Have you ever wished that there’s a cheat code for fuel in your car that never runs dry? Of course that’s definitely not going to happen in real life, but car makers are working hard to come up with fuel saving solutions on their vehicles. Is that enough?
Stop/start system, lightweight chassis construction, and wind slicing aerodynamic body are some of the things that you can find on newer cars, and they were created with that mission in mind: to help save fuel.
However, those new fuel-saving solutions that can be found in the modern vehicles can only do so much if the driver is not driving efficiently. To make the most out of it, we’re sharing you five tips that you can apply to keep the fuel needle from pointing to ‘E’ too quickly.
Here’s a video produced by our team based on the fuel saving tips that I’ll be explaining later on.
1. Acceleration & Braking
Hard acceleration and braking use up more fuel, and let’s face it, in congested traffic, flooring the throttle won’t really get you anywhere before you end up getting stuck behind that same car again at the next set of traffic lights.
When the throttle pedal is pressed, air and fuel is flowed into the engine and ignited by the spark plugs to produce the energy to turn the wheels. Which means the harder you step on the pedal, the more fuel you’re using. Gladly, most new engines fitted in cars nowadays doesn’t consume as much fuel as before, thanks to the advancement in fuel-saving technology.
To take advantage of the engine’s fuel-saving attribute, try to accelerate gently instead of stomping on the accelerator pedal every time the lights turn green, and when you want to slow down don’t brake at the very last minute. You can slow down by lifting your foot off the accelerator pedal and coast before gradually applying the brakes to come to a complete halt.
This way you only burn only the necessary amount of fuel to get you going. As a guide, you can use the onboard computer in the instrument cluster to monitor your fuel consumption. Notice when you drive gently you may see 6.0 l/100km (or even lesser) on the readout, but when you’re aggressive with the throttle pedal you might see the fuel consumption go as high as 10.0 l/100 km.
2. Engine Idling
When you brush your teeth do you keep the tap water running? Same applies here. Whether you’re waiting for your significant other getting ready for a dinner or waiting for Mike to cook up your burger celup, if it’s going to take more than one minute, switch the engine off. When the engine is not running, you’re not burning extra fuel, simple. Step out of the vehicle, get to know the garden birds, help water the plants, or simply take time to enjoy the surroundings.
Most new vehicles today are equipped with stop/start technology, which helps you to save even more fuel by switching off the engine when you stop at the traffic lights, and firing it back on again once you lift your foot off the brake pedal. The best thing is they’re all done automatically, saving you the hassle of having to switch the car on and off yourself.
Switching on the aircond will drink up more fuel because the engine needs to run the alternator to provide the energy for the aircond to work. Mazda’s i-ELOOP Brake Energy Regeneration System is one of the many solutions that carmakers use to take some burden off from the engine to power the car’s electric components including the aircond. It works by converting the vehicle’s kinetic energy into electricity when the car is decelerating.
When you’re braking or even just coasting, the energy is harvested and stored in a capacitor, to be used back to power the car’s aircond and audio system. This reduces the engine’s load, meaning the engine doesn’t need to burn more fuel than needed.
Although you can save more fuel if you use the aircond sparingly. Early morning commutes to the workplace can be done without switching on the aircond at all. Although we know, it’s very challenging to stay dry in our balmy weather, but as always, the key is moderation.
If you’re the type who likes to switch on the aircond full blast immediately upon entering, you don’t have to keep it that way for the next hour. Once the cabin is chilled enough, turn down the fan speed. You can also take advantage with the car’s automatic climate control. Just choose the desired temperature and turn the fan knob to “Auto“, the fan speed will be adjusted automatically according to the cabin’s temperature.
4. Car Load
Do you still carry your full set of golf clubs in the boot from your last game even though you’re making a trip to the mamak? Do you really need that bike rack and foot pump in the boot? How about that pile of magazines and newspapers occupying the rear seats? Those three pairs of shoes in the passenger foot well?
If you don’t need them don’t keep them in your car, because every kilo will hurt your wallet indirectly. Heavier vehicles require more effort to move thus more fuel is needed when the engine is working harder. Let’s put it this way, would you walk around carrying a backpack filled with three weeks worth of clothes?
5. Tyre Pressure
Done emptying you ride already? Good. Our final tip is often overlooked by most, but equally crucial if you want to save fuel. You can actually save fuel even before you step in your car just by checking the tyres. At least once a week, make sure they are properly inflated to the recommended air pressure, usually stated inside the door of your car. Why? Under inflated tyres will increase the rolling resistance and it can contribute up to 15% of the overall fuel consumption.
Everything considered, it has to start from you yourself as a driver. Try to stay calm and relaxed behind the wheel, because driving shouldn’t be stressful. We hope that with these tips you can maximise every drop of fuel in the tank so that you’ll be able to travel further between fill-ups. Have your own tips on saving fuel? Do share with us the in the comments section below!