9 ways to get more mileage out of that tank!
Singapore - While we are far away from the on-going Russia-Ukraine conflict, we are definitely feeling its impact. Fuel prices have shot up, affecting most of our day-to-day activities.
While we are not able to do much about what happens away from our shores, and with regular RON fuel hovering around $3 per litre at the moment. Here are a few things you can do to squeeze a few more miles out of each tank.
I’m not here to tell you how to “hypermile”, as doing that is seriously impractical for everyday driving. But the information provided will help you to go on a little more, per tank.
Check your tyres
I cannot stress enough the importance of reduced rolling resistance. If your tyres are not filled to their optimum pressure, you will have too-large a patch contacting the road. This creates unnecessary drag, now multiply that by four tyres, and then from start to finish of your journey.
Take out your junk
Get your mind out of the gutter. I mean the unnecessary stuff in your vehicle. Weight is an enemy for fuel economy.
This includes sticking large unnecessary things on the body of your vehicle.
You are not that guy from Metallica nor are you a seamstress
If you often sit in cabs or private hire cars, you will notice that many of these drivers have adopted that nasty habit of pumping the throttle as they drive, leaving you green in the face, and a few tens poorer at the end of your journey.
Some of your friends also do it, and maybe this is you! If you are getting your car in-motion, you should let the engine do its work, instead of removing power.
An added “bonus” if you do not want to change… you look really silly as you drive within a carpark, past people who know their cars (look out for them turning their heads and smiling as you drive past, or pointing and laughing like Nelson Muntz… HAHA).
Let the engine work... not work the engine
In relation to the point made earlier, many drivers who already pump their accelerators also have a habit of working their engines harder once taking off from the lights, only to lift off and then hit the brakes… then the pumping begins. No! Your driving is horrid, and everyone in the car with you is either too sick to protest, or they are too nice to hurt your pride.
Give the engine a chance to build its revs, and go easy on the throttle. What you want is to bring the car to cruise smoothly.
The hills are alive with the sound of silence
If you are going downhill, it is ok to lift off if you have built up enough speed. Those with transmissions which can disengage (and even better, if their engines can also go to “sleep”) have it best here, since you can even use this to your advantage, by carrying speed with you as you coast down the road, or even up the next slope.
Riding your brakes, instead of your car
Again in relation to the point just covered. This is a pet peeve of mine. I have seen many drivers who choose to hold on to their brakes, as they head downhill on a highway.
You are burning your brakes unnecessarily (if you were to do this, say… down Genting Highlands you will end up cooking your brakes, and you will have very little left to rely on… and this is why you find some vehicles bashed against the barriers on your way down), and you are not using the momentum to your advantage.
Keep your car in motion, pace your exit/entry
I witness this on a near-daily basis. Drivers who insist on holding up those behind them by stopping their cars on the filter lane, as they attempt to merge with traffic on the highway. Stopping your car and starting again contributes to higher consumption.
You should lift off your throttle earlier if you can see you are not going to line up in a gap between on-coming vehicles, and look for a break in traffic as you bring your car in to merge. You can then join up smoothly, and add speed gradually.
Look way ahead, not just the car… in-front of the car… in-front of you
I go back to the part where we should keep the car in motion. Checking on the flow of traffic further ahead, will help you determine if you need to lift off the throttle, or even make a lane switch.
Most people drive along the mains but sometimes, Sometimes I prefer the by-roads
Find the side roads which have less traffic, to help you get to your destination quicker. The highway might not always be the best “flyway”.
Proof is in the pudding
Do this right, and you will be able to spend more time between the pumps. I put plenty of what I mention here into practice.
Here are a few of my fuel economy readings at the end of my journeys, where I navigate through evening rush hour traffic.
PHOTOS Clifford Chow & respective brands