Eds Comments: One of the things I remember very distinctly about our last months in Zim in 1999 was sitting in petrol queues. We did not care how much it was going to cost us when we actually got to the pump, just that when we got there, there was still fuel in the pumps! It seems that our lives still seem to revolve around this golden liquid and I can't help but wonder why ethanol is such a dirty word here in Aus. But then I do not claim to know much about cars, just that I am now spending much of my salary on driving one! Some of our readers sent in their tips for saving petrol and I have also found some on the net, which although common sense when we read it, they are things we sometimes take for granted. Let us know what you think.
TIP from Nico Greyling in Durban
Here in Durban we are also paying high prices for fuel, up to R8.04 per litre. My line of work has been in petroleum for about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money's worth for every litre.
Only buy or fill up your car or bakkie in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the fuel, when it gets warmer petrol expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening, your litre is not exactly a litre. A 1 degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.
When you are filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three stages low, middle, and high. In slow mode you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapours that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapour return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapour. Those vapours are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you are getting less worth for your money
Eds Comments: Do we have this capability in Aus, I don't think so because when I fill up there only seems to be an on or off position?
One of the most important tips is to fill up when your tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is, the more fuel you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Petrol evaporates faster than you can imagine.
TIP from Avril Sellars in Perth
There is a brilliant product called “Dyno-Tab” that you put into your fuel tank each time you fill up. It gives up to 10% savings on your fuel costs. Example of savings based on $1.60 per litre:
Saving on 720L of fuel (720 x $1.60) x 10% $115.20
Less cost of pack of 12 tablets $24.95
Total savings $90.25
For more information or to order the Dyno-Tab contact
Avril at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TIP from Lisa Olivier on Facebook
Fill up on Wednesday. It is the cheapest day of the week. And I walk the kids to school. When it is raining my neighbour drops the kids in the morning and I fetch in the afternoon.
From www.isavefuel.com.aubr> This site lists some other common fuel saving tips
TIP ONE: Make sure the air filter in your vehicle is clean and replace as necessary. A clean air filter helps an engine breath better and therefore will run more efficiently. Similarly, replace the fuel filter, spark plugs, and other related tune-up components such as the distributor cap and rotor, PCV valve, sensors and spark plug wires.
TIP TWO: Ensure the tyres are properly inflated as marked on the side of the tyre. Not enough air creates more drag making your vehicle work harder and consume more fuel.
TIP THREE: Use the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. You can expect a fuel savings of 1-2%.
TIP FOUR: Remove excessive ‘stuff' in your vehicle that they do not need all the time especially in the trunk. The extra weight causes the engine to work harder and consume more fuel.
TIP FIVE: Use regular grade gas. Higher octane gasoline does not necessarily mean better fuel economy. In fact most vehicle manuals recommend regular gas. Of course high performance ‘Cool Cars' do require high octane fuel for better performance.
TIP SIX: Racing to the next stop light only to slam on the brake pedal wastes fuel. Try to anticipate in advance changing traffic patterns and stop lights. Try to avoid using the brake pedal.
TIP SEVEN: Drive the most direct route while avoiding congested areas that require lots of stopping and starting.
TIP EIGHT: Use your cruise control as it helps steady your speed and thus helps saves gas.
TIP NINE: Don't use the air conditioning. However, if you must roll down the windows and let the hot air escape then turn on the air conditioning. The average vehicle air conditioning unit requires about 35 horsepower to run. That 35 horsepower reduces your fuel mileage.
TIP TEN: When driving on the highway keep your windows rolled up. The aerodynamic drag from having the windows down can decrease fuel mileage by up to 5%. Similarly, luggage racks and ski racks also cause aerodynamic drag.
TIP ELEVEN: When parked turn off your vehicle. While idling your vehicle gets zero miles per gallon!
Use the overdrive gear because it will slow the engine down while maintaining the same speed.