10 WAYS TO SPEND LESS ON FUEL
Here are a few tips on how to save money on fuel so you can spend it on whatever you like.
Are you one of those poor unfortunates that have to catch the bus at the end of the month because you don't have enough money left to fill up your car? Sick and tired of topping up the tank over and over again? Here at Total we understand your concerns, which is why we're sharing ten simple tips to help you save money on fuel so you can spend your spare cash on something a little more worthwhile.
- Don't press the gas pedal when you start your car: Thanks to a host of advances in technology, it's been possible to start a car without hitting the gas for years. So now you know — foot off the pedal! If you drive a diesel car, wait a few seconds before shifting into gear.
- Start your car in first gear: Once the engine is turning over, shift up to second and if this revs at around 2,000 rpm, so much the better.
- Change gears at the right time: It's a good idea to shift into third when you reach 30 kilometers an hour, fourth when you get to 40 kilometers, fifth when you hit 50 kilometers, and sixth — if you have it — at 60 kilometers. You consumer less fuel in higher gears, so use them whenever you can: press the gas pedal lightly at low engine speed. If you usually drive in low gear, you’re money's going with the exhaust.
- Press the gas pedal just enough: You should only press the pedal about three quarters down. If you press it all the way down, your fuel consumption will rise.
- Only use cruise control when appropriate: This system should be used for long, flat stretches of road, but don’t even think about it when driving through hilly areas or in the city. That's because cruise control systems are not as smart as they seem. They don't know ahead of time if the road ahead is going to go up or down, which means your car will consume more fuel.
- Don’t constantly alternate between hitting the gas and the brake: All this does is increase fuel consumption. Maintaining the same speed, on the other hand, improves fuel efficiency. Think about the savings on fuel and brakes — not to mention many other things.
- Accelerate gently: If your car is stopped and you floor the gas pedal to increase your speed as quickly as possible, you’ll burn more fuel and wear your tires down as well. However, if you do it slowly, your car will only use the fuel it needs to reach cruising speed. Now we’re on the subject, remember that increasing your speed from 90 to 120 kilometers an hour will cause fuel consumption to soar.
- Keep your eye on the road: Quite apart from the fact you should always do this when driving a car, this will also make you more aware of what is happening in and around your vehicle. And, in turn, will help you make the right decisions and avoid accelerating and braking all the time, something that wastes fuel and wears out brakes. Keeping two or three car lengths between you and the vehicle in front is also a good idea.
- Brake gradually: If you have to slow down or stop, do so gradually (traffic permitting). Let the car coast with the gear in and then brake gently and gear down, if necessary, as late as possible.
- Turn off the engine if the car will be stopped for more than a minute: You wouldn’t believe how much fuel an engine consumes when idling — between 0.5 and 0.7 liters an hour! So, if your car does not have an engine stop-start system and you're going to be stopped for more than a minute, for example at a level crossing or when stuck in a traffic jam, turn off the ignition. This will not damage the starter.