Wasting fuel is something that we all do, not that we have a special hobby of spilling and wasting oil, it's just the fuel level doesn't drop that fast so we normally wouldn't notice. Low fuel economy can be attributed to not only one but a host of reasons that, when added up, thin our wallet a great deal. This will not only steal our valuable time but also it will damage your fuel tank and injector.
As you probably know, on the bottom of the tank there are lots of carbon residue, and when the fuel level drops to this, it will draw out those nasty things and may clog your injector up real bad. So below is 9 practical tips to save fuel budget, suggested by Naijauto for Naija car drivers!
1. Drive steadily
Travel with manner is one of the ways to save fuel. It means that you should drive at a constant speed, not too slow that it will not be fuel efficient but not too fast you'd have time to react to any incident. And you should do this all the time.
Impulsive revving does no good to your fuel economy. So next time you want to pass that car ahead of you, ask yourself if you're that late. Otherwise, keep a steady force on the gas pedal and your wallet will thank you later.
Keep a steady force on the gas pedal would actually save you money
2. Shift the gear when necessary
Some people try to push the pedal with more force in order to drive pass a car ahead. This is not a good thing to do as it will burn more fuel, and also more dangerous than shifting to a lower gear as the lower gear will naturally have stronger acceleration force and it also can go back to its normal state quicker. This advice here is for someone who's driving a stick when you manually change your gear. Automatic car drivers don't have to worry about this.
3. Turn off the AC
We tend to open the AC the moment we step inside of the car. It's understandable as the weather is generally hot all year round in Nigeria. But still, you should pay attention to it and avoid turning the AC mindlessly. When it's raining, then of course, by all means, close the windows. But if you're in a road with good conditions and not very dusty, consider lowering the windows down and turn off the AC as it will consume some of the fuel.
>>> Even when using AC, know how to use it efficiently: 6 tips for saving fuel while using A/C in any car
Don't just mindlessly turn on the AC, only do when you really need it
4. Maintain your tires
This is probably the easiest, cheapest and most efficient way to save fuel. A properly inflated tire will help the force from the engine transfer thoroughly to the wheel and thus the car will run as it should. The work here is pretty simple as you only need 3 to 4 minutes a day, going around checking 4 tires with a pressure gauge and pumping them up if some of it is under-inflated. This can be done with a portable air pressure using the 12V outlets in your car.
>>> Rotating car tires can extend their lifespan, check What's the basic rule in rotating your car tyres?
5. Left your junk at home
As a general rule, the heavier something is, the slower it moves. Though the car is already an impressive 1 to 2 tons piece of machine, a few more kilograms still make it run slower, though relatively hard to notice. This will translate to a lower fuel economy. So in the weekends, try to list out things that are absolutely necessary and keep them in the car while throwing out the rest.
Your car is already pretty heavy, don't let it bear more unnecessary luggage
Another thing that adds weight to your car is actually an original part of some car, the rack roof. Sometimes we need it to carry stuff that is too long or its dimensions is too wide to be placed inside. But most of us don't use this, really. So find the time at the weekend to pluck it out. This should be easy, so whenever you don't have to carry any special-sized items, leave it at home.
6. Avoid rush hours
Now we know another "benefit" of rush hour. Besides frustrating the drivers, it also lowers the fuel economy. As we mentioned before, discontinuous revving and braking can cost a lot of fuel as the bumper the bumper traffic doesn't allow us to drive at a constant speed.
What's more, the jam forces us to use gear 1 and 2, which are the strongest gears and thus burning the most fuel. If there's no way but getting out in the road during these hours, considering switching to a hybrid as it will use electric when driving at low speed, thus saving a lot of fuel.
>>> If you can't avoid it, relax and adopt Fun ways to deal with Lagos traffic
7. Take care of the engine
The engine is the heart of the car. Needless to say, you should pay extra attention to this part. Not only it affects the fuel economy it also keeps other parts around it up and running. Make sure that your engine is always in a good condition by lubricating it with engine oil regularly.
8. Keep the windows closed
When your car move, the friction of the air comes in contact with the car and reduce its speed and fuel economy. Generally, this effect is marginal because most of our driving time is spent on the regular street. Once you get it out into the highway, the friction increases significant, especially when you left the windows open. As a rule of thumb, anything of the car that creates sounds would slow the vehicle down. So remember to always keep it shut. There's a reason why big brands spent millions in improving the aerodynamics of a car. It matters.
Keeping the window open will disrupt with aerodynamic design of the vehicle
9. Combine your trips
Your cars burn a lot more fuel in its first 7 kilometers than in the next, because it takes an initial amount of fuel to start the car, plus the energy to warm it up. So try to plan your trip ahead by listing out things to buy, people to visit or places to go, so that you can combine all the trip and make the best route for you. It is beneficial for both your tires and your fuel economy.