The exorbitant rates of car ownership have always been a hot topic of contention in Singapore.
While we can’t avoid paying for absolute prices such as COE, taxes and miscellaneous admin fees, we can certainly reduce the expenses of fuel consumption.
Here, we detail 7 actionable ways to improve fuel-efficiency.
- Check your tyres at least once a month
No one likes to have deflated tyres. Besides causing a bumpy ride, they generate friction, wear tyres out prematurely, and increase fuel consumption through higher rolling resistance.
Every 2 psi of deflation comes with 1 percent increase in fuel consumption. Tyres lose an average of one psi per month from striking road bumps, dents and kerbs. 1 percent might not seem significant, however with sky-high petrol prices in Singapore the amount you can save certainly adds up.
- Tune your engine every 6 months
Many view vehicle maintenance as a necessary chore and unwelcomed expense. However, much like the need to have a regular haircut, vehicles require the proper TLC to function optimally!
Do you know that fixing an untuned engine can raise gas mileage by an average of 4%? And even more so for major servicing works such as fixing faulty oxygen sensors, where gas mileage can be improved by up to 40%!
The next time you put off that trip to the repair workshop, think about how much mileage you are going to lose out on.
- Drive at a moderate speed
Sudden acceleration causes fuel wastage. Be aware of traffic conditions ahead, maintain a consistent speed and avoid tailgating for minimal fuel consumption. A speed of 50 to 80 km/h is optimal for most vehicles. Any speed out of this range results in rapid fuel consumption.
Photo: Natural Resource Canada
Some food for thought:
On average, a car consumes 20 percent more fuel at 120km/hr than at 100km/h. Putting this into context on a 25km trip, this boost in speed would shave just 2 minutes of travel time. Is it worth the extra fuel? Definitely not.
On the other hand, fuel consumption sharply increases at speeds lower than 50km/h. That is because a minimum amount of fuel is needed to get the engine started, and at lower speeds less distance is covered with similar amount of fuel.
- Clean/replace the air filter regularly
Clogged air filters restrict airflow to the engine and waste up to 10 percent more fuel as a result. Old filters will break and allow dirt into the engine, decreasing acceleration capability. Depending on driving conditions, air filters are usually replaced between 25,000km to 50,000km.
- Eliminate unnecessary weight from your car
Just as you need more energy to lift heavier weights at the gym, having extra load in your car consumes more fuel. Fuel consumption increases by two percent for every additional 50kg loaded in your car.
- Don’t let your engine idle
Did you know that an idling engine could consume more fuel than restarting an engine? For every half an hour of idling, 1-1.5 litres of petrol are used, equivalent to burning $0.03-$0.05 per minute with fuel prices at an average of $1.94 per litre.
- Use the air-con sparingly
When operating, A/Cs use 10 percent more fuel. Wind your windows down whenever possible. However, if you are driving at 80km/h or more, using the A/C is a better option as an open window creates aerodynamic drag that requires more fuel to overcome.
Optimising fuel efficiency seems like a heck load of work to do. If you prefer to do it hassle free, a great option would be to hire a personal chauffeur from FIV. We provide professional drivers who are equipped with the smarts on fuel efficiency. And we haven’t even gotten to the best part.
FIV is not your ordinary chauffeur concierge service. With the ease of a mobile app, you can hire private drivers whenever you need them. Whether you need one for an hour, a day or a month, FIV’s unique pay as you use model ensures you get your driver at affordable rates. The small investment could go a long way in reducing the overall expenses of owning a car.
What other fuel-saving tips do you have? We would love to hear from you in the comments section!