11 tips for saving up to R17 000 per year on fuel


Kabous le Roux

251 days ago
11 tips for saving up to R17 000 per year on fuel © malsveta/123rf.com

RELATED: 13 tips for saving hundreds (nay, thousands!) of rands each month

Filling up a 60-litre tank with fuel costs more than R800.

Assuming you fill up almost every week, say, 48 times per year at R900 per tank; if you can cut consumption by 40%, that’s R17 000 you save per year.

A tank that normally gets 700 kilometres, if you cut fuel consumption by 40% - not easy, but possible – will get almost 1000 kilometres.

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You can improve efficiency – and save a few scarce rands – with some of these minor adjustments, says Bianca de Beer of Dialdirect Insurance:

  • Service smart: A car can burn up to 30% more fuel if proper maintenance is not performed on a regular schedule. With this in mind, make sure that your car is serviced regularly. Things like worn spark plugs, worn rings, faulty injectors, sticky brakes, low coolant levels, dirty oil, and dirty filters all add up to engine inefficiency, which leads to increased fuel consumption.

  • Wheel wise: Check your car’s wheel alignment. Bad wheel alignment causes more friction, which takes more power to overcome and results in higher fuel consumption.

  • Pressure check: Check for underinflated tyres, as these, too, increase resistance.

  • Aircon costs a cool buck: Use the air conditioning only when really necessary, as it places additional load on the engine.

  • Dead weight: Reduce the vehicle’s weight by removing unnecessary items from it and, if you mostly do city driving, consider driving with only half a tank of fuel.

  • Nice and slow: Do not speed. The gas-guzzling effects of “stepping on it” are well-known.

  • Do not stop-start: Maintain momentum as far as possible by looking and planning ahead, flowing with traffic, and timing your approaches to hills, traffic lights and crossings better.

  • Geared for efficiency: Drive at the lowest speed in the highest gear that the road and traffic conditions allow, without labouring the engine.

  • Tech savvy: Many vehicles have economy settings to optimise performance, throttle response, ride height etc. for maximum fuel efficiency. Use them to your advantage.

  • Plan ahead: Do several tasks on one round trip, as opposed to many shorter ones. This not only limits mileage and the amount of time it takes to get your chores done but also keeps your vehicle’s engine running at an optimal temperature.

  • Wait out the rush: Battling through traffic not only increases fuel consumption but also wear and tear on your vehicle’s transmission and brakes.

This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 11 tips for saving up to R17 000 per year on fuel

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