It is expected that sometime in the not too distant future the fuel subsidy that we currently enjoy would be removed. It is expected to affect everyone when it does happen. However, all is not lost. Even though you will have to pay more to fill your tank the trick would be to get more from that same tank of gasoline by turning your current vehicle into a fuel efficient car.
Make your car more fuel efficient by regularly checking your tires.
Underinflated tires create more rolling resistance, as a result your car would need to burn more fuel than what is required. A difference of just 8 psi under pressure could increase rolling resistance by 5%. So check your tire pressure regularly.
- Ensure that your battery cables and terminals are corrosion free.
Corrosion causes the alternator to work harder and yes your vehicle will burn more fuel.
- Don’t idle your engine for more than a minute. Most vehicles nowadays don’t need the morning warm up and consume less gas during start up than idling for excessive periods. You only need 1 minute to build up the oil pressure and no more.
- Ensure that your filter is always clean. Check with your owner’s manual to see how often you should change your air filter. If you drive in dusty conditions you may need to change the filter more frequently than suggested. Do this and your car becomes fuel efficient.
- Check your car’s oxygen sensor. If your car was built after 1990, chances are it has an oxygen sensor in its exhaust system. It should be replaced just as you would your spark plugs, (check owner’s manual). This sensor controls the fuel delivery and has a great effect on fuel efficiency.
- Avoid rough roads and pot holes whenever possible. This is because dirt or gravel can rob you of up to 30% of fuel efficiency. Rough roads slow down the transfer of energy from your vehicle to the road, as a result the car has to work harder and burn more fuel.
- Stick to a regular maintenance schedule. Check with your owner’s manual as to how often you should have your vehicle tuned. This will also help extend the overall lifespan of your vehicle.
- Drive steadily. Slowing down or speeding up wastes fuel. Also, avoid tailgating. Not only is it unsafe, but if affects your efficiency if the other driver slows down unexpectedly. Also think ahead! Drive smoothly. By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both fuel consumption and wear and tear. Research suggests driving techniques can influence fuel efficiency by as much as 30 per cent.
- You can improve your gas mileage by one to two per cent. Do this by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by one to two per cent. Thicker oil is harder to pump. This adds to horsepower losses. You should also choose the right octane gas for your car. Check the owner’s manual to find out what octane your engine needs. Octane ratings measure gasoline’s ability to resist engine knock. But the higher the octane, the higher the price. Only about 6 per cent of cars sold need premium gas. Still, premium gas accounts for about 10 per cent of all gas sold. Resist the urge to buy higher octane gas for “premium” performance.
- Lighten your load. Think carefully about what you need on a journey. If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks if not needed, as they create wind drag. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption. An extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 1 to 2 per cent. Carrying excess weight wastes gas.
January 2017 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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