Nobody likes losing money, but that’s precisely what happens to you when you drive recklessly. Even with the price of oil at its lowest levels in more than a decade, the average UAE driver still uses 350.34 gallons a year, reports Bloomberg, which amounts to AED 2,393.44.
While that may not seem like a lot of money, fuel is not the only expense that can increase with reckless driving. Poor acceleration and braking, for example, can cause premature engine failure and increase the wear and tear on your tyres.
Of course, one quick way to save on costs is to make use of a local petrol delivery service. This on-demand service provides incredible convenience and saves you a trip to the petrol station, as well as time and money.
What’s more, this on-the-go convenience is accessible through your mobile device, available 24/7, allows you to select your preferred petrol quality, and comes with no added delivery fee. Meaning, you pay the same price for petrol as you would at the petrol station without needing to queue.
On-demand fuel delivery is not the only way to go farther on a gallon of petrol, however. Below, listed are seven essential driving and maintenance tips for you to try out today to cut back on your fuel expenses and maximise your car’s fuel efficiency.
1. Practise good driving habits
The first place to improve fuel efficiency is behind the wheel.
How you drive has a significant impact on your car’s fuel economy and its overall driveability. When driving, learn how to anticipate traffic and maintain a safe trailing distance between you and the vehicle in front of you.
Being able to see what’s coming up on the road is not only safer, but it will also allow you to keep your speed at a steady pace, which has been shown to improve fuel usage.
2. Use cruise control
A great way to maintain a steady speed, particularly on motorways, is to use your car’s cruise control feature. Cruise control helps to minimise speed fluctuations and rapid acceleration and deceleration.
According to a 2009 report from trusted automotive resource Edmunds.com, by using cruise control, the average driver can receive up to 14 percent savings in fuel efficiency.
Be sure only to use cruise control in safe conditions. Cruise control should never be turned on during heavy traffic or when you’re driving on wet roads. Your vehicle can quickly lose traction on a slippery road, and if your foot is off the pedal, you may be slow to react to the situation.
3. Reduce excess weight
Another way to quickly boost fuel economy is to clean out your vehicle’s trunk. If your car has any unnecessary extra weight, your fuel efficiency will suffer. For every additional 100 pounds that your vehicle is carrying, your fuel efficiency drops by 1% to 2%.
Whether it’s a box of tools, sports equipment, or any other unnecessary item, leaving such things in your trunk forces your engine to work beyond its typical operating performance.
While you’re at it, be sure to remove any rooftop storage when not in use. Even unloaded, having a bike or roof rack on the hood of your car increases aerodynamic drag.
4. Ensure tyres are properly inflated
Improperly inflated tyres can be a literal drag. In terms of driveability, under- or over-inflated tyres can compromise your vehicle’s handling. Not only does this lead to unsafe driving conditions, but you also cause your tyre and suspension components to wear out faster.
Regarding fuel economy, an average of 1 PSI drop in tyre pressure can reduce fuel efficiency by 0.2% according to U.S EPA estimates.
To ensure your tyres are properly inflated, check their pressure once a month, using a tyre gauge.
You can find your tyre’s recommended PSI specs on the driver’s door frame. While you’re checking tyre pressure, have a look at your tyre’s tread pattern to ensure there’s no premature wear.
5. Use the right type of motor oil
Sticking to your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil ensures your engine achieves optimum performance. Using anything besides the correct grade of motor oil can increase friction, which forces your engine to work that much harder.
When filling up with the manufacturer’s recommended motor oil, use a multi-grade viscosity one. This allows the oil to perform well in a wide range of temperatures, improving your fuel economy by 1% to 2% (U.S. EPA).
6. Check your gas cap
An often overlooked section of your vehicle is the gas cap. For most people, the gas cap only comes to mind when the car’s fuel tank needs a top-up. What’s more, you might rarely check the integrity of the gas cap’s rubber seal.
Why is the rubber seal important?
Your gas cap’s rubber seal provides your fuel tank with airtight protection. Over time, this rubber seal, like any other component, will degrade. A cracked rubber seal can allow oxygen to enter the fuel tank, which means the engine has to burn more petrol, increasing fuel consumption.
7. Service your vehicle regularly
Following a regular vehicle maintenance schedule helps to prevent any unexpected breakdowns. Catching potential problems before they become serious issues reduces repair costs and increases the safety and performance of your vehicle.
By performing routine maintenance checks like booking engine oil changes, monitoring fluid levels, and testing the brakes, you can significantly improve your vehicle’s fuel economy.
Don’t forget about the exterior of your car, either.
Having a regular car wash service done on your vehicle removes any unsightly contaminants like dirt, brake dust, road tar, and more. Besides being a pleasure to drive, a clean car is more aerodynamic, positively impacting fuel efficiency.
Here’s to an all-around fuel-efficient vehicle
Improving the fuel efficiency of your car doesn’t require a whole lot of new gadgets or call for you to become an expert mechanic. What’s more, many of the tips and strategies above require minimal effort, yet results in some significant improvements.
By driving for maximum fuel efficiency, regularly maintaining your vehicle, and making use of on-demand services like petrol delivery, you’ll be able to get the most out of every drop of fuel.
What other fuel-saving tips and tricks do you use?