Discover ways to save fuel
- Plan your travel
A cold car engine in the first couple of minutes of a trip results in an increase in fuel consumption per kilometre. Think about your travel needs and plan to do a number of errands in one trip rather than several trips. This will save both time and fuel.
- Drive in a high gear
Your engine runs most efficiently between around 1,500 and 2,500 rpm (lower in diesels).
To maintain these low revs you should change up through the gears as soon as practical and before the revs reach 2,500rpm. Automatic transmissions will shift up more quickly and smoothly if you ease back slightly on the accelerator once the car gathers momentum.
- Drive smoothly
Drive at a good distance from the car in front so that you can anticipate and travel with the flow of traffic. You will be able to see traffic lights changing or cars turning and minimise your fuel use through braking and accelerating back up to full speed.
- Minimise fuel wastage when idling
Minimise fuel wasted when idling by stopping the engine whenever your car is stationary or held up for an extended period of time. By having the engine switched off, even for a short period, you will save more fuel than is lost from the burst of fuel involved in restarting the engine. The net increased wear and tear from this practice is negligible.
- Speed kills economy
At 110km/h your car uses up to 25% more fuel than it would if cruising at 90km/h. Try a lower speed and avoid stopping and starting i.e. drive smoothly.
- Keep your tyres inflated
Inflate your vehicle's tyres to the highest pressure recommended by the tyre manufacturer and make sure your wheels are properly aligned (remember to keep your spare tyre inflated as well). Looking after your tyres will not only reduce fuel consumption, it will also extend tyre life and improve handling.
- Minimise aerodynamic drag
Additional parts on the exterior of a vehicle such as roof racks and spoilers, or having the window open, increases air resistance and fuel consumption, by over 20% in some cases.
- Use air-conditioning sparingly
Air-conditioners can use about 10% extra fuel when operating. However, at speeds of over 80km/h, use of air conditioning is better for fuel consumption than an open window.
- Travel light
Don't carry more people or cargo than you have to. The more weight a vehicle carries, the more fuel it uses. An extra 50kg of weight can increase your fuel bill by around 2%.
- Service your car regularly
Keeping your vehicle well tuned will minimise its fuel consumption.