Better Fuel Economy

Achieve Better Fuel Economy And Save Money

In the light of our ever-increasing fuel prices, achieving better fuel economy has become a priority for most people, but they do not always know how to do it.  Short of the oft-preached mantra of driving more slowly, what else can one do to improve the fuel economy of one's vehicle, if at all?

Changing Your Driving Style

The most important factor influencing your fuel economy is your driving style and by following certain simple rules, you can achieve significantly better fuel economy:

  • Speed.  The faster you go, the more fuel you use.  By lowering your cruising speed by 20km/h to 100km/h uses roughly 15% less fuel.  On a 1600 vehicle, that may be more than a litre for every 100km travelled, translating to ten litres (or nearly R100) for every thousand kilometres.

  • Acceleration.  Acceleration eats fuel like few other habits, so charging away from the traffic lights will exponentially increase your fuel consumption.  Whenever you have to accelerate, do so leisurely and plan ahead in traffic so that you never need heavy acceleration

  • Braking.  It may sound odd, but braking wastes a lot of fuel.  Remember, you had used fuel to accelerate your vehicle to a certain speed and it uses relatively little fuel to maintain that speed, but braking converts your kinetic energy into heat that goes into your brake pads – and that energy originally came from your fuel.  Every time you have to brake hard, you could have lifted your foot from the accelerator far earlier and started coasting

  • “Cold” kilometres.  You engine is inefficient when it is cold and if you only use your vehicle for short distances and the engine never gets a chance to properly warm up, it uses a lot of fuel.  Try to plan your trips and combine several small ones into one longer trip to avoid those cold kilometres, so achieving better fuel economy

  • Coasting.  All modern vehicles are fitted with electronic fuel injection that cuts off the fuel supply completely when you are coasting in a gear.  Fuel starts flowing again when you depress the clutch or select Neutral, to maintain idling speed.  When you coast in a gear, the wheels keep the engine turning and you do not use any fuel at all.  Therefore, coast as much as you can and never select Neutral or depress the clutch when you do

  • Traffic patterns.  From the above points, it should be obvious that city driving that includes a lot of accelerating and braking is very heavy on fuel and constant-speed running, far lighter.  Most of the above driving habits are therefore mostly applicable to city traffic driving


Changing Your Vehicle's Engine

You can also have a piggyback chip from a reputable supplier installed on your vehicle engine management system for better fuel economy.  Such a chip optimises the settings for your particular engine and can be set to use as little fuel as possible when driving sedately, often improving on the vehicles standard factory settings.   It will revert to a more aggressive setting when you require full power.  For more information, contact us.

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