A 400 percent hike in the pump price of petrol in Nigeria has made motorists devise ways of reducing the consumption of the commodity, especially for car owners who find it difficult to cope with the hike.
The President, Bola Tinubu, had during his inauguration on May 29, 2023, announced an end to fuel subsidies, which gulped about N12tn of the country’s revenue all through the period of its implementation.
The announcement led to an increase in the price of goods and services, as the cost of various commodities rose by over 200 percent.
Many citizens consider the move as inappropriate, especially since the fuel subsidies were about the “only” benefit the masses enjoyed from the Federal Government.
As a result, many car owners have cut down on the rate at which they go out with their cars, as petrol prices jumped from between N189-N200litre, to between N560-N700/litre.
Given the current situation, the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria says it is possible to reduce fuel consumption by at least 30 percent and save money for future purchases if the following tips are taken into practice.
By following these tips, you can effectively reduce your fuel consumption, save money, and contribute to a more sustainable and cost-effective driving experience.
Maintain correct tyre pressure
Ensure that your vehicle’s tires are properly inflated in accordance with the recommended specifications. Under-inflated tyres increase rolling resistance, causing more friction and requiring more fuel to overcome. A decrease of 10psi in tyre pressure can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 10 percent.
Minimise load in the trunk
Except for the emergency spare tyre, carry only essential items in your car’s trunk. Every additional 50kg of weight increases fuel consumption by two percent
If you drive an automatic car, use cruise control to maintain a steady speed. For manual cars, shift to higher gears when appropriate. Avoid rapid acceleration from a complete stop or when climbing hills, as this significantly increases fuel consumption.
Plan your route and use technology
Choose routes that minimize stop-and-go traffic, as constant acceleration and braking consume more fuel. Whenever possible, plan your trips during off-peak hours to avoid traffic congestion. Utilise navigation apps like Google Maps to find the most efficient routes.
Practice predictive driving
Instead of abruptly stopping or accelerating, anticipate traffic flow and adjust your speed gradually. Slow down gradually when approaching a red light or descending a hill. Harsh braking and sudden acceleration lead to increased fuel consumption.
Maintain optimal speed
When driving on the highway, excessive speed increases wind resistance and fuel consumption. Driving at 100km/h burns about 15 percent more fuel compared to a speed of 90km/h. However, driving below 50km/h may require the car to operate in a lower gear, leading to increased fuel consumption. The most fuel-efficient range is typically between 50km/h and 90km/h on the highway.
Avoid harsh braking
Frequent and aggressive braking followed by acceleration increases fuel consumption. Maintain a safe distance from the vehicle ahead to allow for smooth deceleration and minimize the need for sudden braking.
Ensure the fuel cap is tightened
Make sure the fuel tank cap is properly secured to prevent fuel vapor evaporation, which can result in fuel loss. If you anticipate being stationary for more than three minutes, turn off your engine. Idling consumes fuel unnecessarily, even when the vehicle is not in motion. By following these tips, you can effectively reduce your fuel consumption, save money, and contribute to a more sustainable and cost-effective driving experience.
Regular vehicle maintenance
Regular servicing of your car helps maintain optimal engine fuel efficiency. Using the correct lubricants prevents sludge formation and corrosion, ensuring smooth movement of engine parts, reducing friction, and maximizing engine power. This contributes to improved fuel efficiency.
Whenever possible, consider carpooling with trusted individuals. Sharing rides with others going in the same direction can significantly reduce fuel consumption and vehicle emissions. Coordinate with friends, family, or colleagues to share the commute and take turns driving. Instead of using your car for every task, explore other means of communication. Consider making phone calls, video conferences, or utilizing messaging apps for meetings or social engagements that do not require physical presence. By reducing unnecessary trips, you can save fuel and minimize your carbon footprint. Every day you telecommute reduces the amount of fuel you use by 20 percent.
Track and measure fuel consumption
Keep a record of your fuel consumption to monitor and identify patterns or changes in efficiency. This can be done by noting the odometer reading and the amount of fuel added during each refill. By tracking your fuel consumption, you can identify any unusual variations and take appropriate measures to address them, such as adjusting driving habits or seeking vehicle maintenance if necessary. Additionally, monitoring your fuel consumption over time can help you assess the effectiveness of your fuel-saving strategies and make adjustments as needed.
Generators to power homes
If you currently rely on petrol generators to power your homes, consider alternative options such as solar power or converting your generators to operate on Liquefied Petroleum Gas or Compressed Natural Gas if these alternative fuels are available in your area. Our preferred option is solar energy. It is important to ensure that your generator conversion is done by a qualified technician. They will have the necessary expertise to safely and effectively carry out the conversion process, ensuring optimal performance and safety.
- Read Also: Driving Tips for First-Time Drivers in Lagos
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