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How to save fuel over the holidays

Published:Sunday | December 8, 2019 | 12:19 AMPaul Glenroy Messam - Automotives Writer

The Advanced Driver Training Centre has as its mantra ‘Driving to save lives, time and money’. However, it behaves us, as defensive drivers, to become ‘fuel savers’.

Fuel is described as “any substance burned for heat or power”. It is a substance such as oil or gas that releases energy when it is burned.

“A simple but efficient way to be a fuel saver is to cut out all unnecessary, aimless driving around town or out of town,” says Yvonne Johnson, manager of Johnson’s Petroleum, Red Hills, St Andrew. “Drive only when its’ necessary, and remain physically relaxed while keeping mentally alert.”

Here are a few fuel-saving tips that may add a few dollars and cents to your pockets.

1. An essential objective of every defensive driver is to increase the number kilometres he or she can drive on a tank of fuel.

2. Take advantage of the legal left or right turns on red rather than waiting with the engine idling. An idling engine wastes fuel.

3. Try to avoid racing the engine while waiting for a light or gap while in traffic.

4. Whether day or night, choose a route that requires fewer stops and speed changes.

5. Try to anticipate stop lights. If the RED LIGHT is close to turning green, slow down enough to arrive at the intersection as the light changes.

6. It is wise to remember that accelerating after a stop uses more gas than keeping the car rolling.

7. Combine a number of short errands into one trip. (For example going to the post office, supermarket, fish vendor, pharmacy, etc.)

8. If at all possible, select the least travelled or the least crowded daily route.

9. Drive at a smooth pace, reading the road, looking ahead, and adjusting to the traffic. This you will enable to avoid ‘stop and go’ driving.

10. Try as best as possible to accelerate moderately from a stop to the speed you plan to use.

11. Make use of the public transportation if possible.

12. Try to avoid riding the brakes. Extra power is usually needed to move the car.

13. Drive at steady speeds on highways. Overacceleration and frequent braking use more fuel.

14. When overtaking, pass when you can safely, and do so at a steady speed.

15. When driving up steep hills, use a lower gear so the engine does not have to work as hard. Avoid overaccelerating when climbing hills and long grades.

16. Make use of vents or air conditioning at low speeds when driving over 40 mph. It takes more fuel to overcome wind resistance caused by open windows than to run the air conditioner or vent.