While you can’t control the price of fuel at the bowser, there are some things you can do to help your vehicle’s fuel consumption during the daily commute and stretching your holiday dollars further on your next road trip.
Keep a smile on your fuel dial by committing these 10 expert tips to memory:
1. Shop around
If you are an NRMA Member, download the mynrma app to find and compare fuel prices from all service station in real-time across NSW. You can also search by location, fuel type and filter by distance or price. There’s also an exclusive fuel saving of up to 5 cents per litre for NRMA Members at participating Caltex and Ampol locations Australia-wide . Just look out for the red-pins when using the app and show your QR code to the cashier before paying.
2. Cheapest fuel vs consumption
E10 is generally the cheapest fuel at the pump, offering savings compared to regular or premium petrol. Keep in mind though, E10 contains around 3% less energy than an equivalent amount of RON 91 petrol. This can have a similar effect on fuel consumption as driving on tyres with inadequate air pressure, so it’s handy to ensure there’s a considerable price saving before filling up with E10.
3. Avoid hard acceleration and braking
Flow with the traffic – smooth driving can reduce fuel consumption by up to 30 per cent.
4. Watch your speed
Keep in the left lane if travelling below the limit and let faster vehicles overtake you.
5. Lighten the load
Take off roof-racks and bull bars if they’re not needed. Remove golf clubs or tools if you’re not using them. If you do store items in your car, make sure you have the appropriate car insurance to cover personal items. Run with half a tank at a time , this reduces the load and allows for a quick fill if price drops. Keep an eye on the Sydney petrol price cycle with our weekly fuel reports as this can help too.
6. Check your tyre pressure
Make sure tyre pressures are set correctly , Running to the higher recommended setting will reduce the rolling resistance and also helps to reduce the impact from pot holes
7. Have your wheel alignment checked
An improper wheel alignment will cause the tyres to drag increasing the rolling resistance. A wheel alignment is recommended yearly, or sooner if you've hit something such as a pothole.
8. Open the windows
When driving around town turn Aircon system off and open windows for fresh air .. This is not as effective on the motoway but window deflectors can help by allowing fresh air without the drag caused by a big opening.
9. Drive to the inclines
If driving a manual car select lower gear on inclines only especially when braking. You can do this with Automatic transmissions if there is a manual mode also. This will help engine braking by shutting of injection when over 1,500 RPM as a guide which slightly improves fuel economy.
10. Service your car regularly
Blocked air filters can increase fuel consumption significantly. If your vehicle has done over 100,00kms, a good injector clean will make a huge difference. Also don’t forget to ensure your car is well serviced and maintained too.