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Fuel price hike vs higher consumption

When the government instituted relief for the rapidly rising fuel price previously, it was a two-month program that effectively delayed increases but did not do away with it altogether. Thus, June was supposed to be the month where these delayed increases were to come into effect. A further delay was granted but fuel prices are still increasing by up to R2,43 and R1,10 per litre for petrol and diesel respectively. Additionally, the Russia-Ukraine conflict continues with little respite expected.
Source: Unsplash

Irrespective of the much-needed respite, reducing fuel consumption is essential. The CEO of MasterDrive, Eugene Herbert, explains: “South Africa is also heading into the coldest months of the year and a dip in temperatures can also reduce a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

“Much of the research on this is conducted in areas that experience drops in temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius and consequently the reduction in efficiency can be as high as 12%. While South Africa is highly unlikely to see a 25-degree drop in temperature, there is still an inevitable drop in temperatures and consequently, reduction in fuel efficiency.”

Ensure you reduce the effect winter can have on your fuel consumption in the following ways:

  • Tyre pressure: as temperatures drop so does your tyre pressure and as this decreases so does your fuel economy. Additionally, if your area experiences slippery roads, it also becomes a danger. Check your tyre pressure first thing in the morning when they are coldest to get the most accurate reading if your car does not automatically monitor tyre pressure.
  • Park inside: if you have a garage avoid the temptation to leave your car out overnight. When temperatures drop engine fluids thicken and use more energy to thin out. Parking inside reduces the effect of this and your consumption of fuel.
  • Warmups are unnecessary: as technology improves, the need to warm your car’s engine before driving has become unnecessary in most cars. Even if you do need to warm the engine of your older model vehicle, it's more effective to do that by driving slowly and carefully than it is to leave your car idling in the driveway.
  • Never forget: irrespective of whether it is winter or summer, remember the important tips when comes to reducing your fuel consumption; remove unnecessary items from your car, ensure maintenance is up-to-date, drive fuel-efficiently and remove anything from your car that reduces its aerodynamics.
  • Be prepared: particularly in older model vehicles, replace your air filter if necessary. A dirty air filter can directly impact fuel consumption.

Remember this as we head into colder months and potentially much higher fuel prices. “Ensure your vehicle is ready for the colder months and consequently, reduce your fuel consumption,” says Herbert.

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