Driving in Sri Lankan roads is a nightmare at times! Heavy traffic, poor road conditions, little shopping malls on the pavements eating up one-third the road's width are a few of the many annoying things drivers have to run into. Of course driving comes at a cost, despite the comfort in travelling it brings. This little post is to tell y'all how to drive without burning too much deep a hole in your pockets.
Stay away from aggressive driving
I certainly could use this tip! ;-) I was like "oh-heck!", while reading an article about fuel efficient driving. Apparently, driving like a mad man & hard breaking eats up fuel as much as 40%. Plus it can also increase emission of greenhouse gasses by a considerable level. The right way of driving is to accelerate slowly & smoothly & hit the top gear as soon as possible. How feasible this is in SL roads remains a question though.
Stick to speed limits
Accelerating on highways always increases fuel consumption. It is reported that increasing your speed from 55mph(90 km/h) to 75mph(120km/h) can raise fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Driving at a constant 55mph can improve mileage by 10-15% under same conditions.
Avoid idling the vehicle
Not only does idling waste fuel, it also gets you no where & produces a lot of greenhouse gasses. If you are going to remain stationery for more than 30 seconds, except in traffic stop the vehicle.
Say no to poorly inflated tires
Make sure the tires are inflated properly. This prevents rolling resistance & in return can save fuel by as much as 6%. It is a good habit to check tire pressure at least once a month. Although it is not a good idea to inflate the tires to the "maximum allowed" level for that particular type of tire.
Drive in right gear
I think I am a little too lazy to change gears for some unknown reason. :-D. It is said that the best way to move about with stick driven vehicles is to accelerate smoothly & going up to the top gear as quickly as possible without accelerating too hard. Driving in a gear lower than you need wastes fuel; so does letting the engine labour in top gear on hills and corners.
Avoid the air-conditioner
Using the air-conditioner in a hot weather can increase fuel consumption by 10% in city driving. Rolling down shutters can help save fuel if you are driving at low speeds. But at high speeds driving with open windows may actually have an adverse effect due to the wind resistance.
Choose the right octane fuel
Most cars are designed for normal low octane fuel. Higher prices do not necessarily guarantee improved performance. Do not just blindly ask for higher-octane fuel unless you are certain that is indeed what your vehicle wants.
Service & Maintenance
Regular, timely service is indeed the way to go. A poorly tuned engine can use up to 50% more fuel and produces up to 50% more emissions than one that is running properly.
Turn off power accessories
Shutting off power consuming accessories, in your vehicle before turning off the ignition, can decrease the engine load the next time you start the vehicle up, hence saving fuel.
Park in the shade
Besides helping to keep your car cool, which reduces the need for air conditioning, parking in the shade also minimizes the loss of gas due to evaporation.