Following the recent fuel workers strike and the inconvenience motorists faced when having to contend with long queues at petrol stations or worse yet be stranded without petrol, it is evident that conserving fuel has become a critical factor. From the commercial trucker trying to transport his load across the country, to the everyday motorist trying to get to work in the 21st Century we rely on oil (petrol) for every aspect of transportation as well as electrical power.
Brendan Horan, General Sales and Marketing Manager MiX Telematics, says that technology can go a long way in assisting consumers in managing their fuel consumption optimally but there are also a number of simple things every motorist can employ to conserve fuel. “It is in everyone’s interests to conserve our limited fuel supply and I would like to encourage motorists to adopt driving measures that minimise fuel consumption,” says Horan.
The latest measurements confirm that the world’s oil and natural gas supplies are running out more quickly than expected and it is predicted that some time between 2010 and 2020 the world’s supply of oil and gas will fall below the level required to meet international demand, reaffirming its global status as ‘black gold’.
With this in mind, together with the ever rising cost of petrol making, it increasingly difficult for the average consumer to tighten belts and cut costs. ”Fuel saving measures could be our only option,” says Horan.
Horan offers the following top 10 fuel-saving tips for motorists:
Change gears efficiently
Move up to the highest gear as soon as appropriate. When you drive slowly in a higher gear, you’ll burn less fuel.
Don’t drive aggressively and avoid hard acceleration. You’ll burn up to a third less fuel if you drive smoothly.
Avoid sudden braking
Keep a good distance from the car in front of you and avoid braking too hard as this will use more fuel.
Make sure your tyres are properly inflated
Check your tyres regularly and ensure that they are correctly inflated.
Avoid over-revving your car
Don’t over-rev when you’re pulling away or accelerating. Never ‘redline’ the rev counter.
Avoid carrying excess weight
Empty your boot out now and again and clear your car of unnecessary items.
Switch off your engine when it’s not in use
Avoid excess idling, it burns fuel unnecessarily. Turn the engine off until you need it again.
Use air-conditioning sparingly
Air-conditioning puts extra strain on your engine and can increase your fuel consumption by 8%. Rather use your car’s internal ventilation system where possible.
Keep your engine well tuned and serviced
Service your car regularly – a poorly maintained engine with dirty dark plugs can increase your fuel consumption by up to 50%.
Avoid high speeds
High speeds = more wind resistance = greater fuel consumption. Keep it slow.
“If we all work together and do our bit to drive with fuel conservation in mind, perhaps next strike season the chaos and inconvenience of fuel strikes will have less of an impact,” concludes Horan.
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