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Top 10 ways to save fuel

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Top 10 ways you can tighten the belt on your fuel consumption.

1. WALK. Seriously - consider other ways to get around. Cycling, the bus or train and even sharing a car journey with workmates will save big bucks and reduce the nation's energy needs.

2. SLOW DOWN. For every 10km/h over 100km/h, you can lose about 10 per cent extra fuel. That's because the engine's revving harder and chewing more fuel, your car's aerodynamics are a complete drag (using more fuel) and you're thinking harder because you know it takes a lot more effort and distance to brake quickly.

3. AVOID THE RUSH. Get on the road before peak traffic times. Tell your boss you're starting an hour earlier and plan to leave an hour earlier than usual. If possible, it'll save your temperament and fuel costs. It'll make a huge difference to your fuel bill and your heart rate.

4. LOSE WEIGHT. Keep only what you need aboard the car. Car makers go to extraordinary lengths to save weight - and therefore fuel - including ditching the spare wheel. Don't haul around golf clubs when you're not playing or your handicap is more than 160.

5. THINK. Plan car trips so you can do multiple tasks - drop off the kids at school then head to work and then the shops on the way to pick up the kids - instead of repeated trips from home.

6. CHECK YOUR TYRES. Under-inflated tyres place up to 10 per cent more strain on the drive system and therefore the engine uses 10 per cent more fuel. Then there's wheel alignment. If this is out even 6mm, the fuel consumption will increase by a much as 2 per cent. It all adds up.

7. GET IN TUNE. A badly-tuned engine can suck up to 15 per cent more fuel than one in perfect order. That's 15 per cent out of your wallet every time you refuel. Keep the oil fresh, the spark plugs clean, the filters new and the engine timing spot on and you'll have a quiet, responsive and fuel efficient car.

8. FORGET THE DRIVE-THRU. Park outside the fast food store and walk in. Your car's not sitting in a queue with the engine running, saving fuel and reducing emissions.

9. TWO CARS IN THE GARAGE? Choose the one that is the most economical. Ultimately, ditch the thirstiest car and replace it with a train ticket. And then argue about who's on the train and who's in the car.

image10. BE A SMOOTHIE. Don't race away at the traffic lights. Sure, don';t creep off the line either but at least be smooth, change up (for you with a clutch pedal) a bit earlier and be gentle on the accelerator pedal.

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 3 comments

  • So what?  Oceans emit far more carbon than humans ever will, so whats the point in reducing emissions?  And while we still have petrol, we may as well use it and enjoy it.

    Jeeves of hobart Posted on 07 June 2011 9:52am
  • Another story about nothing, slow news day…

    Gas Guzzler Posted on 06 June 2011 10:40am
  • Hmm ... how about another one ... wash the car and keep it waxed ... meaning better air flow over the car and cutting down drag.

    Rob m of queensland Posted on 03 June 2011 5:55pm

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