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9 Secrets To Increase Your Fuel Economy

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9 Secrets To Increase Your Fuel Economy

The cost of petrol doesn’t have to be a thorn in your side. Amp up your car’s fuel efficiency with these handy tips.

More and more fuel-efficient cars are emerging on the market, which is great news for new car buyers. But for many Australians, it’s not always possible to upgrade to the latest model.

Luckily, there are ways you can save on your petrol consumption and be a more efficient driver.

Fuel Saving Secret #1 – Lose The Weight

Reduce the amount of clutter in your car.

The more weight your car lugs around, the more petrol it uses. Infrequently used items in your boot and on the backseat could be adding unnecessary weight to your car, increasing your fuel spend.

Declutter your car and think about items you don’t need for every single trip such as prams, kids’ scooters and beach gear. Even roof racks can decrease to your car’s aerodynamic efficiency.

suitcases and many bags in the car

Fuel Saving Secret #2 – Switch Off

Your car’s air conditioner can contribute to the amount of petrol you use, particularly if your vehicle is an older model. Limit frequent use of your heater and cooler.

Wind down your windows to cool down on a warm day instead of relying on your air conditioner.

This can be most pronounced in pick-up trucks, says Edmunds.com, who conducted several tests of air conditioner’s effect on fuel efficiency. “The air-conditioner produced a measurable drain on the engine and a resulting drop in fuel economy,” authors of the SAE report assert.

Also, dress appropriately for the weather: keep an extra jumper or pair of gloves in the car for a particularly cool morning rather than cranking up the heater.

Wind down your windows to cool down on a warm day instead of relying on your air conditioner. Open windows while on the roadway may lessen aerodynamics but has minimal impact.

Also, turn off your engine if you’re stopped for a long period of time.

Fuel Saving Secret #3 – Half Fill Your Tank

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Tim Trudgian, research fellow in mathematics at Australian National University, recently looked at the issue of whether half filling your petrol tank actually saves a significant amount of money. He concluded that the biggest savings came from large cars like the Toyota Landcruiser 70 Troop Carrier GXL, a fuel-efficient car with two 90-litre tanks.

That’s a lot of weight to carry around. Trudgian found that it is both time- and energy-efficient to fill the tank with half as much fuel, twice as often.

Fuel Saving Secret #4 – Use Apps For Cheap Petrol

There are many free apps and websites designed to help you get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to sourcing petrol.

There are many free apps and websites designed to help you get the biggest bang for your buck when it comes to sourcing petrol.

PetrolSpy is an app that’s available on both iPhone and Android. It scours the country’s petrol stations to find you the best deals. Of course, you’ll have to factor in whether it makes sense to drive to fill up on a cheaper fuel.

The most useful apps will be those that show you where and when to buy the cheapest petrol. The MotorMouth app covers approximately 1,600 petrol stations and will show the cheapest BP, Caltex, Woolworths or 7-Eleven metropolitan service stations in Sydney, Melbourne, south-east Queensland, Adelaide, Perth, Hobart and Darwin.

It will also show whether it is a good time to buy, based on the petrol ‘price cycle’.

Fuel Saving Secret #5 – Use Your Car Less

Become less reliant on your car. Look for opportunities where you could walk or even ride your bicycle instead of driving.

By leaving your car at home and travelling via other means, you’ll save money on additional expenses like parking, registration and insurance, for example. This is also great for your health, as you’ll spend less time sitting down and more time exercising in the fresh air.

Best city transportation

Here are some ideas on how you can start to use your car less:

  • If you only need a few things at the supermarket, walk and carry back groceries for a bit of exercise.
  • Exercise locally. Go for a run around the neighbourhood. Or bike to work.
  • Take public transport. You can read a book or magazine and be earth-conscious, at the same time.
  • Carpool. Take turns with coworkers or friends driving to work or school. Share pick-up responsibilities with other parents whose kids are involved at school or sports.

Fuel Saving Secret #6 – Take Advantage Of Specials

Keep your supermarket receipts and check them for docket deals. While saving a few cents per litre doesn’t sound like much, it all adds up over time.

Also, check supermarket loyalty programmes and frequent flyer programmes. Many of these offer additional points when you fill up, helping you to save money on other expenses.

Fuel Saving Secret #7 – Focus On Becoming A Better Driver

The force you apply to your pedal increases the amount of fuel you use, which means your driving technique is directly related to your fuel efficiency.

Driving smoothly is very important. Avoid over-acceleration and over-braking as you want to waste as little energy as possible.

Fuel economy expert, Helen Taylor, suggests drivers focus on how smoothly they drive to reduce fuel use.

“Driving smoothly is very important. Avoid over-acceleration and over-braking as you want to waste as little energy as possible.” she says.

Gradual acceleration, pressing gently on the pedal and reducing your chance for needing to brake quickly are all tactics that can help you to save petrol. If you’re driving a manual car, ensure you’re always in the right gear.

Fuel Saving Secret #8 – Read The Green Vehicle Guide

The government’s Green Vehicle Guide encourages you to make a smarter choice based on a vehicle’s combined greenhouse rating and air pollution rating. You can browse the guide and view the top 10 overall car performers and top 10 sellers.

Fuel Saving Secret #9 – Perform Regular Maintenance

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Be aware of any issues or concerns that your vehicle may have, and follow them up promptly.

Taking care of your vehicle can improve fuel economy. Make the effort to have your car serviced by a qualified mechanic as often as the vehicle manufacturer recommends.

Check the oil often, and ensure that the tyres are well inflated.

Be aware of any issues or concerns that your vehicle may have, and follow them up promptly.

It may be that you have decided to buy a new car that is more fuel-efficiency and economical. If that is the case, be sure to read our article on ‘When is the best time to buy a new car‘.

 

http://greenliving.about.com/od/travelinggreen/a/Air-Conditioning-MPG-Gas-Mileage.htm

http://thenewdaily.com.au/life/2015/01/19/fuel-economy-getting-petrol/

https://theconversation.com/can-you-save-money-at-the-bowser-by-only-half-filling-the-fuel-tank-36260

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheaper-fuel

http://www.news.com.au/finance/cheaper-petrol-just-a-click-away-with-new-smartphone-app/story-e6frfm1i-1226882898130

http://www.environment.gov.au/settlements/transport/fuelguide/tips.html