by Sarah Halfpenny
Ouch! Those prices at the petrol bowser certainly hurt these days! To keep a bit more cash in your wallet, follow these simple tips …
Keep your distance
A three-second gap between you and the car in front is ideal. It means you’ll brake less often and less harshly, and avoid unnecessary acceleration, which are all petrol-guzzling actions.
Maintain a steady speed
Studies have shown that even small variations in speed can increase fuel consumption by as much as 20-48%! If your car has cruise control, use this function as often as possible.
Check your tyre pressure
Underinflated tyres cause too much of the tyre to be in contact with the road, which makes the engine work harder. Tyres can naturally lose pressure due to factors like changes in temperature, so it’s important to regularly check they’re at the correct level. (This information is usually found inside the car door).
The heavier your car is, the more energy it needs to get moving. Remove any unnecessary weight like golf clubs or boxes from the boot and the back seat. 700 litres of fuel per year is used for every ½ tonne of weight carried.
Reducing the aerodynamic drag of your car by 10% can improve your highway fuel economy by about 5%. Easy ways to do this are to ensure you don’t have windows open, and remove roof racks or bike racks when you’re not using them.