It’s not your car, its you!

Drivers, no need scout around for the cheapest petrol kiosk or best deal credit cards, just change some habits!

By Motor Trader – Thu, Jul 3, 2014

Poor fuel consumption isn’t something you have to accept, there are steps you can take to dramatically reduce it without the need to sell your car.

Planning on putting your vehicle up for sale because of the frequent trips to the petrol station? Do you think a hybrid would be less of a strain on your wallet? While it’s true that a vehicle’s fuel efficiency drops significantly after years of abuse, sometimes it can be caused by improper understanding of a vehicle’s behaviour.

I am a testament to that, because for years, I mourned and groaned of how ludicrously thirsty my car was despite having a relatively small engine, when in actual fact, it was I who was causing the problem. Here’s what you can do to make sure every drop of fuel lasts for as long as possible.

Make sure the wheels and tyres aren’t a burden to the engine
If you are like me and bought a car with massively oversized wheels, chances are you too are complaining of considerably high fuel consumption figures. Moving to aftermarket rims that are both lighter and smaller can dramatically reduce your fuel consumption especially during bumper-to-bumper crawls.

Get rid of the full size spare
Often times, as a means to streamline production, automakers offer the same size tyre as that on all four corners of the car as the spare. Carrying around that tyre for the entire life of a car can ruin fuel consumption especially if it is 17-inches or bigger. Swap it out for a space saving one, which is considerably smaller and lighter. Alternatively, opt for a tyre repair kit, which consists of an air pump and a bottle of foam.

The wider the tyre the higher the consumption
Wide tyres offer considerably more grip than normal ones, which is why in the world of motorsports, teams opt for the fattest ones regulations would allow. But in the real world, that amount of grip isn’t helpful especially to your wallet. A larger contact area with the road would mean more energy is needed to get the car moving. That is why hybrids and ‘eco’ cars come with super skinny tyres.

Rid yourself of the junk in the trunk
Examine everything in the cabin and boot to make sure you aren’t hauling extra cargo. The heavier a vehicle the more work is required from the engine to get it to a certain speed. While an extra tissue box won’t cause much of an issue, it’s when items of heavier weight are accumulated in the boot over a period of time, which will add to fuel consumption.

Limit air-conditioning use
AC systems account for nearly 10% increase in fuel consumption, so use it wisely. In a country like ours, using the AC isn’t an option but a must. So, be prudent when using it. There’s little sense in keeping a sweater on and needing the AC turned all the way up to keep you from sweating. As such, be mindful of how you use your electronic system, as they are the main culprits that increase fuel consumption.

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