Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Drive SMART and save on FUEL

Do you know that one of the biggest factor affecting fuel consumption that is within our control is our DRIVING STYLE ? In fact the driving style that saves fuel is also the one that saves lives. Read on.

  • BE GENTLE, KEEP YOUR RIGHT FOOT LIGHT – accelerate gently and smoothly when moving off from standstill. Zooming off from one traffic light only to slam the brakes for the next traffic light a short distance ahead may give you the thrill, but it will certainly result in high fuel consumption, and also accelerated wear and tear of the vehicle. A gentle driving style not only saves fuel but prolongs engine life as well.
  • DO NOT IDLE YOUR VEHICLE – even for several minutes in the morning in the mistaken belief that an extended warm-up is good for your engine. Most modern engines were designed to warm up to the optimum temperature quickly, and it is best to just start up and drive off gently. The stop-start driving typically encountered by urban motorists is wasteful since the vehicle is crawling around in the lower gears (1, 2 or 3) much of the time. If possible, avoid driving in congested areas and during peak traffic hours. It’s better to stop at any nearest gas station and take a short break or perform solat sunnat at their surau.
  • DON’T TAILGATE – keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. Not only does keeping a healthy distance behind the car in front increase safety, it also helps to save fuel. When you see brake lights come on in front, you have ample reaction time to slow the vehicle just by lifting off the accelerator pedal instead of pressing on the brakes. Each time you hit the brakes, you are scrubbing off speed, which is energy that was built up by burning fuel. Minimizing the use of brakes means minimizing fuel wastage.
  • DON’T SPEED. A car is at its most efficient in terms of fuel economy when driven in the top gear, while keeping the engine within its optimum rev range (ie. 2500-3000 RPM for most petrol engines & 2000 RPM for diesels). Most cars are designed to achieve this optimum at between 70 and 90 km/h. A 10% increase in speed incurs a 21% drag in wind resistance and hence, fuel consumption.

    REF: The Star, 11 Sept 2005 (motoring article by Daddy Fixit)

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