THE CAR YOU CARE FOR CARRIES YOU FARTHER

One day, cars shall once again be powered by clean water.

The clear and present danger of climate change means we cannot burn our way to prosperity. We already rely too heavily on fossil fuels. We need to find a new, sustainable path to the future we want. We need a clean industrial revolution.

— Ban Ki-moon

So, someone asks,

Which one consumes fuel faster? Driving fast or driving slow

Global warming is our present reality, worldwide . And despite advances with electric vehicles (EV) , anything that reduces the noxious emissions released INTO. the atmosphere is welcome.

The need to minimize fuel expense is the other reason to change our driving habits and adopt a more sedate relaxed / passive driving. As cars become safer and more equipped, and as they become more and more spacious, they are also getting heavier! As a result, despite the enormous technological advances that these engines offer, our driving habits play a major role on how much fuel gets gobbled up.

But our cars are not solely responsible for the liters of gas they guzzle because it would be easy for their drivers to magically lengthen the duration of a full tank of fuel. By not only ensuring good maintenance culture, but also adopting a more streamlined driving, we can contribute our quota on saving the environment, and our purse.

Enumerated below are some tactics for making our fuel last the longest .

Meticulously Keep The Vehicle Tuned-Up

A poorly tuned carburetor or fuel injector can make you consume up to 10% more fuel. Same for a clogged air-filter or fouled sparkplugs. Add it all up and you can easily increase your consumption by 50%. Same situation subsists with a badly running diesel engine. On this type of engine, the causes of overconsumption are usually a result of a faulty setting of the injection pump or the fouling of the injectors themselves .

Properly Inflated And Aligned Tyres

Driving with under-inflated tyres is, on the one hand, particularly dangerous (at high speed, they may burst) and, on the other hand, particularly “energy sapping”, as the engine has to work harder to overcome ‘rolling resistance’.

A tyre that is not at the right pressure wears out faster, risks irreparable damage, would likely burst in hot weather, and is a huge drag on the vehicle’s progress.

It is good to cultivate the habit of checking tyre pressures regularly (say, once a month). You will win on two fronts – economy and safety.

Adopt Defensive Driving

Pretend that your passengers quietly enjoying their glass of champagne at the back of the limousine you are driving.that you are mandated to drive at a good pace without ever giving the impression that the car is moving. Or, making them spill their drinks due to jerky movement . Needless to say, sudden acceleration is forbidden. Don’t spill the champagne!

The secret of accomplishing this is to perpetually anticipate the other drivers’ actions. ANTICIPATE. That anticipation would cumulatively save you fuel by the gallons.

By detecting / anticipating the presence of an intersection or traffic light that is about to turn red long enough -in advance- you will let the car slowly lose speed quietly without touching the brake pedal. The brakes last longer too.

Drive In The Maximum Gear Possible

This applies only if you use a manual transmission vehicle. The engine manufacturers do everything to lower the maximum speed at which the engine delivers its maximum torque. Try to keep the engine in the rev range where it offers the best performance / consumption ratio. This maximum torque regime averages around 3,500 rpm for a petrol engine, at around 2,000 rpm for a diesel engine. Try as much as you can to avoid driving over these areas except when absolutely necessary, such as overtaking for example, which is the only maneuver that really requires vigorous acceleration to be carried parsimonious. Needless to say, regularly revving your engine vehicle close to redline would not only waste fuel, but send your engine to the graveyard, earlier than necessary!

Avoid The ‘Heavy Foot’

Driving on the expressway at 140 km / hr instead of 120km / hr is equivalent to consuming 2 liters more fuel per 100 km. This is, by the way, a good reason to respect speed limits.

With the speed limiters being gradually introduced by the FRSC nationwide, this advise may soon become irrelevant. You would simply be unable to overspeed, soon!

Limit As Much As Possible Short Urban Trips

The most fuel gets wasted in ‘stop and go’ traffic, as well as repeated short trios. Many of our urban journeys do not exceed two kilometers. But an engine does not reach its ideal operating temperature before having traveled two or three kilometers.. And as long as it is not warmed up, your engine can consume up to 50% more. This is in addition to the greater wear on the engine.

If that distance is trekkable,, by all means, leave the car behind. It is not only good for the car and your pocket , but also ameliorates your aerobic fitness!

Close Those Windows

Modern vehicles are getting progressively aerodynamic, with car shapes being crafted in wind tunnels – to minimize drag and wind resistance in them.

At high speed, on the highway, a single open window causes overconsumption of fuel to the order of 1%.. Preferably use indoor ventilation.. it is more economical and much less noisy. (With electric vehicles getting more ubiquitous, ‘whisper quiet’ vehicle operation, rather than noise, is the new headache!)

Use Of Air Conditioning

On a cycle including a cold start and a mixed route, city, road and highway, the intensive use of air conditioning can make you consume up to 40% more fuel. At a steady speed, the overconsumption is fortunately much less intense but you can still save some precious cumulative litres of fuel by using the air-conditioning as sparingly as possible. Unfortunately, on the tropics, the time you need the air-conditioning more is precisely when you should not use it – in stop and go traffic

Drop Your Junk!

Minimize unnecessarily lugging about useless baggage (including humans!).
Whatever item that you don’t absolutely use / need on the road should be kept off the car. Every additional load is extra fuel wasted! If you use tubeless, good tyres, you may risk not carrying about extra tyre or even jack in the boot, saving yourself fuel in the process. I say risk because the road safety people may not be happy about this, and second, in the very unlikely situation that you have a totally flat tyre and a Vulcanizer is nowhere around, you have an inconvenience on your hands !


Saving on fuel is as much about saving the environment as it is about saving your pockets. Generally, the best way to save on fuel is leave the car behind, and trek it (whenever possible). Your heart would thank you for it.

As More Countries Go The Electrified Route regarding vehicle, ‘fuel costs’ would eventually be replaced with ‘electrical charging costs’..

Your purse would be the fatter for it, and the world would be a greener place for it.

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