Improve your vehicle's fuel consumption - by as much as 40% - by changing the way you currently drive. There is a catch, though. You'll no longer qualify as a Malaysian driver...
1. Pump More Here & Pump Less There
Don't wait until your car senget one side before inflating your tyres. Low tyre pressure forces your engine to work and drink harder. Driving on underinflated tyres also reduces the life of the tyres. A lose-lose situation.
2. Dig Your Nose
Digging your nose is more economical than gunning your engine while waiting at traffic lights. Jack rabbit starts cost you even more. Never floor the pedal unless there's an express bus looming in your rearview mirror. Learn how to accelerate (and brake) smoothly for better fuel efficiency.
3. Pay It Again Sam
You may be using an alternative toll-free road as a sign of protest or as a means of saving money. If the the old route is perpetually congested and longer, you may end up burning more fuel than the toll saved. Sad but often true.
4. Go Look Stop
Are you one of those who frequently get stuck behind a stalled vehicle, crash into road humps or potholes? If you look further than 3 meters while driving, you can better anticipate obstacles and avoid fuel guzzling start-stop situations. Good reason not to tailgate too.
5. Make Up Your Mind
I don't know if it's kiasuness or indecisiveness that makes people drive with the other foot riding the brake pedal. A slight touch might not be noticeable to you but it strains the engine, wears out your brakes prematurely and confuses the poor driver behind. Make sure your handbrake is down all the way too.
6. Get Rid Of Freeloaders
The less passengers the less weight. The less load the better the fuel economy. If you want to car pool, pool the cost. Clear your boot by removing unutilised items like golf sets, prams, barbecue sets, scuba gear, etc.
7. Bear With Crow Shit
Park your car under the shade wherever possible. The hotter your car interior becomes, the harder the air-conditioning needs to work later, the more fuel the engine consumes as a result. The hot sun also increases fuel loss through evaporation.
8. Stay Safe & Save
Fuel consumption jumps dramatically after a certain speed. Keeping to the speed limit saves you more than traffic fines. Driving at 120 kph, rather than 100 kph, may increase fuel consumption by another 25 percent. The dangers of speeding far outweigh the travel time saved.
9. Get A Life
Stop pissing off your neighbours in the mornings and do yourself a favour. Most modern cars have no chokes or carburetors, so there's no need for long, noisy engine warm- ups. Hard revving a cold engine kills it faster than driving it.
10. Let The Bugger Go
There's no need to catch up with an offending driver just to show a finger or fist. You end up either paying more for fuel or a hefty hospital bill.
11. Learn From Your Mistakes
If your wife or girlfriend says she needs to pop into a warehouse sale for a quick look-see, find a parking spot and turn off the engine. Long idling wastes fuel and pollutes the environment.
12. Don't Be A Drag Queen
Remove that empty showoff roof rack or that ugly ill-designed Ah Beng spoiler as it causes unnecessary drag. Smoking with your windows down at cruising speed also increases drag. Newer cars (except the Juara) are aerodynamically designed for fuel efficiency. Stop adding unnecessary external accessories such as jutting elbows.
13. Meter The Meter
Keep track of your car's fuel consumption by monitoring the odometer or tripmeter. A sudden drop may mean mechanical problems. Timely oil change and other maintenance can save you significant amount of fuel.
14. Try A Different Nasi Lemak
All petrol are the same except for the additives and advertising. Contrary to what most Malaysians believe, you can mix your fuel. There's really no need to waste fuel by driving out of the way just to fill up your favourite brand and redemption card.
15. Get A New Boss
Use online banking or find a better employer. Stop driving to an ATM every hour just to check whether your salary is in.
*Your mileage may vary
© 2005 TV SMITH