Oil is the opium of the world. The dose that keeps the world patient while it’s being overloaded with climate change, extremism, poverty, and every other manner of garbage. The world is addicted to it and I doubt if there is any detox program to wean itself off. To put it into perspective, the world consumed close to 99.4 million barrels of oil per day this year. This addiction has made the House of Thani family of Qatar very rich, by the way. The family is worth close to $335 billion. Meaning that if they add nothing to their fortune and consume $1 billion a year, their fortune will run out in the year 2357. Yeah.
Oil and its offsprings get us high, and we’re never coming down. But, being the good humans we are, moderation is our virtue, and although we love largesse, our conscious dictates we save here and there. This is why I bring you this post ladies and gentlemen. We are speeding into the festive season at sixty minutes per hour. The period when we spend and simultaneously strive to save. To reach my quota of goodness this year, I am going to offer some insights to help you save fuel this season. Ready? Let’s Go…
Clean your filter and change your engine oil
This is Saving Fuel 101. Want to save fuel? Service your vehicle.
Saving fuel has never been this easy, but many people never bother. As a distinguished member of the Amateur Mechanics Association of Kenya, I bring you a special message from the automotive gods. Change or clean your filter regularly and you will save a lot of fuel. Don’t believe me? Well, try to keep up.
Everything requires oxygen to burn, including the fuel in your engine. The work of an air filter is to, well, filter the air of dust and other debris from getting into your engine and damaging it. However, if it’s clogged, less air passes through and thus little of it enters the engine. From basic science, we know that air is made up of approximately 21% Oxygen. Less than a quarter. So the less air, the less oxygen available for burning your fuel. Your engine, on the other hand, has a fixed capacity and if less air is drawn into the cylinder per charge, it will gladly fill the remaining percentage with extra fuel. Resulting in a rich mixture. Since there is less air to burn that fuel, the oxygen will bind with whatever fuel it can burn and release the rest of the unburnt fuel as black smoke. Do this a few thousand times per minute and your vehicle turns into a fuelaholic. A guzzler. Consuming your fuel in a manner likely to suggest that it doesn’t like you. Which is terrible, especially if you intend to save on fuel.
Oil, as you know, lubricates your engine. If you don’t change it regularly, it becomes heavy. Which in turn reduces its lubricating capability, making the engine strain to overcome the extra friction, making it work harder than necessary. And you know what happens to an engine when it works hard? No, it doesn’t get paid more, Ernesto. It consumes more fuel. Jeez!!!
Reduce idling and unnecessary revving
Idling is sometimes unavoidable in the modern world. And the more modern the world becomes, the more our vehicles will idle. This is a fact that won’t save you fuel, anyway. We spend more time at junctions, red lights, and traffic jams because the infrastructure grows slower than the rate we buy cars. On average, it’s estimated that we spend close to 3-4 hours every day on the commute. Keeping your car idling for even a third of that time will cost you about 0.64 liters of fuel. This is because, as the engine idles, it’s consuming fuel, doing no work. Wasteful. If you’ve to spend more time idling in traffic jams, the best strategy is to turn off your engine. This will help you save fuel because your engine will only run to drive your vehicle. Now that’s smart.
Note: Don’t do this if your engine has a hard start. It will embarrass you.
Revving you’re your engine is the most wasteful thing you can do. Some motorists rev their engines after starting. Why? It’s pointless and adds nothing except waste fuel by unnecessarily straining the engine. The basic procedure is to start, idle, and drive. Unless your engine has a hard start, don’t rev it, especially if you’re trying to save fuel. However, if you’re not trying to save fuel, rev baby rev.
Avoid thrashing your engine
If you have a heavy foot, go see a doctor. It might be a condition. But if seeing a doctor is not on your bucket list, then hear me out. Putting the pedal to the metal, the symptom of a heavy foot, will not:
- Make you go any faster
- Make you look any cooler
- Save you any fuel
Unless you have an electric car, which I know you don’t, desist from smashing the pedal to the floor. This is because your car weighs at least a ton, and therefore will need to overcome its inertia before picking up any discernible speed. Suddenly stomping on your accelerator, as you move, opens the throttle body wide allowing maximum fuel into the engine with little work. All this just wastes your fuel.
This also goes for your driving. Unless you’re a getaway driver in a robbery, it makes little sense to make your engine scream. Learn to operate your engine at optimum rpm to suit your driving. This will not only help save you unnecessary visits to the mechanic, but it will also go a long way in helping you save on fuel.
No brainer. The best way to save fuel is to not use your car.
Get a Prius
This is my favorite. If you have some 3 Million shillings lying about that you have no use for, get yourself a Toyota Prius. This move will save you some crazy amounts of fuel. According to Toyota, the Prius returns about 56 mpg combined. For every 100 km traveled, a Toyota Prius will use an average of 4.2 liters of petrol. A Premio returns 8.3 liters per 100 km. If you were to travel from Mombasa to Kisumu, a distance of about 825.5 km, assuming every other thing is held constant except fuel, the journey will cost you about 6,000 shillings in a Prius. Yeah, I know, that’s 4000 more than an Ena Coach ticket. That’s, however, about 6,000 shillings less than what a Premio will consume in fuel. What’s more, you will finish the journey earlier as the Prius has 136 hp compared to a Premio’s modest 125 hp. Talk about being outclassed.
This is not an exhaustive list. It’s but a tip of a very long list. However, if you are to learn anything from the list, it’s that it doesn’t need to take drastic measures to save fuel (well, except the last one). Doing the above will save you a lot of money in the future. And as you speed along into the festive season, I wish you nothing but the best and happy fuel saving.
Sorry, it’s me again. I couldn’t leave you without a call to action so, here goes nothing. Hela Pesa Salary Advance supports this post. Please head over to our website or download the Hela Pesa App for a quick Salary Advance this festive season.