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Fuel efficiency 101

Easy ways to decrease fuel consumption ahead of April’s looming petrol hike.

After a difficult financial year, motorists are certainly not going to welcome the news that they’ll be facing a hefty petrol price hike during April. This makes vehicle maintenance more important than ever; after all, high petrol prices simply add to the overall costs of maintaining a car. With this in mind, MIWA chairman Dewald Ranft advises the following:

  • Accelerating slowly ensures that there are no sudden bursts which place pressure on petrol consumption.
  • Driving at a constant speed allows the car’s engine management system to adjust to the most economical setting for optimal fuel consumption. It’s, therefore, a good idea for motorists to pick a lane where traffic is travelling at an even pace.
  • It’s a myth that letting a car idle warms up a cold engine; nor does this improve fuel consumption or enhance the engine’s lifespan. That said, it’s important not to accelerate too drastically when the engine is cold, as this drives petrol consumption significantly.
  • If there is a long wait in traffic, fuel may be saved by turning the engine off; at least until the traffic starts to move once more. Most modern cars have been designed with this function in mind.
  • It may sound obvious, but motorists should think strategically about how they use their cars, cutting down trips where possible and even sharing rides if they can.