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Be Fuel Wise - Part 1 in a 3 part series

Despite skyrocketing fuel prices we can still hit the open road and enjoy our lifestyle by using common sense, good planning and being more resourceful. Consider these tips to keep you motorhoming or campervaning.

Your Vehicle:

  • By tuning an engine that is noticeably out of tune can improve your fuel consumption by an average of 4%.
  • Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your fuel consumption by up to 10%.
  • Correct tyre inflation can improve your fuel consumption by around 3.3%. Under inflated tyres not only increase your fuel consumption but your tyres will wear out sooner.
  • Use the vehicle manufacturers recommended grade of motor oil. Using the incorrect grade of motor oil can increase your fuel consumption by up to 2%.

Your Driving:

Driving more efficiently means:

  • Driving sensibly - Driving smoothly and steadily makes the best use of your fuel. Hard accelerating and hard braking wastes fuel. Stick to the speed limit, set the cruise control and use your vehicles overdrive gears to save fuel and wear and tear on your engine.
  • The actions of a thinking driver - accelerate a little as you approach a hill rather than accelerating and changing down gears once you are on the hill will save your fuel.
  • Avoid prolonged idling. The fuel efficiency of idling is 0 kilometres per litre of fuel. It is more fuel efficient in petrol driven engines to turn off your engine than to idle for any longer than 30 seconds. Keep this in mind next time you are stopped at roadworks. 
  • Airconditioning robs the engine of power and uses more fuel. Don't turn on the airconditioner as a first response to the heat. Start your driving with the windows open to exhaust hot air out of the rear windows. When you do turn on your airconditioning it will work faster and more efficiently.

Packing Your Vehicle:

  • Remove excess weight. Power to weight ratio equates to the lighter a vehicle is the more fuel efficient it is. Do not take the kitchen sink or a  full trade tool kit and a 30kg vice with you "just in case something happens". The fuel economy benefit can be 1 to 2% per 45 kilograms of weight saved (depending on the vehicle).
  • A loaded roof rack produces "induced" drag; effecting the aerodynamic efficiency of your vehicle. A loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 5%. To remove "induced" drag place items inside your vehicle whilst driving and, if needed, store them on the roof of your vehicle when you arrive at your destination.

This concludes part 1 of Be Fuel Wise. Visit our News page next week for part 2. Subject: Fuel Discounts - whats around and where you get it. Good info on this one.