Whether you’re concerned for the environment or just for the health of your bank balance, there are many things you can do to save money on fuel and reduce the general wear and tear on your vehicle. Here are a couple of points to remember to help you get more mileage for your money.

 

Look to the future – Try to anticipate the overall traffic flow and plan your moves well in advance. Many drivers leave everything to the last minute and that means there is no rhythm to their driving. As a result the vehicle has to work harder in day to day driving and that burns fuel unnecessarily. It all comes down to looking as far ahead as possible and keeping the vehicle in a progressive flow.

 

Be a smooth operator – Smooth acceleration and braking uses far less fuel than hard acceleration and braking. It also reduces wear on brakes and tyres. Smooth, consistent driving at the speed limit on the highways will also ensure that you get the optimum fuel efficiency from your vehicle.

 

Timing is everything - if it is possible to avoid peak morning or afternoon traffic, you can avoid spending time and money by idling in traffic jams. Plan your journey in advance. Combining a number of destinations in one journey is better use of your time and will reduce your fuel consumption.

 

Lose a little weight – You’ll be surprised how much extra unnecessary weight our cars carry. Unless roof racks are used daily, consider taking them off the vehicle until you actually have a need for them. Roof racks, boxes and other roof top storage reduces the aerodynamic efficiency of the vehicle thus causing it to use more fuel than it has to. On average every 50kg extra will increase your petrol consumption by 2%. Unnecessary items that are getting a free ride are also contributing to the overall weight of the vehicle which reduces its fuel efficiency. Remember too that unnecessary, unsecured objects in a car cause damage and injuries during emergency braking situations.

 

Inflating the bank balance – Making sure your tyres are correctly inflated is one of the easiest and quickest ways to instantly improve your fuel consumption. If your tyres are under inflated by 20% this can result in a 3% fuel consumption increase and reduce the tyre life by up to 30%. Underinflated tyres make vehicle handling less effective and that is dangerous.

 

Preventative maintenance - Regular vehicle maintenance ensures that your car is running efficiently and economically. As an example, if your car has an air filter, make sure it is replaced regularly. Air filters protect your engine from hazardous debris and engine waste, a clean air filter can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 10%.

 

Trying to be as fuel efficient as possible will also help to you to focus more on your actual driving style. In fact there is strong evidence to suggest that driving with an "Eco-Friendly" mind set can not only help reduce the costs of operating your vehicle but it can also help to improve your safety on the road as well. It makes you more aware of your actions behind the wheel and that can only be a positive thing.

 

DRIVE SAFE Russell White – Managing Director Driversafety.com.au