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The Ultimate Guide to Maximising Car Fuel Economy

With the exorbitant price tag that comes along with buying a car, the last thing we want to do is to splurge even more on petrol. This does not only impact your wallet, but it impacts the environment too.

As more fuel is consumed, this would mean more combustion happens. And as we all know, the combustion of fuel produces greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming! So, how do we sustain a healthy level of fuel consumption without compromising our car experience?

Here’s a simple guide to help you maximise your car’s fuel economy and cut down on your fuel expenditure.

How to improve your car’s fuel economy?

Before hitting the road

  1. Remove unnecessary items. Singaporeans have this strange habit of chucking useless items in the back of their car or in the boot. Always be conscious about the weight your car carries, as an extra 50kg of weight in your vehicle will reduce your fuel economy by 1-2%.
  2. Check your tires regularly. Keep your tires properly inflated and aligned to reduce the amount of drag your engine has to overcome. Don’t overlook this, as it could significantly reduce your car’s petrol consumption.
  3. Maintain your car well. This has been repeated time after time, yet it cannot be emphasised enough. Simple maintenance such as regular oil changes, spark plug replacements and air-filter replacements, will minimise emissions and improve petrol consumption.
  4. Keep track of your car fuel economy. A dip in your vehicle’s fuel economy could indicate signs of engine troubles. Keep track of your fuel economy by noting the odometer reading and the number of litres purchased each time you fill-up.

On the road

  1. Maintain a steady speed. Slowing down or speeding up consumes additional petrol. This can be achieved by avoiding tailgating. Apart from being unsafe, it affects your petrol consumption if the other driver slows down unexpectedly.
  2. Think ahead. By applying light throttle and avoiding heavy braking, you can reduce both petrol consumption and wear and tear. Research suggests that driving techniques can influence fuel economy by as much as 30%.
  3. Avoid idling. When powering up your vehicle, your engine burns a little extra gasoline. However, letting your engine idle for more than a minute burns more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.
  4. Minimise aircon usage. We know the weather in Singapore can be unforgiving, but air conditioners can use up to 10% more fuel when operating. If you are driving at more than 80 km/h, using the aircon is better compared to an open window. If it is hotter inside your car when you start a trip, drive with the windows down for a few minutes to help cool the car before starting the air-conditioning.
  5. Kick the habit of revving your engine.  Avoid revving the engine, especially just before you switch the engine off. This wastes fuel unnecessarily and washes oil down from inside the cylinder walls. This is detrimental for the next time you start up your car, as the cylinder walls will be dry.

Planning ahead

  1. Plan your journey before embarking. Combining your errands into one trip saves you both time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much petrol as a longer trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.
  2. Plan your ideal fuel-efficient vehicle. If you are in the market for a new vehicle, choose the most fuel-efficient one that meets your needs. Thanks to strong new fuel economy standards, there are more efficient options than ever before.

You may have been hearing the wrong fuel-saving tips – check if what you know is among these debunked fuel-saving myths!

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