10 practices that can aid drivers make savings amid inflation

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 25 Apr, 2023 07:07 | 3 mins read
10 practices that can aid drivers make savings amid inflation
Photo used for representational purposes.

Rising cost of fuel and high food prices have seen Kenyans being urged to tighten their belts to save every coin they earn. However, for those who own vehicles, life must not be unbearable and out of control if certain ways to cut costs are followed. Here are practices that can help drivers conserve their fuel and save money.

Minimise your idling time

Did you know that pulling off the road to take a phone call for a period of time makes your vehicle consume a lot of fuel? Experts say that restarting a car consumes the same amount of fuel as the amount spent in 30 seconds of idling. To save on this fuel, always ensure that you shut off your engine when idling for a long period. However, since shutting off your engine disables features like car functionality and airbags, it is advisable only to use this strategy where there is no possibility of a collision.

Avoid overloading

Overloading your car makes it consume a lot of fuel apart from it being a safety hazard to other road users. Did you know that for every 91kgs of additional weight, 1.6 Km of fuel efficiency is trimmed off? It is important that the driver understands the capacity of the vehicle and take off any unnecessary weight to increase fuel efficiency.

Take note of traffic flow

Take note of the peak hours and when traffic builds up and try to avoid those hours. If you do not have the luxury of going against traffic, anticipate the traffic flow and accelerate and decelerate smoothly.

Check your tyre pressure

You risk cutting fuel economy by 2 per cent per 0.5 kgs of pressure below the proper inflation requirement if you under-inflate one of your tires you risk cutting fuel economy. It is said that an under-inflated tyre increases fuel consumption by 10 per cent and reduces its life by 15 per cent. This means that allowing under-inflated tyres will make you spend more money on fuel and buy new cars frequently.

Always check the car user’s manual to know the minimum tyre pressure. 

Do not be an aggressive driver

Being an aggressive driver means swerving in and out of lanes, getting fast starts and wavering to and from stop signs. Besides being unsafe, doing that will wear out the components of your car faster. Limiting quick acceleration and fast stopping will assist you in saving your fuel consumption.

Use the right type of fuel

Not all fuels are the same and by this, you should know that your fuel economy can improve just by using the right kind of fuel. Every vehicle has the right kind of fuel type that it requires for optimal performance. So read your car manual to ensure to determine the right kind of fuel as well as that of quality. Buying low-quality fuel means that you risk your engine being damaged and consequently spending more money repairing your car.

Shop around for the best fuel prices

If you look around, there will always a fuel station that has a lower price despite the increase in fuel prices. How else will you save cash if you don’t look for them? Always keep your ears and eyes attentive to places with such incentives and take advantage of the cut they have in the prices.

Combine trips

To avoid unnecessary stopping and starting of your vehicle, always ensure that you combine trips to save time and money. Shorter trips can use twice as much fuel as one long, multi-purpose trip that covers the same distance particularly when the engine is warm and it is at a temperature that will make it fuel efficient.

Use air conditioning sparingly and minimize wind drag

Did you know that the air conditioner is one of the biggest energy and fuel consumers in your car? It puts an extra load on your engine making the car use more fuel than necessary. Using it sparingly can cut your fuel consumption by 5-20 per cent depending on how you drive and the type of vehicle that you are driving. Use the air conditioner to cool down the car and not as a fan to circulate air.

When it comes to wind drag, minimize its use as it increases the fuel mileage making the engine work harder and reducing fuel economy. Keeping the windows rolled up prevents the wind from blowing inside the cabin and slowing down the car. This in turn decreases fuel efficiency by 10 per cent.

Conduct regular vehicle maintenance

Always have regular preventative maintenance as it can assist in cutting fuel costs. Take your car for wheel alignment to prevent them from fighting each other.

Ensure that you either replace or clean a clogged air filter as it prevents the engine from getting air supply which leads to a high fuel-to-air ratio. Consequently, this will increase your fuel consumption.

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