6 easy ways to preserve your petrol

We’re all finding ways to make our money go further right now, and that includes at the bowser.

As well as looking for the cheapest petrol station, there are lots of other ways you can lower your fuel expenditure. We asked driver trainer Chris L’Ecluse, solutions specialist at Teletrac Navman, for his tips.

6 easy ways to preserve your petrol

Leave the car at home and get some incidental exercise in as well!

1. Think ahead

It sounds obvious, but one of the best things you can do is reduce unnecessary car trips. Chris says we’re very used to jumping in the car and going wherever we want, whenever we want, so try only using your car when you really need to – eg walking to the shops instead of driving. It’s also a good idea to consolidate all your errands into one journey.

Where possible, avoid driving during peak hours of commuting and school runs, which are usually between 7 and 9.30am then 2 to 6pm, he adds.

“If we can coordinate our trips to occur outside of those times, then that reduces the incidence of stopping and starting, therefore, that has very real impact on fuel economy,” he adds.

2. Reduce weight

When was the last time you had a good look in your boot?

“If you’re lugging around bikes, sports gear or bags of clothes to donate, for example, that extra weight will mean extra fuel. Removing excess baggage keeps your car running more efficiently”, Chris says.

3. Lower drag

If you’re driving at high speed – say, on the freeway – and need to cool down, flick on the aircon instead of winding down the windows.

“When you wind the windows down it creates more drag, which is the force against the vehicle when you’re driving. And therefore a vehicle requires more power and more energy to propel itself through the air,” he explains.

“Removing roof racks – unless you use them regularly – is another good idea”, he adds.

6 easy ways to preserve your petrol

Inflate your tyres correctly to save big at the bowser!

4. Go gently

Do you wait until the last possible second to brake? Or speed to get ahead of other cars when you get a green light? You might want to rethink those habits.

“The greatest amount of fuel used is propelling the vehicle from a stop, or from low speed, and getting it up to speed. Keeping a vehicle at speed is far easier than getting a vehicle up to speed,” Chris says.

When you need to slow for a stop sign, red light or stopped traffic, brake gently and gradually. And accelerate gently when it’s time to go again – being ‘heavy footed’ will use a lot more fuel.

5. Inflate tyres

Next time you’re at the servo, take a minute to check your tyre pressure. If one or more of your tyres is below the recommended level for your car (check your vehicle’s manual or sticker on the car door’s edge), top them up to reduce fuel consumption.

“Underinflated tyres require more energy from the engine to push the vehicle along,” Chris says.

“Think about a wheelbarrow: if your tyre is a bit flat, and you’re trying to push a wheelbarrow full of sand, it’s much harder than when the tyre is inflated correctly.”

6. Get it serviced

Your car uses fuel most efficiently when it’s well maintained, so make sure you don’t get behind in its regular service schedule.

Things like dirty spark plugs, clogged filters or misaligned wheels can make a difference to fuel efficiency.

6 easy ways to preserve your petrol

Make your fuel go further with these great tips…

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