tank closer to empty will use gas more defiantly because it is lighter,” Johnson says.

Keep windows wound up on highways

While the AC consumes a lot of gas and it is recommended that you keep your windows down and allow fresh air in, keeping your windows down is not always recommended.

“When on the highway, for example, where there is a lot of wind and you are more likely to travel at a higher speed, keep your windows closed as aero drag can dramatically reduce your mileage,” Johnson explains.


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