MOTORING CORNER : “How to Save on Fuel”

As the fuel prices shift upwards, the fuel consumed by any motor vehicle is becoming a major concern of the owner, more so, if it is taking on the much needed cash from other home and office budgets. In the past two years, the world fuel prices have hit the highest ever recorded; as the barrel of crude tended to the US$150 dollar plus, that meant that, most car owners had to make a choice of whether to dig deeper into their pockets or abandon their motor vehicles altogether. 

As the fuel prices shift upwards, the fuel consumed by any motor vehicle is becoming a major concern of the owner, more so, if it is taking on the much needed cash from other home and office budgets.

In the past two years, the world fuel prices have hit the highest ever recorded; as the barrel of crude tended to the US$150 dollar plus, that meant that, most car owners had to make a choice of whether to dig deeper into their pockets or abandon their motor vehicles altogether.

The once predominant owners of the huge gasoline guzzling vehicles ran into panic to the extent that, many of them abandoned these fuel culprits in preference to smaller and economic models.

It is such a trend that led to many American (USA) motor vehicle manufacturers into cutting down on the production of some vehicle models or even phasing some out or selling them off all together.
 
There are several tips that may be used to obtain maximum utility out of any given unit of fuel.  First of all, the choice of a vehicle type and size is a very crucial factor.

Every motor vehicle come with an engine, that engine has a capacity measured in C.C. (cubic Cent metres), we can say that, this is the size of the combustion area.

The higher the volume, the more the power that vehicle will produce; but this comes at a price (the higher the volume of the engine, the more the fuel it consumes).  Some of the common vehicle C.C. ratings on our roads are as follows:

-TOYOTA Corolla 1500C.C. TOYOTA Corona 1800C.C. TOYOTA Hilux 2800C.C. TOYOTA Landcruiser 3600C.C. Nissan Patrol 4000C.C. ISUZU Truck 9700C.C.  With the above information, you can clearly see that, the Corolla would consume a third of the Nisan Patrol’s fuel for any given mileage.

However, for those that need high performance like speed, high torque, extra comfort and flamboyance, you have no choice but to dig deep into your pockets.
 
Apart from the above differences, two or more vehicles in the same engine rating can consume fuel differently; this can be based on a number of factors, like, poor tyre pressure, overload (exceeding the vehicles load factor), avoid installing unnecessary roof racks as these serve as wind breakers and they will increase wind resistance; poor maintenance, using low quality fuels etc. 
 
While Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel , and letting the engine rev in top gear on hills and corners is also wasteful. In a manual vehicle, change up gears as soon as the car is comfortable with the higher gear but without accelerating harder than necessary.

It is necessary to keep your ears tuned in to the engine roar, too much noise means the engine is being overworked and too low rev may mean the engine is underpowered.  
 
Fuel consumption increases drastically when speeding over (about) 90 km/h.  At 110 km/h your car uses up to 25 per cent more fuel than it would if it were cruising at 90 km/h. If you maintain a constant speed not exceeding 90Km/h, you will save fuel.

There are lots and lots of simple tips that you and I can effectively put into use and the next thing would be saving fuel for some extra mileage.  Remember, the economic crisis still lingers on unabated. 

Air conditioners may use up to 10 per cent extra fuel when operating; however, at speeds of over 80 km/h, use of air-conditioning is better for fuel consumption than an open window as this creates aerodynamic drag.

If it is hotter inside your car than outside when you start a trip, drive with the windows down for a few minutes to help cool the car before starting the air-conditioning.
 
I am not against the giving of lifts but make a choice, the more weight a vehicle carries, the more fuel it uses.  Before you give a lift, ask yourself whether that lift is necessary; you will be consuming extra fuel for addition or unnecessary loads.

The best way is to travel as light as possible.  Next time someone declines to give you a lift, it could be because he / she is low on fuel!
 
Another easy tip is to inflate your vehicle’s tyres to the tyre pressure recommended by the manufacture and make sure your wheels are properly aligned.

Caring for your tyres will not only reduce your fuel consumption but will also lengthen tyre life and improve your vehicle safety.  The list of tips is almost endless but the above are some of the easy to implement.

motoringcorner@live.co.uk

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