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Grip : GRIP October 2011
ECONOMY RUN GRIP Driving Smooth and steady is the way to go. Sudden and/or full throt tle acceleration will burn up fuel like you wouldn’t believe. Even in medium-size four- cylinder cars, trip computers with an instant consumption readout may display consumption rates as high as 50 litres/100 km on full acceleration from a standing start. Heavy braking or braking unnecessarily due to not ef fectively anticipating traffic conditions, will waste fuel as the vehicle is brought back up to the speed it was travelling prior to braking. Drivers who expect to maintain the same speed uphill after a downhill section will sacrifice fuel economy as the engine works harder to maintain speed. Also, the transmission will more than likely need to change down a gear or two, thus burning more fuel. It can make a significant difference to fuel consumption if you don’t mind sacrificing a little speed when ascending long steep hills. Swerving in and out of traffic, or making sudden changes of direction will also waste fuel. Excessive speed. Knocking 10 km/h per hour of f your highway cruising speed will definitely help in achieving best fuel economy and will only add about 10 per cent to your travel time. Plan your trip. If possible, plan your trips to avoid peak hours and known bottlenecks. Motorways cost money to drive on, but can often bring real benefits in terms of fuel savings and time savings (plus less wear and tear on your vehicle). Avoid unnecessary trips. Short trips are heavier on fuel consumption – perhaps you could walk to that corner shop, or at least do all your shopping in one go, instead of undertaking several shorter trips. Consider car sharing sometimes or maybe even use public transport, if practical. It’s cheaper than operating a car! The vehicle. How big a vehicle do I need? Selecting a vehicle that best suits your requirements can save on fuel. Obviously, family size and performance requirements dictate to a large degree, what size vehicle is right for you. But even within par ticular model ranges, there may be engine and transmission options that could deliver savings on fuel. Proper maintenance at the scheduled periods is important to ensure your vehicle is operating at top efficiency. Something as simple as a clogged air filter, or using the wrong grade of engine oil, could have a significant effect on fuel consumption. Tyre pressures. Often overlooked, but an impor tant aspect of achieving optimum fuel efficiency, is maintaining the correct tyre pressures. Running tyre pressures towards the higher figures on tiPs for oPtimising fuel eConomY the vehicle tyre placard will not only help fuel economy, but increase tyre life as well. Air conditioning. Air conditioners use extra fuel (up to 10 per cent in some situations), so consider switching it off if weather conditions are favourable. Of course there are times when air conditioning becomes a valuable safety tool in maintaining clear vision and/ or a comfor table driving environment. Mass v fuel economy. Extra weight equals worse economy, so empty out that junk or gear that you don’t need in the vehicle all the time. Wind resistance. Whilst you can’t alter the basic aerodynamics of your car, items such as roof racks, or the practice of strapping bulky items on the roof, can adversely af fect consumption. Try to fit luggage within the vehicle, but if it won’t fit, consider one of the more aerodynamic roof pods. Windows. Modern vehicle ventilation systems pret ty much remove the need to run with windows open, however if you do, be aware that this will increase drag (especially at highway speeds). Cleanliness. Driving a clean, well-polished vehicle will not only make you feel better, it can also provide a small, but beneficial effect on fuel consumption by reducing the drag effect (especially when you’re zipping along the open road). INSIDE GRIP HOME PAGE AFTERSALES MARKETING ECONOMY RUN PARTS & ACCESSORIES FINANCE AMBASSADOR NEW PRODUCT BRAND COMPARISON DEALER RANKINGS SPORT
GRIP September 2011