Mythbusters: Ways To Save Petrol
With petrol prices in Malaysia hitting outer space-levels, the stress is on for Malaysians. Worse thing is, that we can’t do anything about it. After all, Malaysians can’t get from point A to B without petrol to fuel our cars. So, it’s no wonder that we’re always looking for the best ways to save petrol.
However, some ways we save our petrol may not be as effective as we think. Here, we bring you some of the myths about saving petrol that you may have read on the Internets and help you separate fact from fiction.
1. The Smaller The Car, The Smaller The Petrol Budget
The Myth: Having a smaller car means a lighter weight, and lighter weight means saving more petrol on the road.
The Fact: MYTH! With the development of technology such as hybrid or even electric engines, bigger cars may not be consuming as much petrol as you think. For example, Toyota’s hybrid car, Prius C can go an average of 35km per litre, as opposed to the smaller Perodua MyVi’s 17km per litre. There are also electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and some Tesla models that don’t use petrol at all. Therefore, you should go for a petrol-saving car, not a small car.
2. To Off Or Not To Off
The Myth: Keeping your engine running when your car is idle burns more petrol than restarting it.
The Fact: FACT! It’s probably a good idea to turn off the engine while your car is idle. A car left idle will continue to take petrol in, while restarting your engine takes about a fraction of petrol. Plus, you’re clogging up the environment with the car’s exhaust fumes. So unless you’re in a traffic jam, remember to turn off your engine when you’re waiting and crack open a window.
3. Switch Off Air Cond, Save More Petrol
The Myth: Air conditioning uses energy, while winding down your window down increases drag. The question is which one uses more? We want to know if we’re wasting time and fuel when we have our windows down on the highways, or on our way to Cameron Highlands. And also if it’s more economical to have our heads out while we drive.
The Fact: Well, we have the answer. In 2004, the Society of Automobile Engineers found that SUVs and Sedans were less efficient at all speeds up to 110km/h when using air conditioning over having the windows down. While having the windows down does increase drag, turning the air conditioning seems to consume more fuel than previously thought. The best alternative seems to be to do it like a man, and take it hot with your air conditioning off, and your windows up.
4. Manual Saves More Petrol
The Myth: Manual transmission cars consume less fuel because the transmission can be controlled more precisely.
The Fact: MYTH! It is true that manual cars can save petrol, but that’s only if you’re very experienced or aware of the precise moment that you’re supposed to shift gears. Otherwise, you won’t be doing much to save petrol.
Furthermore, most modern auto cars have improved transmission technology, such as increased gears, and smoother shifting, leading to similar petrol saving capabilities. The final kicker is that if you’re in the city, you probably would want an auto car, unless you’re into shifting gears every 1-2 minutes.
5. Slow and Steady Wins The Race
The Myth: The slower you drive, the more petrol you save.
The Fact: MYTH! The only effect driving slow on the road causes is people around you honking and screaming vulgarities. The tip to saving petrol isn’t to drive as slowly as you can; it’s to find a balance between consistent speed without sudden brakes or sudden acceleration. Going from 60km/h to 120km/h then suddenly braking is dangerous, and eats up a LOT of petrol. Steady driving is the key here.
There are tons of useful tips and tricks on the internet when it comes to driving and saving fuel, but you should know which ones to trust and which ones to ignore. Kind of like ambiguous Whatsapp messages from your mother.