With another petrol price hike coming into effect, and the possibility of more on the horizon, motorists are under even more pressure to make a tank of fuel last longer.
“Aggressive driving is the biggest culprit for high fuel consumption,” says Derek Kirkby, Training Director for Ford’s global Driving Skills for Life (DSFL) programme. “While you can’t control the cost of fuel, you can definitely control the way you drive.”
Here are Ford’s tips for helping you to go further on each tank:
1. Drive smoothly
Ford studies have shown that motorists can slash both their fuel bill and their emissions by as much as 25% by adopting a less aggressive driving style. This means accelerating smoothly, braking softer and earlier, not constantly changing lanes, and not speeding.
2. Slow down
By driving at 90km/h instead of 100km/h, you can improve your fuel efficiency. Also, aim for a constant speed. Pumping the accelerator constantly sends more fuel into the engine, emptying the tank faster.
3. No idling
Start the car and gently drive away. Prolonged idling increases emissions and wastes fuel. Turn the engine off whenever it is safe to do so, when you are stationary for more than 30 seconds.
4. Reduce the load
Reducing the amount of cargo you keep in your boot or back seat can improve your fuel efficiency as less energy is needed for acceleration. Only keep the most important items, like an emergency kit, jumper cables, a small toolset, and a small jack, in your car.
5. Reduce aerodynamic drag
Attaching a huge carrier or bike to the roof adds more wind resistance. If you spend lots of time on the highway or are planning a long trip, try to transport extra items inside the vehicle or attached to the rear.
Keeping your windows and sunroof closed can lower wind resistance too.
6. Combine trips
Many short trips will use more fuel than a single, longer trip. So when you have to drive for errands, try and group as many of them as possible into one trip.
7. Keep your engine tuned
Fixing a vehicle that is noticeably out of tune can improve fuel economy. For example, replacing a malfunctioning oxygen sensor can improve your mileage by as much as 40 per cent.
8. Use the recommended grade of motor oil
Following the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil in your Owner’s Guide will keep your engine’s lubrication system working as efficiently as possible.
Digital Editor at woman&home magazine, F1 Fan, Chocoholic.