Whether you’re cruising the roads in a Hyundai i30, Mazda 3, or a BMW X5, you know the cost of petrol. When the cost of fuel goes up, free money in your wallet slips away and that can cause too much unnecessary stress.
Let’s make one thing very clear from the start: no matter if you live in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Geelong, or even the smallest, most remote town, there are plenty of things you can start doing right now that will save you money on petrol for your car or truck.
Here are 9 tips you might start considering on petrol saving if you ever feel the pinch from rising costs.
Tip 1: Use the correct fuel.
Your owner’s manual will tell you straight up what kind of fuel to use. If you rely on the wrong octane, thinking you’re doing something good for the engine (such as adding a higher octane than the engine requires because you think it’s a good thing), you’re not only wasting money, you could also be causing deposits to build up in the engine, ultimately reducing efficiency.
Tip 2: Pay attention to tyre pressure.
Proper tyre pressure will vary from one car to the next. It can also vary depending on the season. Pay attention to the tyre pressure in your car and keep it at optimal levels. This reduces drag on the road and promotes more coasting ability.
Tip 3: Service your car regularly.
When you’re not feeling great, are you as effective or efficient at your job? Not likely. So why would you think your car can function at peak levels if it’s not being properly cared for?
Make sure you bring your car in for regular servicing. This includes oil changes, inspections, tyre rotation, and all the other basic checks and balances.
When your car’s engine is humming along like a giddy child, it’s going to make the best, most efficient use of the fuel you put in.
Tip 4: Think about your route.
Your neighbours might have a tendency to regale you with stories of their meandering drive through the country, the nice little nook they found along one of those backroads, but that’s not doing anything to help them save money on fuel.
Look at a map and determine if you’re taking the most logical and best route from Point A to Point B.
You may have been driving the same route to and from work for years, but jumping on the motorway may not be the most efficient or shortest route by distance. Calculate your trip, fuel efficiency of your car, and then determine what the best route is with regard to saving on fuel.
You might be surprised.
Tip 5: Consider those tyres.
More and more tyre manufacturers today are offering lower resistant tyres. This means when you invest in those, your wheels will coast longer. That means less resistance where the rubber meets the road.
Less resistance on the road means less work for your engine, and that means less fuel that you’re going to burn.
Tip 6: Clean up that car of yours.
Yeah, yeah, yeah … you keep your car relatively clean. But just how clean? If you wash and wax your car regularly, you reduce drag. Even that little bit of dust and dirt that collects on your vehicle’s finish is creating more resistance through the air.
Also, if you have a roof rack, bike rack, or even an extra cargo hold, it’s increasing drag, thus reducing fuel efficiency. Take them down or off when not in use.
Tip 7: Consider shutting down.
You’re waiting outside school for your kids. Or perhaps you just caught that long freight train that’ll take 10 or 15 minutes to roll on by. Sure, it’s hot out (or cold, depending on the season), but letting your car idle is using valuable fuel.
Shut the engine down if you’re going to be sitting idle for a while. What’s a while? Maybe more than a few minutes.
If you do plan to idle, put the car in neutral, even at a long red light. It helps reduce torque and resistance, thus saving fuel and protecting sensitive components from unnecessary wear and tear.
Tip 8: Hey, lead foot, ease up.
If you’re one of those drivers who constantly jams on the accelerator the moment the light turns green, guess what? You’re burning through a lot of fuel unnecessarily.
Ease up. It’s not a race. Take it slow and steady and you’ll save quite a bit on fuel expenses. So what if the car behind you blares the horn? They can always go around, right?
Tip 9: Give room on the roads.
If you tend to travel close to the car in front of you, any time they slow down, you’ll be hitting your brakes. What happens often then is a constant push and pull on your car.
You accelerate, you hit the brakes … accelerate, then brake. This kills fuel efficiency.
Give more space between you and the cars in front of you. The more space you have, the easier it becomes for you to coast and go with the flow, thus putting less pressure on the engine and your fuel efficiency.
Okay, there you have it: nine tips that can help you on petrol saving. These can work most everywhere else as well, and they’re good habits to develop for the future. After all, most experts agree that the cost of fuel will only continue rising in the years ahead.