Friday, November 29, 2013

5 simple ways to reduce fuel cost

WITH fuel prices on the rise (a factor that will probably not see a downtrend any time soon), it’s high time to find ways to mitigate the impact it will have on your wallet.
For the uninitiated, the price for RON95 is RM2.10 per litre and RM2.00 per litre for diesel currently. The price of unregulated RON97 is currently priced at RM2.75 per litre.
The following are five simple ways to save on fuel expenses.
Drive reasonably
While it’s a known fact, speeding, a common driving habit, leads to pointless fuel wastage.
“If your average commute includes 20 miles of highway time, and you drive it at 60 mph (or 97kmph) instead of 70mph (113kmph) you’ll save 1.3 gallons of fuel in a five-day work week, according to an article in the Reader’s Digest.
According to California-based Consumer Energy Center (CEC), all vehicles lose fuel economy at speeds above 55mph (89kmph).
“Driving 65mph (105kmph) instead of 75mph (121kmph) reduces fuel cost 13%. Driving 55mph would save 25%.
The CEC also says reducing air-conditioning or winding up windows fully can also help conserve fuel.
“Using the air conditioner increases fuel cost from 13% up to 21%. If it’s cool enough, use the flow-through ventilation instead of rolling down the windows or using the air-cond.”
Drive vehicles that are low in fuel consumption
The CEC suggests owning a hybrid or diesel-powered vehicle, or even a motorcycle.
“The next best option is to purchase the most fuel efficient vehicle within the class of vehicles you are considering,” it says.
On the local front, with the gradual reduction in subsidies and rising fuel prices, it’s not surprising to see a rise in interest and demand for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Local auto magazine Motor Trader, claims that the Mitsubishi Mirage is the most fuel-efficient vehicle in Malaysia, having a fuel consumption of 21km per litre. The vehicle retails at RM56,992.15 (on-the-road with insurance).
Among other fuel-efficient cars that the local automotive magazine cites is the Hyundai i10, which has a fuel consumption of 18.9km per litre; the Perodua MyVi 1.3 (17km per litre) and the Volkswagen Polo Sedan (15.4km per litre).
In terms of hybrid vehicles, Toyota claims that its Prius C has a fuel economy of 35km per litre.
“Prices for hybrids range from RM94,800 for the lowest cost hybrid, the Honda Jazz 1.3, to over RM1mil for super luxury models like the BMW Activehybrid7,” notesMotor Trader.
Proper maintenance
According to an article on Forbes, keeping your vehicle’s tires properly inflated with air and the air filter clean can help you save fuel consumption.
“Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage and affect the handling, braking and tread life,” it says, citing a senior official from Express Oil Change & Service Center, a leading US-based automotive services provider.
The reason why this saves fuel is simple, the article says: “When your tires don’t have enough air in them, their rolling resistance is dramatically increased and it simply takes more gas to get anywhere.”
It adds that fuel mileage can actually be improved by up to 3.3% by keeping one’s tires inflated to the proper pressure. It also says keeping the air filters in your clean can actually help improve fuel mileage by up to 7%.
According to US-based, having the wheels on your car properly aligned can also help reduce fuel consumption. “Poor alignment not only causes tires to wear out more quickly, but also forces your engine to work harder.
Align your tires, and save up to 10%.”
Letting the engine idle – too long
Citing a top official from Breitling Oil and Gas, a Dallas-based independent oil and gas exploration and production company, Forbes says letting the engine idle too long can result in unnecessary wastage of fuel.
“If you’re going to be standing for more than a minute, running your engine wastes more gas than restarting the engine,” it says.
Do not overload the vehicle
It’s as simple as it sounds - the more weight you carry in your car, the more fuel you’re going to burn.


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