July 20, 2017 at 7:38 PM
As the magical day when the schools break up for their seemingly endless summer holiday gets ever closer, many people think about how to keep their offspring entertained in the weeks between now and September. For many people, it will involve more than a few road trips to seaside resorts, theme parks and other such destinations.
There will also be the family expeditions to visit relatives and numerous other trips on the nation’s overcrowded roads. In other words, you can expect to spend plenty of time behind the wheel.
Despite the world’s oil prices hitting record lows over the past few weeks, the prices at the pumps are still high enough to make your eyes water. However, while there is not much you can do to change the price per litre, there are some other handy ways to make your petrol or diesel go further.
Here are the top five tips for increasing those precious kilometres per litre.
Clear the boot out
Despite the best of intentions, most people end up carrying all manner of unnecessary luggage with them. Be honest, do you know exactly what is lying in the boot? Have a clear out, and you will be surprised how much extra space you generate for things you need, and the reduced weight could have a major impact on your fuel economy.
Pump the tyres up
If your tyres are underinflated, resistance increases. Your engine then must work harder to keep you moving, causing you to use more fuel. There is also the small matter that your tyres will wear more quickly, meaning they will need replacing sooner. If the financial reasons are not enough to convince you, bear in mind that low tyre pressure affects handling and stopping power, and there is a greater risk of tyre failure, all of which could have catastrophic consequences far beyond the expenditure of a few pounds. Check your tyres.
Change the oil
The above two tips are not exactly big secrets, but this third one might surprise you. The oil in your engine is its lifeblood, and when it is old and full of contaminants, it means the engine is running below optimum efficiency. If the car is due for an oil change, do it now. It is a false economy to delay.
Switch off the cruise control
This tip might come as a surprise. Many think that cruise control improves fuel economy as it maintains the car at a steady speed. However, it makes the engine work harder by stepping hard on the gas to maintain your speed on inclines. Stick to your right foot, and you can drive far more smoothly and economically.
Speaking of the weight of your right foot, the final tip is one that everyone knows but few acknowledge, and it involves taking a good look at yourself in the mirror. The biggest impact on fuel consumption comes from your driving habits. If you focus on defensive driving and are constantly aware of your surroundings, you will not need to accelerate and brake so hard. Therefore, you will have a smoother ride and better fuel economy. Also, watch your speed and stick to the limit. On average, cruising at 130 km/h uses 25% more fuel than at 110 km/h.
Also, you can help keep your fuel economy high during the summer months by keeping your car in tip-top shape by sticking to the recommended maintenance schedule for your car. If you follow these tips, you will save on your petrol cost and have more money to spend on summer fun.