Pumza Gcanga, Supa Quick Abbotsford owner and entrepreneur understands how the struggling economy affects South Africans. Both Pumza and Frank Naicker, Supa Quick Kya Sands share some tips on how and where to save on fuel costs.
Pumza Gcanga & Bafana Gcanga, Supa Quick, Abbotsford
Constantly monitor your fuel costs and implement appropriate cost saving strategies. Every tweak helps you save on this costly household budget item. By adding up these savings over a couple of months their significance will become meaningful.
Research done by the United States Energy Department shows that most consumers can improve their vehicle’s fuel economy by up to 10 per cent. In South African terms this translates to hundreds or even thousands of rands per year just on the kilometres you travel to work and back.
The graph below illustrates the possible fuel savings just by adopting certain driving habits. For instance, if you travel 25km to and from work, you’ll save R1,203 a year. However, if you travel 200km a day, like those commuting to and from Johannesburg, you could save a significant R9,624 a year.
POSSIBLE ANNUAL FUEL COST SAVINGS GAINED FROM CAREFUL DRIVING
Fuel-Saving Driving Habits
Sound driving habits help you remain safe on the road and save on fuel costs.
Regular idling is wasteful and can damage your engine. Drive off immediately but slowly after starting your car in the morning without letting it idle. This will reduce the amount of time the engine has to inhale the over-rich fuel mixture required for starting and idling.
Keep to a Suitable Speed
Speeding results in high fuel consumption. At 110km/h your car uses up to 25% more fuel than it would when you travel at a moderate 90km/h.
Braking causes energy loss which is restored at higher levels when you accelerate again, using extra fuel.
Anticipating traffic also allows you to avoid sudden braking and keep a safe travelling distance, avoiding stop-start movements.
Use your Gears
When driving in town try keeping to a constant speed. Driving too slowly means you need to change to a lower gear, which could increase your fuel usage.
Adds Frank Naicker, Supa Quick, Kya Sands: “Save fuel by using your gears appropriately. Accelerate slowly, using lower gears, when starting from a speed below 1,500 r/min to avoid over-stressing the engine.
Large throttle openings increase the rate at which fuel flows. However, using a higher gear while driving lowers petrol consumption, so always drive in the highest gear possible, without straining the engine by letting the revs drop too low.”
Frank Naiker, Supa Quick, Kya Sands
Plan your Trips
Apart from the 10 per cent fuel saving you can make by driving sensibly, you can save even more by limiting your number of trips to reduce the total distance you travel each day wherever possible.
Plan one stop shopping by going to a single complex with varied shops.
Highlights Pumza: “At Abbotsford, East London, we have a Sasol Garage, ABSA, FNB and Standard Bank ATMs, Steers and FishAways, and a well-stocked grocery shop to meet most shopping needs. Most towns and cities have similar, convenient shopping complexes that help you save time and travelling.
Use technology and apps like Waze or Google Maps to avoid major congestion to save time, frustration and fuel.
Join Lift Clubs
Lifts clubs are a great way for moms and office workers to save fuel costs. They can also be superb stress relievers; when it is someone else’s turn to do the driving, you can sit back and relax.
Participate in Fuel Reward Schemes
Fuel reward schemes help put cash back in your pocket like the ABSA Card reward incentive at SASOL and FNB’s eBucks.
Drive without Drag
Try to avoid roof racks and trailers by carrying excess luggage inside your car. Roof racks and trailers increase air resistance dramatically and the amount of fuel you use.
Decrease drag by keeping windows closed, especially at high speeds, and attaching additional weight to the rear of the car instead of the roof.
Maintain your Vehicle
Ensure your vehicle is well maintained and in a good condition – service it regularly to ensure it is in good working order. Vehicles are designed to perform in specific ways. If the engine is not running in an optimum and well-tuned manner, chances are the performance will be disappointing while you’ll use more fuel.
Your car components impact on fuel efficiency. Dirty oil, air filters and injectors as well as a faulty exhaust, worn spark plugs, and low coolant levels all need regular checks.
Parts can wear out prematurely and affect performance, efficiency, safety, and running cost, or in a worst-case scenario catastrophic failure!
Balance and Align Wheels
Balance and rotate wheels regularly and ensure you have your wheels aligned every 10,000 km or six months, according to Arrive Alive. In the event of specific instances like hitting a pothole or curb, check your alignment immediately.
Read: The Importance of Wheel Balancing and Alignment
Check Tyre Pressure
Remember to check your tyre pressure regularly to ensure appropriate tyre pressure – on average every two weeks depending on how often you use your car. Under-inflated tyres affect fuel consumption negatively and can cause sudden loss of inflation pressure.
Read: The Importance of Correct Tyre Pressure
Follow these tips and reduce fuel associated costs so you can keep your money for the things that make your life rich and special.
At Supa Quick Abbotsford we offer peace of mind with our free safety checks on your brakes, tyres, suspension, and batteries.
Supa Quick, Abbotsford
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