Don’t Be Misled by These Fuel Myths

If you think fuel prices can’t go up any further, do I have any news for you?

With the cost of petrol rising to R21 per liter from March and the ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine, the situation is unlikely to improve any time soon.

But there’s one thing more painful than filling up right now, and that’s listening to some of the fuel-saving advice given by so-called experts on social media. In fact, the crazier the tip, the more people seem to appreciate it.

So, for the sake of my own sanity and your fuel bills, let us debunk some of those old myths once and for all and give you some fuel saving tips that really work.

Kriben Reddy, Vice President of Automotive Information Solutions at TransUnion Africa.Myth #1: Turn off the air conditioning

Agreed. What’s the first thing you’re going to do if you turn off the air conditioning? Yes, you will open the windows. Which means several things. In town, you’ll breathe in smog and potentially become a prime target for smash-and-grabbers. On the highway, the drag caused by your open windows will cost you more in fuel than air conditioning. Verdict: Modern air conditioners have minimal impact on your fuel consumption. Rather be safe and comfortable.

Myth #2: Buy fuel early in the day

The theory is that liquids are denser at lower temperatures, so at cooler morning temperatures you’ll get more fuel for your rand. This is all very interesting, but here we forget a fundamental fact: the fuel is stored in underground tanks, so it practically does not change in temperature. The only advantage of filling up early in the morning is that you will miss the queues. Verdict: Put on your fuel when you need it.

Myth #3: Put your car in neutral and on a hill

Let me be frank. This is terrible advice. For starters, driving a car with the clutch in or in neutral doesn’t save you fuel because the engine is always idling. But the biggest problem is that it’s dangerous because you pick up speed faster and have less control. Because your wheels aren’t powered, your ability to follow a safety line around turns is compromised, and in an emergency you’ll have to rely solely on your brakes to stop. Verdict: Don’t do that. Never.

Myth #4: Use an XYZ additive or fuel saving gadget

As fuel prices skyrocket, we are bombarded with advertisements claiming incredible fuel savings from a little bottle of secret goop or a little device you strap to your car. As a petrolhead for many years, I can sum up these additives and gimmicks in one sentence: they don’t work. And in case they do, they’ll cost more than the fuel you’ve saved. Go figure. Verdict: Avoid.

Here are three fuel saving tips that actually work:

Fact #1: Losing weight

Out of your car, I mean. Remove bike racks and carriers when not in use. And leave the golf clubs at home. Every extra kilogram (and the increased drag in the case of items outside the car like roof bars) adds to your long-term consumption.

Fact #2: Maintain your vehicle

Getting your car serviced regularly and keeping your tires properly inflated are easy maintenance tasks and make a big difference in your fuel mileage.

Fact #3: Drive Smoothly

It is the unique and undisputed way to save fuel. Better driving habits can literally save you thousands of rands a year in fuel costs. Here’s my challenge: try to drive like you have a cup of coffee on your dashboard. That means there’s no sudden acceleration or hard braking, you’re driving at consistent speeds and avoiding high speeds on the highway. And you’ll save on tires and maintenance in the process. Your bank balance will thank you.

The bottom line? There is no magic trick to saving fuel. The best way to save money at the pump is to use common sense and drive in a relaxed and calm manner. Be safe there.

And if you really need to trade that gas guzzler for a more economical model, be sure to start by checking your credit with your free annual credit report from TransUnion – the healthier your credit report, the better are your chances of getting a lower interest rate. rates on secured credits such as car loans.

Source: Nicola Honey – ByDesign South Africa

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