After spending a huge amount on buying a car, the last thing we want to do is to splurge even more on petrol and try to cut down fuel expenditure. This doesn’t only impact your wallet, but the environment as well. More combustion occurs when fuel consumption increases. And as we all know, greenhouse gasses are produced by the combustion of fuel, which contributes to global warming.
Firstly, let us understand why is fuel so expensive.
Crude oil is purchased by retailers on the global market, where oil prices can fluctuate with supply and demand. The exchange rate is also one of the factors that affect oil prices. According to petrolprices.com, the cost of crude oil is about 20 per cent out of a litre of fuel. Are you wondering what makes up the rest? The answer is mostly tax.
So how can we sustain a healthy level of fuel consumption without compromising our car experience? Here are 5 tips to help you cut down on your fuel expenditure and maximise your car’s fuel.
1. Lose Some Weight!
You don’t need to be a physicist to understand that the heavier the car, more “energy” is needed to keep it moving. Singaporeans have this weird habit of chucking useless items in their car boot. Always be careful of the weight your car carries, as your fuel economy will be reduced by 1-2% with an extra 50kg of weight in your vehicle.
Therefore, keep your boot empty and watch your fuel gauge become more stable. Alternatively, you can consider watching your weight. Maybe you’re the heavy one!
2. Take Good Care Of Your Tyres
Tyres that are well maintained are essential for safe and economical driving. Always check your tyre pressure especially before a motorway journey.
When a tyre is under-inflated, there will be increased contact between the surface area of the tyre and the road. Hence, the more surface area in contact, the more friction, thus resulting in higher fuel consumption
Research has also found that correctly inflated tyres can increase fuel consumption by up to 2%.
3. Drive Smoothly
Be as smooth as possible and keep up a constant speed when driving. Speeding up your acceleration and sudden brakes consume additional petrol and will harm your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. This can also be achieved by avoiding tailgating. Just pay for your parking fees and not be a cheapskate!
4. Minimise Aircon Usage
Yes, we all know that the weather in Singapore can be unforgiving, however air conditioners can use up to 10% more fuel when operating. Air conditioning increases fuel consumption, especially at low speeds. Hence, it is recommended that you use the aircon compared to an open window when you are driving at more than 80km/h. It is also recommended that you drive with the windows down for a few minutes to help cool the vehicle when you start a trip before starting the air conditioning.
5. Refuel In The Morning
You probably do not know this, but refuelling early in the morning can actually save you a few dollars! This is because you’re taking advantage of the physical properties of petroleum products.
Storage tanks are buried deep underground in petrol stations. Petrol is denser in the early morning when the ground is still relatively cold. As the day progresses, petrol molecules will expand with each increment in the temperature scale. Therefore, if you refuel in the afternoon, the 1 gallon of fuel you pump into your car may not be 1 gallon at all as the molecules have already expanded, thus giving you an actual volume of less than 1 gallon.
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