WEEKEND DRIVE
Ringing in the change
By david light
Friday, August 03, 2012

Save money this summer with Chevrolet’s smart driving tips

Shaping up for the summer doesn’t just mean focusing on your physique — putting your car on a diet and driving smart will help it function better, keep your wallet happy and the environment safer.

With increasing fuel prices across the globe, engineers of the eco-efficient Chevrolet Cruze 
are advising how to achieve better fuel consumption and travel safely this summer.

Watch your weight

Fact: When it comes to saving on gas, it’s not just the distance but how a vehicle is loaded and driven that counts. Carrying heavy items in your car makes it work harder and consume more gas. Keep in mind that for every 100 kg you carry onboard, your car uses about 0.5 L/100 km more gas (around 2 per cent extra) — and even more in smaller vehicles like the Aveo or Chevrolet Spark.

Tip: Before hitting the road, remove everything you don’t need from your car. If you keep sports equipment in the trunk year round — such as golf clubs — take them out when you’re not using them. A set of golf clubs can weigh 15 kg, while a child’s pram is around 11.5 kg and even a child’s scooter weighs 1.5 kg.

Planning your 
luggage

Fact: Distributing the weight of luggage in the car improves the smoothness of the ride and uses less fuel. Last minute getaways often involve randomly stowing baggage in the car, and bundling everything in the trunk. In fact, heavy items belong at the bottom of the trunk and should be pushed tight up against the back seat. Lighter items should fill up the empty space around heavier baggage — as firmly and compactly as possible.

Tip: Never pack items above the top of the back seats, to avoid the risk of them flying forward and injuring the passengers in the event of abrupt braking. The warning triangle, warning vests and first-aid kit have to be stowed in a place where they can be reached easily at any time!

Drive smoothly

Fact: Driving smoothly can improve fuel consumption by 20 per cent. Gently accelerating or keeping a constant speed is more efficient than speeding up and down repeatedly. Also, the higher the speed you drive, the more fuel consumption increases.

Tip: If your car has cruise control — use it! Cruise control always chooses the best gear and throttle setting when driving.

Brake effectively

Fact: Each use of the brakes means a loss of the fuel energy burned in moving the car — so avoid unnecessary braking as much as possible.

Tip: Drive at a steady pace and keep your distance from the car in front to avoid unexpected use of your brakes. When driving downhill use the gears to maintain or reduce the speed of your car instead of braking or shifting to neutral.

Cool Running

Fact: Leaving windows open on the highway increases air pressure in your car, acting like a parachute, slowing you down and consuming fuel.

Tip: Keep windows shut when driving above 30 km/h, and only use the air conditioning if needed.

Regular 
maintenance

Fact: The engine is the soul of your car and for this reason it must be healthy. Because of the heavier loads on vacation journeys, tire pressure has to be adjusted, as tires directly influence the fuel consumption of your car. Tires under the recommended air pressure make the engine work harder to turn the wheels

Tip: Keep your car clean and ensure that all the air inlets are clean and free. Let your engine breath properly. Wash your car often, especially the space around the wheels under fenders — which can store up to a kilogram of mud! Regularly perform every check advised. Use the recommended oil and coolant, check the levels and frequently clean the filters.

david@khaleejtimes.com

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