Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Simple Life 2 : Drive To Save Money

Make your car more efficient

Do you know that making a minor tweak on our car can make the car to use fuel efficiently? Not only that, efficient car operates in optimum condition which will prolong the car life period.

  1. Ensure that the tires are correctly inflated. (Potential fuel saving : 8%)
  2. De-clutter your car and remove any unnecessary things. This will lighten your car to operate in more efficient weight. (Potential fuel saving : 2%)
  3. Remove the roof rack. Bringing your boat with you to office is not only weird, its create excessive drag and weight. (Potential fuel saving : 2%)
  4. Turn off your air-conditioner. Put down your front windows and put up your rear windows to ensure the air circulate. (Potential fuel saving : 8%)
  5. Do not fill up your fuel tank to full. Full tank adds unnecessary weight to the car. Fill your tank half or ¾ only. (Potential fuel saving : 1%)

Drive efficiently

By changing the way you drive your car, you can boost up to 60% fuel saving. Here are some tips on how to drive at optimum fuel usage:

  1. When accelerate during initial driving or after traffic light, avoid revving. Balance the level you release the clutch and pressing the accelerator.
  2. Use the correct gear. Try to move to the highest gear as fast as possible and as long period as possible. Only change to lower gear if your car gets too low speed.
  3. Use brake efficiently. Before a stop, release the accelerator and let your car cruise. Push on brake slowly until a full stop. Of course, do not do this in emergency situation.
  4. Always be aware the distance between your car to the car in front of you. Aside from safety measure, it helps us to maintain a more consistent speed. If you drive too close to the car in front of you, you might excessively accelerate or using your brake to match up the car’s speed which leads to inefficient use of fuel.
  5. Plan your route. With good planning, you can route the shortest path, less traffic jam, avoid tol and have a smoother, less strenuous drive.

I am driving Proton Gen2 1.6MT. I am being very particular over my driving techniques, and as much as possible, will obey any efficient driving ideas. Not only it makes my driving experience a less strenuous one, it also helps me to save on fuel. This month, with our current fuel price at RM1.80 per liter, my car consumes only RM0.11 per kilometer!

Be particular over petrol

In country that do not have subsidized petrol price and petrol stations have the tendency of competes over cheaper petrol price, it is important for us to find the cheapest fuel price per value. The best way is to go online and find your local petrol station list with its fuel price. Compare their price and hit for the most competitive fuel price.

In Malaysia, our fuel price is subsidized and fixed. So, we have less option to choose from when it comes to fuel price. In future, when RON95 and RON97 were introduce to the market, we should be able to have some option if our car is up to the fuel specification.

Aside from looking at fuel price, we can try these tips too:

  1. Top up your fuel once the tank only left 50km worth of fuel. Do not let the fuel tank to be too low on fuel. When it is too low, you will end up have to fill up on the next petrol station that you encounter giving you no option of choosing the best fuel for your car.
  2. Avoid expensive fuel with additive. Most of the additive suits better for high power engine or sports car. If you are driving a normal family sedan, it is insignificant to the engine power to fill up with expensive fuel.
  3. Fill your tank at night. The fuel storage underneath the station tend to effect by the temperature. The fuel vapors at higher temperature which effects the fuel volume that you pump into your car. However, the variance is too low. So do not concern too much over this.
  4. When you are filling up your tank, stop filling as soon as the nozzle clunk. Adding more fuel might tend to overfill. Any fuel that do not goes into your tank, but drain out from the nozzle is still consider a waste of money to spend on.

Rewards point, cashback and promotions

No matter how much we try to save on fuel, we will still have to fill our tank if we want to keep our the car on the road. So, why not use the opportunity to get some privilege when filling fuel:

  1. If you use credit card to pay for fuel, use cards that have cashback for spending on fuel.
  2. If the petrol station offers loyalty cards or reward points, make sure you get their card and swipe every time you spend on fuel. Later, redeem the points to exchange to your daily necessities.
  3. If the petrol station joint venture with retailer that offer their voucher when shopping, try to shop at those places (when you need to do shopping, of course) and get their voucher to exchange for fuel.

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