Whether you are looking to save petrol costs or to reduce your carbon footprint, fuel consumption is a definite factor to consider. Driving is often a necessary part of our lives; we need to get to work, school, and appointments. And for most of us, this involves driving a car.
For driving in a crowded city like Singapore, this can make managing your fuel consumption a little bit trickier, but it can be done. There are many ways that you can be mindful of how you are driving and still get to where you need to be. Let’s take a look at some tips for better fuel consumption.
1. Be Gentle With Your Accelerator
One of the easiest ways to watch your fuel consumption is to ease off the accelerator. Often the instinct is to hit the accelerator when traffic starts to move.
This reflex is especially strong if you are driving in city traffic. City traffic is generally very ‘stop and go’. And there tends to be a lot of traffic when driving in the city.
It can be frustrating to be sitting in traffic and it takes twice as long to get to your destination.
When you hit the accelerator, it actually uses more fuel than if you were to gently and gradually accelerate. So, every time you put the “pedal to the metal” or “wack the accelerator, you are actually using more fuel than if you were to take a gradual acceleration approach.
You can use LTA’s fuel cost calculator to determine your car’s fuel consumption or the model that you plan to get.
2. Keep Your Speed Consistent
Along the same lines as gradually accelerating, is keeping your speed consistent. This makes sense because speed and acceleration are related.
Keeping a consistent speed is easier on your car and it prevents the slow down/speed up cycle, which uses more fuel.
Learn how to regulate your driving speed by easing off the accelerator and being a better judge of distance.
3. Make Sure Your Car Is Properly Maintained
City driving coupled with our hot weather puts a lot of stress on your car parts. Maintaining your car will help with better fuel consumption. Schedule regular visits to your trusted car workshop.
They will make sure your car is properly tuned, your tires are inflated to the correct pressure and your vehicle has the correct oil in it. All of these little things add up to big savings and better fuel consumption.
4. Drive A Hybrid Car
Idling your car is a terrible waste of fuel. If you are driving in a city, however, idling is very common. This is due to the sheer volume of traffic at intersections and at traffic lights and on the roads during peak hours. If you will be idling for a period of time, it is a good idea to turn your car off.
Since it is not always feasible to turn your car off at an intersection, perhaps you could drive a hybrid vehicle. Hybrid cars are designed to switch back and forth between battery and fuel when the car is idling or stopped at a light. A hybrid car will automatically help you use better fuel consumption.
5. Time The Traffic Lights
Starting from a complete stop takes a toll on your fuel. Unfortunately for Singapore, traffic lights are on almost 100m, creating a lot of stop and go.
Try to look ahead and time the lights when possible. If you see a red light, try to ease of the gas and let your car naturally slow down. Then it might be possible to come to the light as it turns green and you can just keep going. If you can avoid coming to full stops and starts you will help your fuel consumption.
6. Check Your Air Filters
Air filters are crucial to engine performance. If your car’s air filters are dirty, then your engine will not run efficiently. This in turn negatively impacts your fuel consumption.
It is a good idea for you to learn how to clean your car’s air filter or know when to get it changed.
7. Drive A Manual
If you are really hardcore about saving petrol, try to drive a manual transmission car. Automatic transmissions are easy, but they are not efficient at changing gears. A manual transmission is more efficient at quickly shifting gears, therefore using less fuel.
It may require some practice on your part, but will be worth it once you have mastered a manual transmission car.
8. Watch Out For Extra Weight
You may have a car that can hold a lot of stuff, but that doesn’t mean you should pack it to the gills. Extra weight will just cause your car to have to work harder and ultimately use more gas.
Some cars come with a spare tyre in the boot but most will take it out to save weight and call a tow truck if they have a bad puncture.
Changing a flat by the roadside is very hard work.
9. Make Sure Your Fuel Cap Is Tight
We often don’t think about our fuel cap, except when it comes time to pop it open. Make sure your gas cap is tightly sealed. This prevents air from entering your engine When there is air in your engine, your car will have to work harder and you will be increasing your fuel consumption.
10. Plan Out Your Drive
This is a simple but effective way to watch your fuel consumption. Before dashing out the door, take a few minutes to think about where you need to go. If you have multiple stops, try to plan them in an organised manner that has you driving the least.
Use a GPS that can also report areas of traffic congestion so that you can avoid it.
11. Go Easy With The Air Con
As drivers, we know it’s a horrible feeling to be in a car that is warm and humid hence it is important to have a nice and cool cabin.
That being said, you don’t have to fully blast your air con to keep it cool. All this does is burn up petrol even faster.
A comfortable temperature of 24/25 degrees is sufficient for a comfortable driving experience. Using the climate control function also allows better regulation of internal temperature.
12. Cruise On
Using your cruise control function makes a lot of good sense and will help you to use fuel wisely. Setting your cruise control will ensure that you maintain an even and consistent speed. This makes it easier on your engine.
Cruise control works well when you are driving on the expressway or long stretches of road with little traffic.
13. Head For The Shade
Parking your car in the shade can help minimise the vaporisation of fuel when it is hot out. Plus, you won’t burn your legs when you get back in your car.
These are just a few easy tips that will help you manage your car’s fuel consumption. Try and incorporate some of these ideas next time you are behind the wheel. And better fuel consumption will help your wallet and the planet.