11 April 2022
With South African petrol prices at a record high, motorists brace themselves for more petrol increases as the Russia and Ukraine war worsens amid rising international fuel prices. And if the mid-month data supplied by the Central Energy Fund is anything to go by, motorists will be forking out close to R20.88 for a litre of 95 Unleaded coastal while inland will cost around R21.60. The cheaper 93 Unleaded will stand around R21.35 per litre. A service centre visit might be overdue. Have you had your car serviced yet? If not, maybe it's time you visited your nearest service centre to maintain its longevity and fuel efficiency. As many South African motorists brace themselves for more petrol increases this April due to the Russia and Ukraine war worsening, many will look for fuel-efficient ways to keep their vehicles running for longer and more efficiently. And if the mid-month data supplied by the Central Energy Fund is anything to go by, motorists will be forking out up to R20.88 for a litre of 95 Unleaded coastal while inland will cost R21.60. The cheaper 93 Unleaded will now stand at R21.35 per litre. So, maybe that vehicle service you have been avoiding is overdue and needed. And while these increases may have motorists and commuters buckling their belts even tighter, not all is lost with these fuel-efficient guidelines to keep you and your vehicle going for longer. Service Your Vehicle A serviced car is like a healthy body, good maintenance and nurturing will keep it running for longer and extend its lifespan. And it all starts with which service centre you use. An accredited service centre will provide your vehicle with adequate professional service ensuring that the necessary oil changes, spark plugs, brake pads and air and fuel filters are timeously changed. As any vehicle owner will tell you, regular vehicle service and maintenance play a pivotal role in extending the lifespan of your vehicle and maintaining its value. More so, regular servicing prevents the vehicle from unforeseeable mechanical problems which tend to be expensive. An unserviced vehicle can use 50% of its fuel by running poorly through having to use extra energy. Take a spark plug, a cleaned one could mean cleaner and more efficient combustion, allowing your vehicle to go further with every litre of fuel. Tyre Pressure This is one aspect of vehicle servicing that is often overlooked. When we visit our nearest petrol garage, we often ask the petrol attendant to “fill our tyres” and he/she will do so with what they know best. However, that is the incorrect way to go about it. The best way is the recommendation from your dealership or manufacturer. Many vehicles will have the tyre pressure number on the inside of the driver's door or in the vehicle's service book. This is to maintain vehicle safety for you on the road as well as other road users. But more importantly, to fill the tyres with the correct air pressure. As a motorist, this ensures efficiency from a financial and fuel-efficient standpoint. A flat or deflated tyre causes poor performance, creates uneven tyre tread and wears out quicker. This increases resistance leading to the engine working harder and more fuel used up. In a nutshell, more energy is used to move a car with a flat or deflated tyre. Drive Slower This is easier said than done but it will save you a few rands and trips to the garage. We all know that driving fast uses more fuel and decreases fuel economy. So, try to accelerate gently because the harder you accelerate, the more fuel you use. Also, driving within the recommended speed limit is more efficient and safer. For certain vehicles that allow, opt for cruise control for highway driving. Fuel Economy- Window or Air Conditioner? To open the window or use the air conditioner? The answer lies in personal preference. In cases that are extreme like humid weather, maybe an air conditioner is a more likely choice, however where the weather permits, an open window will work just as well. However, we can not ignore the fact that an open window will bring in a little draft with it. If you are trying to save fuel, try parking where there is a shade for cooling. Also, get tinted windows to deflect the heat. If you have a lot of errands to run, plan a circular trip rather than several individual trips. If you need to go to Makro in Meadowdale, why not pop in after work when you are already travelling on the R24 from Benoni to Greenstone, then make a standalone Makro trip on a Sunday morning? Planned Trips Combine your errands into one, rather than having several trips. Where it is possible to do so, use the car for important trips that can be rounded off as one trip. This will save you fuel and put more money into your pocket where possible avoid traffic by travelling earlier or a little later. A fully serviced and maintained car will give you many years on the road and save you a lot of money in repairs and unforeseen eventualities. And while having tips for using your fuel sparingly, we hope this article has done its job in highlighting the importance of getting your vehicle serviced. Visit www.autopedigree.co.za for a service centre near you.