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Fuel economy – Top Tips to Save Money on Fuel

How much money are you currently wasting on fuel? With Australian prices at an historic 10-year high, every little bit that can be done to reduce fuel consumption will have long term financial advantages, including increased savings and more money in your pocket as well as overall benefits to your vehicle and its longevity. If you’re not sure where to start, have a read of our 11 top tips to boosting your vehicle’s economy to reduce fuel costs.

1. Buying the right car

If you are in the process of upgrading or changing your vehicle, fuel consumption ratings are one of the first things you should look for. Remember that the purchase price is one-off, but fuel consumption costs are long term, so keep that in mind when choosing a vehicle. In addition, make sure to check important factors such as ANCAP safety ratings, ongoing cost of maintaining & repairing the vehicle (do some basic research on how expensive or difficult it is to source parts), insurance costs and resale value.

To help find the most fuel-efficient car for you, check out this handy article from Cars Guide.

2. Tyres Pressure, size + quality

You’ve almost definitely heard us bang on about this point at some stage or another. As flat or under-inflated tyres lead to increased rolling resistance and reduced mileage, checking them regularly and topping up when necessary is a super simple way to help reduce your fuel expenditure. When doing so, make sure you check your pressures relatively cold to get a correct reading. If you’re not sure what pressure you should be aiming for, they’re generally listed inside one of the front doors.

Tyre size will also impact your usage; increasing tyre size (diameter and width) has its benefits but the trade-off is increased fuel usage – so keep this in mind when considering an upgrade.

It’s also important to remember that not all tyres are the same so choosing a good quality tyre with a low rolling resistance will help to increase economy.

3. Driving Style

When looking to normalise your fuel consumption, a more constant speed is your best friend. Excess acceleration and late braking causes your vehicle to operate inefficiently and thus use more fuel. Cruise control can help to maintain a constant speed so try to utilise it on the motorway where you can (although this one may be difficult when stuck in classic M1 gridlock traffic). What’s more, leaving distance between you and the vehicle in front is not only a safety precaution but can save a few dollars too.

4. Incorrect oil

While this point might seem a little less obvious, using the incorrect oil can deprive your vehicle of both mileage and horsepower. If your oil is the wrong viscosity, it becomes more difficult for it to travel through the engine, therefore running hotter and less efficiently.

Beware of the ‘cheap service that seems too good to be true’.  Too often these services are not using the correct oil recommended for your vehicle. Regular servicing with the correct grade oil allows all components to run better. Having a regular service is also key.

5. Use correct fuel for your vehicle

Filling up with a lower octane fuel than is recommended for your vehicle can cause you to lose fuel economy, not to mention longer term damage it may do. On the other hand, while no harm is done by using a higher-octane fuel than required, the experienced benefits are generally quite minimal compared to the additional costs outlaid – so keep this in mind next time you’re at the pump. If you’re not sure, recommended fuel is often listed inside your fuel cap or manufacturers manual.

You can also learn more about which petrol is right for your car through this useful guide from Canstar Blue.

6. Travel light

Excess weight and drag on your vehicle causes it to use more fuel, especially if you have a smaller vehicle. If you’re serious about reducing your consumption, make sure to clear any loads or weight that don’t need to be there and remove roof baskets or awnings until the holidays roll around.

7. Keep your air intake clean

Increased air flow to the engine allows it to operate properly, assisting you to reduce petrol consumption and subsequently emissions. To keep everything running smoothly, ensure the air filter is changed out at recommended intervals. We can carry out an upper engine or EGR clean at your next service, just ask us when you book it in. These treatments can have a large effect on vehicle economy, essentially keeping the air intake system clear. We recommend doing this with an injector treatment every service.

8. Fuel additives

If you want to improve the performance of your car’s engine, and in turn increase its fuel efficiency, it’s worth using a fuel additive. These additives help to clean your fuel injectors which is vital for power and economy. Fuel additives can also prevent corrosion, bacteria growth and allow your car start more easily.

9. Air con usage

You’ll be pleased to know that using your air con actually uses less fuel than driving with the windows open when travelling at high speeds. However, while we all enjoy nice cool air con in the summer, it’s important to use the system efficiently at a comfortable temperature, keeping sunroof & windows closed while running to minimise fuel consumption.

10. Oil Catch can

While catch cans won’t improve fuel efficiency immediately, they do reduce the carbon build up over time, improving air flow through the engine.  See our detailed article on oil catch cans here: https://gccem.com.au/installing-an-oil-catch-can-on-your-vehicle/

11. Pricing websites + apps

When looking to increase fuel economy, there are a number of handy websites and apps that can help you check local fuel prices to ensure you’re getting the best value for your money. Tip: remember to check the fine print and how often pricing is updated.

  • RACQ offers a clear overview of the petrol prices per suburb and can help you knuckle down a better deal. You can check it out
  • MotorMouth is another useful tool to use and even offers an app for on-the-go use. Follow this link to learn more.
Fuel Efficiency Checklist:
  Check tyre pressure
  Minimise tyre size
  Maximise tyre quality
  Drive in a consistent style
  Use the correct oil for your vehicle
  Use the correct fuel octane
  Reduce excess weight or loads
  Use a fuel additive
  Use air con efficiently
  Consider an oil catch can
  Check fuel prices via websites + apps

 

If you need some help maximising your fuel efficiency for bigger fuel savings, chat with our automotive experts for any queries you have and to learn more about how we can help.  Contact us today.