Driving Green: Improving Your Car’s Fuel Economy
Category: Car Insurance
Most people know that driving “green” means driving your car in way that improves its fuel efficiency and lowers its carbon emissions. With the added pressure of steadily rising petrol costs in South Africa, there’s never been a better time to consider switching to “greener” car habits.
Here are some ways improve your car’s fuel economy:
1. Get a Hybrid
Hybrid cars are becoming increasingly popular because they are more fuel efficient as well as being environmentally friendly. Although they’re more expensive to buy than regular non-hybrid cars, they run on both fuel and battery-powered engines. This means that they consume less fuel, which saves you on petrol costs in the long run.
2. Change your driving habits
Several minor changes in your driving habits can reduce your emissions and save you money too:
· Change your gears quickly. Changing gears at between 2000 and 2500 RPM means your car uses less fuel to travel at the same speed than if it’s in a lower gear.
· Try to avoid quick starts and stops. This can increase petrol consumption significantly: one second of high-powered driving can produce nearly the same carbon monoxide emissions as half an hour of normal driving.
· Don't idle. If you're likely to be stationary for more than a minute or two, switch off the engine. Burning petrol when you're not even moving is a waste of fuel and money.
· Follow speed limits. Driving at 60 kilometres per hour instead of 70 kilometres per hour, for example, can save you up to 10% in fuel economy and dramatically decrease your tailpipe emissions.
· Use air conditioning moderately. Air conditioning consumes fuel, can increase nitrogen dioxide emissions, and uses environmentally damaging fluids.
3. Lighten the load
Transporting heavy items in your car increases your load and consumption, so give your boot a clear out and remove what you don’t need. Luggage on roof racks and even empty roof racks can also increase drag.
4. Service your car regularly
Servicing your car regularly can improve your fuel economy by up to 4%, and can enhance your engine’s performance. For this reason, don’t miss a service.
5. Maintain your car properly
When you take your car to refuel, take note of the following tips:
· Use regular octane petrol. Higher-octane fuels offer no benefit, decrease fuel economy and are more expensive. Follow the guidelines for fuel octane in your owner's manual.
· Use the recommended grade of motor oil for your car. Motor oil labelled "Energy Conserving" contains friction-reducing additives that improve fuel economy.
· Follow the correct oil change schedule. Changing your oil too frequently burdens the environment.
· Keep your tyres properly inflated and aligned. Proper tyre inflation can save up to 3% in fuel economy. Tyres can lose one pound of pressure per month; so make sure to check your tyre pressure regularly.
Next time you get behind the wheel, keep these tips in mind. You'll be protecting the environment, as well as your wallet.
If you’re looking for car insurance, Hollard provides affordable and flexible solutions to make sure your car is adequately covered in the event of an accident or theft. Interested? Apply online for a car insurance quote now.