Take the green road
The peak driving season is upon us, and warm weather typically means the windows are rolled up, the aircon is switch on, the radio is turned up and there's nothing ahead but the open road. High fuel costs and the extra mileage on your vehicle, however, can hit your wallet - and the environment - harder than you'd like.
But a day trip to the beach or a family vacation away doesn't have to break the bank or pollute the earth. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep in mind before hitting the road:
Wise up and tune up
If your car hasn't had an oil change or minor service for the last 15,000 kilometres - it's time to book one. When you check in your car, ask for their recommendation on the best motor oil for your motor vehicle. Having a tune up and new filter fitted before hitting the road can increase your kilometres per litre and decrease your the overall environmental impact of your motor vehicle.
For an older motor vehicle, don't buy higher-octane fuel. It won't make your care run any faster or better if your car doesn't need it. Follow the car manufacturer's recommendations for the right fuel.
Observe the speed limit
By doing this you'll make traffic cops and your wallet happy. When you drive faster than 60 kilometres per hour, you are lowering your fuel efficiency and spending more on petrol. Accelerating rapidly uses more fuel and braking wastes the fuel that was used to accelerate in the first place.
Inflate and rotate
Accurately inflated tires are safer and can increase petrol consumption by more than 3 percent. Proper air pressure coupled with regularly rotating the tyres also improves handling and extends the life of your tires by maximising tread wear.
Clean your fuel system
A fuel system can get dirty with deposits over time. A couple of ways to know if your fuel system is dirty are if your engine hesitates during acceleration or idles roughly. Valvoline Instant Oil Change offers a multi-step fuel cleaning service that helps to restore fuel efficiency, which can yield fuel savings of 2 percent or more.
Keep up the gear
Most cars are on the road are more fuel efficient in a higher gear, so when you're up to speed, pick the gear with the lowest engine rpm and you'll burn the least amount of fuel, while reducing harmful emissions.
Keep it shady
The sun zaps fuel from your gas tank. Parking in the shade or garage will lessen the amount of evaporative emissions with the added benefit of adding a little change to your pocket.
Recycle your cool
Rather than run the aircon in your car continuously, keep the windows closed and switch to re-circulate to keep the cool air flowing.
Streamlined and lightweight
Carrying around your golf bag? Storing junk in the boot? Don't drive around all that extra weight - it increases fuel consumption. If you own a bakkie and don't use the canopy - take it off. It adds extra weight and creates wind resistance, both make your car burn up even more fuel.
Switch off and save
In older cars it was researched that idling rather than restarting saved fuel. Today, however, the opposite is true. An engine idling for more than 10 seconds is using more fuel than a restart - so switch off and save!