Steady On The Accelerator !

In Articles by Glyn DemmerLeave a Comment

As South Africans we love to drive fast even though it may be against the law- but it’s a fact, the faster you drive the more fuel your vehicle uses. Speed is without a doubt the most influential factor in an increased fuel consumption, but let’s examine a few other ways in which consumption can be reduced and see if we can help you save money.

  • Cruise in top gear at a relatively comfortable speed even if that is 110 KM in a 120 KM zone.
  • Reduce your vehicles weight by carrying less fuel, if most of your time is spent in urban areas drive around with a 1/3 of a tank and reduce the weight- remember a litre of fuel weighs around 1 Kilogram.
  • Be soft on the pedal, aggressive acceleration burns fuel at a rapid pace, it’s not a race ,we have to accelerate but gently does it.
  • Ensure that your tyres are inflated to the recommended tyre pressure, incorrect pressures can drastically increase fuel useage.
  • Lighten your load, we all tend to carry an immense amount of equipment for use off-road when on a trip, but when at home pare that to the essential tools and things, reducing the load will reduce fuel consumption.
  • Be careful with the use of your air conditioner, yes it is Africa and it does get hot,an open window causes drag which may even use more fuel, be realistic, open windows are risky in town with smash and grabbers around every corner.
  • Use cruise control when out of town on long roads and extended flat surfaces, cruises control systems are not good in town and tend to use more fuel on gradients as they keep power on longer than you would.
  • Avoid stop-start driving and sudden changes of momentum wherever possible as this driving style increases fuel consumption, this being said use the freeways as often as possible rather than the little urban back routes.
  • Avoid drag, remove roof racks and roof bars if not in use,the drag simply increases fuel consumption.
  • There is no longer a need to pump the accelerator when starting a carin the morning, this simply wastes fuel,modern electronics do the job for you.
  • Feel as if you are gliding or flowing, smooth acceleration, no harsh braking, glide from A-B, you will save fuel.
  • Do not think slow driving saves fuel, it brings about rapid acceleration and gear changes when hills are encountered, use a steady momentum.
  • Look ahead , you will see the things such as a slow truck that will break your momentum, adapt your driving accordingly, a lane change may be necessary to maintain that smooth momentum.
  • Always watch the revs, the higher they are the more fuel your vehicle will consume.
  • Haste does not make sense, remember how happy you were when you caught up to someone who tore past you 30 minutes earlier, and that with your steady speed – easy does it.
  • Build momentum before a hill then coast to the top without unecessary harsh acceleration.

It’s really simple, imagine an egg between your right foot and the accelerator, you would hate to break it?

About the Author

Glyn Demmer

My first 4x4 was a Nissan Hardbody thereafter I started travelling all over the country. In 1992 we held a big 4x4 day with hundreds of Nissan families, and then the 4x4 bug really bit. A friend Monty Brett and I started running 4x4 courses at the Hennops Off-road Trail just outside of Johannesburg. At first we offered day-and-a-half courses that started on Friday afternoon and finished on Saturday afternoon. Hannes Grobler the Rally Ace regularly assisted, and we reached a nice balance between our two styles and our skills.

Leave a Comment