Generally, in today‘s automobile world, fuel-efficiency is a selling point, and virtually all auto makers are improving on this. The snag, however, is that 70 per cent of vehicles on Nigerian roads are over a decade old – a factor that readily puts a lid on access to this incentive. But even at that, the experts say adopting some fuel saving and vehicle maintenance habits can lessen the burden of heavy bill on fuel purchase.
It is an acknowledged fact by all vehicle users that heavy traffic snarl is a major cause of excessive fuel combustion. But more importantly, automotive experts say the damage it can cause to vehicles far goes beyond just fuel burning: it can shorten the life span of an engine as well as engender excessive wear tear. In this wise, the most natural economic step is to avoid traffic hold-ups by taking alternative routes. But that may not be all to cutting costs. Duru Ejike, an engineer and now Managing Director of Systems Tag Engineering, Alaba, Lagos says that by constantly checking on the conditions of your car‘s tyres can save much money on unnecessary fuel consumption. He says a well gauged tyre, with the right level of air pressure while inflating the tyre (as may be stipulated on the tyre) will improve fuel conservation by, at least, four per cent. By contrast, he says much fuel is wasted when your tyre is operating with deflated or under the required air pressure tyres. Like under-inflated tyres, dirty oil, clogged air filters and poorly tuned engines all increase your fuel costs. ”By keeping your vehicle well maintained, you can cut your fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent, which is an easy way to save money on petrol.
”Specifically, to have a better engine performance, clean your air intake filter. This simple process can boost your fuel efficiency by 10 per cent,” he says.
To the Managing Director of Tobias Automotive Design Concept, an Iganmu, Lagos-based automotive engineering firm, Dr. Bonaventure Tobias, there are many things you can do, aside from going out to buy a more fuel efficient car, which will help you to cut down your gasoline expenses. According to him, many of these only require minor adjustments to your driving style. You can also save money on fuel by improving your petrol mileage. He says all these can be done by changing your driving habits.
”Applying the brake the right way may help you save money. A car consumes most petrol as it accelerates. It is a simple law of physics (force equals mass times acceleration). A moving car doesn‘t require much gasoline to keep moving (due to the inherent inertia). In real life, this means, in order to improve your mileage you need to keep the ride smooth. In-between speeding and slamming of brakes, much fuel is lost,” he says. Another strategy is to avoid over-loading your vehicle. A weighed-down car uses more fuel.
He also advises that car air conditioner should be used sparingly, if it must be used. This might be somewhat difficult in some areas, for instance, especially under the scotching sun that sometimes characterise the Nigerian terrain. However, the fact is that the compressor for the air conditioner loads the motor car more, which will reduce fuel economy. So, try not to use the air conditioner, if you don‘t have to. Besides, you may need to park your car in the shade if you can, so that you won‘t have to keep the AC working as hard when you go somewhere, according to him. ”Roll down the windows just a tiny bit, so that air can circulate through your car while you are parked (but it might not be a good idea in areas with a high theft rate). You may have to turn off the AC five minutes before you reach your destination and don‘t keep it working until the last second.”
Besides, allowing your engine to be running while it is idle, he says, is a very uneconomic way of wasting fuel. “When you let your engine idle, all you are doing is that you are unnecessarily increasing your fuel costs. If you are going to be parked for more than 10 seconds, turn off the engine. Ten seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off the engine and restarting it.”
According to the Natural Resources, Canada, an institution devoted to eco-survival and energy conservation, the best way to warm up your vehicle is to drive it. Similarly, neither is idling better than frequently turning off and restarting your vehicle‘s engine. In same way, avoid parking your car under sun: it gets your fuel evaporated fast.
From the financial standpoint, Akin Ajewole of CreditPace, a Lagos-based financial management outfit, says, a very effective way of conserving fuel is to consolidate your trips. For people whose duties demand going different places, an ideal approach is to consolidate their movements into one trip. Instead of making three separate trips, you can turn them into one trip and get it all done. Consolidating your trips takes a little planning, but it is an easy and painless way to cut your fuel costs. Also, it makes economic sense for you to buy fuel at mega stations to avoid cheating
Your observation was very correct; it’s the case with my Camry 99, V6.
Naturally a car consumes more fuel running around the town with stop and movement we made at intervals. When the car is on speed, no braking at intervals is needed, it gets lighter and fuel consumption get lower.
Bigger engine cars are travelling cars and are meant for longer journeys, V6 inclusive
When around the town you accelerate and brakes at intervals, at that there is more fuel consumption.
Practically, I have observed that.