Smart driving: Time to improve fuel economy
September 25, 2016 | 7:21 PM
by Courtesy of General Motors

Many consumers are looking for effective ways to reduce their spending and curb spiralling costs – without having to radically change their lifestyle. What most people don’t know however, is that ‘Smart Driving’ can help improve fuel economy on your regular commute and help the vehicle perform better.

In line with this, Chevrolet recommends the following tips to save fuel:

Take it easy and drive smoothly: Not accelerating smoothly is one of the most common mistakes drivers make on the road. Aggressive driving like jumping on the gas at every light only to then hit the brakes will not get the driver home any faster. According to Chevrolet engineers, by driving smoothly, drivers can improve their mileage by approximately 20 per cent.

Use cruise control: Using cruise control helps maintain a constant speed over time, which is much more efficient than speeding up and slowing down over and over again.

Roll up the windows: Leaving windows open on the highway increases air pressure in your car, acting like a parachute trying to slow the vehicles down, which consumes much more energy than the air conditioner will, slowing you down and consuming fuel.

Check tyre pressure: Even with tyres just five pounds under the recommended air pressure, it will make the engine work harder to turn the wheels. Chevrolet recommends checking tyres at least once a month, and the Tyre Information Label located on the inside of your vehicle’s doorframe has the recommended cold tyre pressure for your vehicle.

Don’t ignore the “check engine” light: A “check engine” light can be something as simple as a loose gas cap. But, a more serious engine problem can cut fuel economy by up to 40 per cent.

Avoid excess idling: A car gets 0 kpl when the engine is idling. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked to save fuel.

Remove the roof carriers and car ornaments: Roof carriers to haul gear and car ornaments like country flags increases aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) and lowers fuel economy. At highway speeds, up to a third of your fuel is used to overcome wind resistance, so even small changes to your vehicle’s aerodynamics will have a big impact in fuel economy.

Cut excess weight: When it comes to saving on gas, it's not just the distance but how a vehicle is loaded and driven that counts. Carrying heavy items in your car makes it work harder and consume more gas. Keep in mind that for every 100kg you carry onboard, your car uses about 0.5L/100km more gas (around 2 per cent extra) – and even more in smaller vehicles.

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