Do you feel like you are topping up your petrol tank a lot. Read on to find out ways you can maximise the number of kilometres you can drive on a full tank of petrol.
1. What kind of car are you driving
Ever wondered why some other drivers might comment that their car can go a lot further than yours on a tank of gas. It is likely to do with their type of vehicle and more specifically their engine size. The Energy Wise website has a handy tool where you can select a type of vehicle along with its age, transmission type and fuel type and get information on how many litres of fuel you would need to drive 100km.
2. Check your tyre pressure
Proper tyre inflation is critical to fuel economy, and to safety. A tyre pressure that is too low can mean that your engine is can be working harder to handle itself on the road. It has been estimated that four out of ten vehicles will have at least one underinflated tyre.We recommend at least a monthly check of your tyre pressure. Most fuel stations will have an air station and you can ask an attendant to assist you if you are new to checking them.
3. What shoes are you wearing
Research has shown that wearing a lighter shoe when you drive can mean you have better control of the weight pushing down on your accelerator and brake and potentially saving you money on fuel.
4. What is the weather doing
If you have a choice as to when and where you drive, it is good to keep in mind that you will burn more fuel in colder temperatures. Driving in to a head wind or even a cross wind can also increase your fuel consumption.
5. Check your load
The more weight you are carrying in your car, the more fuel you will use to move the car on the road. Wind drag will increase fuel use so if possible avoid carrying items such as bikes, snowboards and surfboards on your roof rack.
6. Try not to idle
A minute of idling will consume more fuel than a restart. By leaving your engine unnecessarily running you are using more fuel. Turn off your engine if you are not driving for more than 60 seconds and try and avoid rush hour traffic where you are likely to be idling a lot.
7. Regular maintenance checks on your car
Along with regular tyre checks, it is well worthwhile checking your oil and water levels and the alignment of your wheels and the performance of your brakes. Oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine and by ensuring there is adequate and clean oil will help keep your engine healthy and operating most efficiently. Check your air filters are clean and you do not have exhaustive exhaust emissions.
8. Reduce the air-con that you use
Opening your windows can create open window drag that can add to your fuel bill. Any time your air conditioner is on you are also using extra fuel.
9. Drive slowly and smoothly
The amount of fuel you use is directly related to how hard the engine is having to work. Maintain a steady speed while driving and try not to slow down or speed up quickly (in other words do not press your foot hard down on to the accelerator). It is important not to strain the engine, so select an appropriate gear (where the engine is not revving to high or low) if you are driving a manual vehicle. When you do need to change the gear it is best to do it at around 2,000 – 2,500rpm. Anticipate corners and hills and adjust your speed in advance in a controlled and easy manner. The optimum cruising speed for a lot of cars is around 90km/hr, So if it is safe to do so, by slowing down that little bit could save you money on fuel.
10. Plan your route before you drive
There are a myriad of tools, from GPS systems like a TOM TOM through to google maps that can help you plan your route. Most often they will alert you to the shortest route possible, although it is always good to consider the terrain of your route. The windier and hillier the road, the more fuel you will use. Play around with different routes if you are driving to the same places regularly. Use your odometer to check out the kilometres you have driven but also consider the traffic lights and other slowdowns on the way.
Remember that you can also check the website Price Watch and search for the latest prices of fuel in any part of New Zealand.
Supermarkets often offer fuel vouchers which will save you a certain number of cents per litre by purchasing petrol from a certain Petrol Station (BP, Z, Caltex etc).
Save money of fuel by offering rideshares to other travellers…they can pitch in and help pay for that tank of gas.