It’s no secret that fuel prices are skyrocketing. After two years of a pandemic and now war in Ukraine, it’s easy to feel the hip-pocket wearing thin with each trip to the bowser. But, while there’s a good chance high fuel prices will be sticking around like gum on your shoe, there are some simple ways you can make a difference to your fuel economy – and therefore your wallet.
Check your tyre pressure
If you’re trying to maximize your fuel efficiency, this is one of the easiest places to start. When your tyre pressure isn’t up to scratch it creates extra resistance, which means your engine needs to work harder (and therefore use more fuel) to keep everything moving. Low pressure can also damage your tyres and become a significant safety hazard.
We recommend checking your tyre pressure at least once a month. You can do this at most service stations for free. Make sure to check your user manual to find the optimal PSI for your tyres first.
Smooth driving is superior
One of the best ways to guzzle your gas is aggressive accelerating and braking. In the same way that it takes more energy to get up from the couch than it does to lay on it, it takes more fuel to accelerate or brake quickly than it does when your car is driving at a consistent speed. So, you can keep your fuel consumption down by driving as efficiently as possible. Be sure to accelerate safely and smoothly, and the same for when you’re braking.
On that note, avoiding traffic or ‘stop-start’ driving can also make a difference. While it’s not always possible, paying attention to how busy the roads are and trying to ‘optimize’ your route to avoid multiple traffic lights or stop signs, means your car doesn’t go through the extra effort of constantly starting and stopping. Another trick here is to try to go around (rather than through) the centre of town. Just like you get hungry after a big day of physical work, your car is going to be consuming more fuel with the extra amount of effort required to accelerate, break, stop, and start in busy traffic.
Lose weight (from the car)
Is your camp chair still lying in you boot from the last family picnic? Or maybe a few bags stuffed with clothes that you’ve been meaning to donate?
Now’s the time to make sure you aren’t carting around extra weight in your vehicle. Pull out those items that just don’t need to be there to make it a little easier on your engine. Once again, the same rule applies to cars and car owners alike – the less you’ve got to carry, the easier the trip will be.
Keep up with your servicing and maintenance
Ultimately, the best way to ensure your car is operating as efficiently as possible is to stay up to date with its servicing and maintenance needs. Generally speaking, it’s a good rule of thumb to get your car serviced by a qualified car mechanic every six months or 10,000kms, though this can vary depending on how you use your car. A service can ensure your car is operating smoothly and efficiently, and catch any issues that could be affecting your fuel consumption – not to mention the overall longevity and safety of your vehicle.
If you think it’s time for your next car service, our expertly trained team at Highfields Mechanical is here to help. Give us a call today on (07) 4646 1780 or fill out our online contact form and we will be in touch.
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