Friday, May 15, 2009

Drive Smart - 20 Tips

Service your engine - Did you know a poorly maintained engine can increase your fuel consumption by up to 50%? Just replacing dirty spark plugs can improve your fuel consumption by up to 5%.

Keep your tyres at the right pressure - If your tyres are under inflated by just 1psi, your fuel efficiency can be reduced by up to 3%. So pump up those tyres up once a week or whenever you fill up.

Avoid carrying excess weight - For every extra 100 lbs (45kg) you carry, your fuel efficiency can drop by 1-2%. So clear your car of unnecessary items that just add weight to your vehicle when you can.

Take the roof rack off - If you're not using your roof rack or your roof box, remove it. A roof rack can affect the aerodynamic efficiency of your vehicle, creating drag which can result in your car using up to 5% more fuel.

Check the air filters - Air filters keep impurities from damaging your engine. Replacing a clogged air filter can help improve your fuel economy by as much as 10% and can help protect your engine.

Use the correct oil - Using the manufacturer's recommended lubricant can help improve fuel efficiency by 1-2%. Higher quality motor oils can also help your engine operate more efficiently. If you're using Shell Fuel Economy, Shell Helix will help you squeeze even more out of every drop by helping your engine run extra smoothly.

Check the seal on your fuel cap - Fuel evaporates every time you open the fuel cap. Make sure your cap is properly screwed on every time after every fill up.

Plan your trips - Cutting down on the time spent in the car is the easiest way to conserve fuel. To reduce driving time, combine all your short trips and errands into a single journey or call ahead to avoid wasted journeys.

Keep hydrated - Don't forget to drink water. When you're well hydrated, you concentrate better. Keep a bottle to hand as you drive and make sure you drink to help keep yourself cool and focused when you drive. And remember, if you ever feel drowsy while driving, pull over and rest at the first opportunity.

Keep calm - That way you'll be able to drive smoothly and anticipate what's going on ahead of you. When you keep calm, you also drive with plenty of distance between your car and others.


Drive smoothly - If you drive aggressively, you'll burn up to a third more fuel than if you drive smoothly. Avoid accelerating or braking too hard and try to keep your steering as even as possible.

Use higher gears - When you drive slowly in a higher gear, you'll burn less fuel. Change up a gear whenever you can.

Keep the windows closed - Wind blowing through an open window slows you down. To compensate, you'll put your foot down harder, using more fuel. So instead of opening a window, try and use your car's internal ventilation system instead of the air conditioning.

Use cruise control - Change up whenever you can. Using cruise control on major roads helps you maintain a constant speed and helps you make all those drops count.

Avoid excess idling - Stuck in a jam? Idling gets you nowhere, but still burns fuel. Turn the engine off when you're in a queue until you need it. As a rule, if you've stopped for over 10 seconds, switch off your engine.

Avoid over-revving - Change gear in good time when you pull away or when you're accelerating. Never 'redline' the rev counter.

Avoid high speeds - The faster you go, the more wind resistance you'll encounter and the more fuel your vehicle will consume just to maintain speed. Driving just 5mph (12kmph) over the speed limit can affect fuel economy by up to 23%. So keep it slow.

Use air-conditioning sparingly - Sometimes it's hard to avoid using your air-conditioning, but remember that it does put added strain on your engine on hot or cold days. And, it increases your fuel consumption by up to 8%. On temperate days, you can always use your car's internal ventilation system instead.

Avoid rush hour - If you can travel outside of peak times, you'll spend less time stuck in traffic and use less fuel drops as a result.

Keep a constant speed - Instead of coasting when you reach a downward slope, maintain steady engine revs. This will mean you pick up speed, and if you've then got a hill to climb, it gives you considerable added momentum to help go up.

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