Tips to save fuel while on the move

Naveen Victor

The best way to save fuel is to change your driving style which has proven effective for many, so here are five tips on how to do just that.

If you want better fuel consumption, there's no need to sell your existing car and buy a hybrid. Most of the time, the fault isn't with the car but with our own driving behaviour. To help your FC we have five simple tips that will save you money and on trips to the petrol station.

Tip 1: Look after your tyres

We can't stress enough of how important tyre maintenance is. Tyres transfer all the sophisticated technology of a modern car to the road. Keeping your tyres inflated at the recommended pressure will not only prolong their lifespan but also help your fuel consumption as well. Tyres that are under inflated have increased surface area in contact with the road which increases friction and as a result increases fuel consumption by 3 per cent.

Tip 2: Don't keep the engine running unless absolutely necessary

Despite modern cars having the ability of warming up quickly from a cold start, it is recommended that you keep the engine running idle for about 30 seconds so that the engine has enough time to get the oil circulating throughout the system. Most people prefer to keep their engines running a whole lot longer before setting off but it's pointless.

When at traffic lights or in stand still traffic, it would be a good idea to turn off your engine(only if your sure the light won't turn green in the next five seconds). If your engine isn't running, it isn't burning any fuel hence better FC. This habit may not save a massive amount of fuel but it's significant enough to be noticed.

Tip 3: Be more gentle with the throttle

Ever driven side by side with a lorry? Have you noticed in stop and go traffic how truckers prefer to leave a big gap between them and the vehicle in front? This is so that they can cruise for a considerable distance without the need to change gears and keep dabbing the brakes. Constantly accelerating and braking is a serious no no when it comes to saving fuel. Allowing your vehicle to cruise to a standstill without applying the throttle will use a lot less fuel than sprinting like there was no tomorrow.

Tip 4: Turn off the AC when it's not needed

When the engine is running, the air-conditioning system zaps power from the engine to function. It is said that keeping the AC running at all times can ruin fuel consumption by a massive 15 per cent. That shows how much of fuel it takes to run the AC system. So if your comfortable enough, turn off the air-conditioning system. Normally people will tell you to tun off the AC and lower your window. It's a cheap solution and provides you with fresh air, but that in itself can provide a whole new set of problems. When stationary, it's a better choice than turning on the AC, while on the move, it can be just as harmful to your fuel consumption.

Driving with the windows down ruin air flow around your car and causes more resistance which requires more energy to be overcome. So think wisely before turning of the AC and lowering your windows.

Tip 5: Wings and spoilers may look cool but are bad for fuel consumption

These days many Malaysian modding enthusiasts want the biggest, most obnoxious looking wings and spoilers on their cars for the 'enhanced' look. While they may look cool, they also add air resistance(drag). Spoilers are used to slow down air flow over the car to provide better stability at high speeds. Wings on the other hand are used to channel air flow via its fins to increase downforce. Though this is a good thing, increasing downforce will also increase drag, which as mentioned earlier ruins fuel consumption.

Downforce allows the car to be more stable at high speeds and allow for better cornering speeds. While these are important characteristics for the racetrack, while on the road we can't legally travel more than 110km/h. For wings to be beneficial, you need to be traveling well over the speed limit and be turning into sharp corners at dangerous speeds. So that proves that they aren't really that useful on public roads.

Ultimately the best way to save fuel is to cut out unnecessary trips, but here at Motor Trader, we are all car guys. So we aren't going to tell you to do that. Drive sensibly and obey the rules of the road, two most important things to keep in mind to enjoy better fuel savings in the long run.