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10 Simple Ways to Save Big on Fuel: 15% Off the Pump



10 Simple Ways to Save Big on Fuel: 15% Off the Pump

As the prices of diesel and gasoline seem to stabilize, it’s possible to save 10 to 20% of fuel by adopting a few simple habits. And with less consumption comes less pollution. This week, ‘Weekend’ recommending 10 little-known ways to save on gas, as the pump bill doesn’t just depend on taxes and oil prices – it also depends on the appropriate driving style and adopting eco-driving.

1. Reduce Your Speed

Reducing your speed by just 10 km/h can save up to three to five liters of fuel per 500 km and reduce CO2 emissions by 12 kg. It’s not much longer either: you’ll only lose four minutes on a 100-kilometer highway trip. In fact, consumption increases exponentially: it doubles from 40 to 80 km/h.

2. Anticipate Braking

Many drivers still tend to accelerate quickly when seeing a green light, only to slam on the brakes when it turns red. Absurd, as this generates unnecessary overconsumption. Similarly, there’s no need to “tailgate” the car in front of you in traffic jams, only to slow down again. Just let your car roll while taking your foot off the accelerator… which consumes zero fuel.

3. Limit Short Trips

40% of car trips are under two kilometers long. These first two kilometers are exactly where the most polluting and costly consumption occurs: overconsumption reaches 45% on the first kilometer and 25% on the second. Catalytic converters don’t function optimally when cold, so we increase our CO2 and nitrogen oxide emissions.

4. Park in the Shade

Even when stopped, your car can still make you consume more. A car parked in direct sunlight will take longer to cool down, leading you to turn on the air conditioning at startup. Moreover, some fuel can evaporate due to the heat. In principle, a carbon filter should recover fuel vapor, but some may escape through the fuel tank vent, pipes, or plastic components of the fuel system. When starting the engine, cold gasoline that enters a hot motor will also evaporate faster, leading to overconsumption.

5. Use Cruise Control… Wisely

In addition to comfort and peace of mind (no fear of getting flashed by a radar), cruise control helps avoid unnecessary accelerations and decelerations, reducing consumption. It also increases safety, as the driver no longer has their eyes glued to the speedometer. These benefits are especially valuable for regular routes. On winding roads, cruise control will force your car to accelerate to maintain speed. To consume less in hilly terrain, slow down uphill and release the accelerator while staying at a high gear ratio.

6. Shift Up Gears as Soon as Possible

Many drivers have developed the bad habit of letting their vehicle gradually accelerate through higher gears before shifting back and then pressing hard on the accelerator for a good pickup. However, engine regime determines consumption: for optimal fuel economy, engage higher gear before 2,500 RPM on gasoline-powered vehicles and 2,000 RPM on diesel-powered vehicles.

7. Choose Your Tires Wisely and Check Pressure

Underinflated tires increase rolling resistance and consume more fuel by 2.4% for every 0.5 bar decrease in pressure. They are also dangerous as they degrade road holding and can even explode. For long trips, it’s recommended to overinflate your tires by 0.2 bar, especially if your vehicle is loaded. Note that there are low-consumption tires that reduce rolling resistance.

8. Lighten Your Vehicle Load and Don’t Always Fill Up

Before buying a car: consumption increases by 7% when a vehicle gains 100 kg in weight. Even if you have a lightweight car, get rid of all unnecessary items. Another tip: don’t always fill up – each liter of fuel represents as much weight transported. Similarly, clear out the trunk and roof rack, bike rack and ski rack when they’re not in use: they cause an additional consumption of 10 to 20% due to aerodynamic losses.

9. Use Air Conditioning Only on Highway

Most cars today come equipped with air conditioning, which has become a reflexive habit whenever it’s hot outside. However, air conditioning consumes up to an extra liter per hundred kilometers at highway speeds. When driving slowly, it’s better to open the windows for ventilation instead.

10. Turn Off Your Engine at Red Lights

The Stop-and-Start system, which cuts off engine power when speed drops below 5 km/h, is becoming widespread on new vehicles. According to manufacturers, it can achieve up to 8% savings in real-world driving conditions (although this may be lower in urban environments). Even so, turning off your engine remains a valid principle whenever you’re stopped for an extended period.

Source: Le Mauricien

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