ABU DHABI // Say goodbye to revving engines and speeding on motorways if you wish to save on fuel.
Experts say speeding needs to stop, because it burns too much fuel, and speeding will only become more costly after the petrol price rise.
They advocate using public transport and thinking about alternatives to driving one’s own vehicle.
A person’s driving style affects how much fuel their vehicle consumes, said Thomas Edelmann, the founder of Road Safety UAE. The Austrian, who has lived in the UAE for 15 years, said: “The faster you drive, the more fuel you use up. Driving slower is better to save fuel,” he said.
“Avoid revving up only to reach the next red light as this burns a lot of fuel. If you have a smooth driving style, then you can save fuel.”
Regular maintenance can also increase a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
“If the tyres are too soft you consume more fuel. Checking tyre pressure and the condition of the engine are important,” Mr Edelmann said.
People often leave their engines running while napping in the car, or leave the car while the engine is left running, both of which lead to more petrol being burnt unnecessarily.
Mr Edelmann also suggested that people travelling between emirates should start a car pool to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
P M A Razak, an assistant manager at Emirates Driving Institute, believes that to be fuel efficient one must ensure the car’s battery and vehicle are in good working condition.
“Continuous use of self-start motor or ignition key uses more fuel,” he said.
“If the vehicle is fitted with manual transmission, depress the clutch while starting the engine to reduce the load on the engine. Accelerate gently and decelerate smoothly,” he said.
“Decrease speed by merely releasing the accelerator and then you can increase speed by accelerating again instead of using brakes and stopping the car unnecessarily.”
Anticipate the traffic ahead and avoid getting stuck in it, he said.
“When you reduce speed the lower gear will have to be selected, so fuel consumption will be higher,” said Mr Razak.
“Make sure that you are using the right specification of engine oil and check your tyre pressure regularly, as under inflated tyres create more rolling resistance and thus use more fuel.”
Before starting on a long journey, driving experts suggested reducing the weight of the vehicle.
“Extra weight means extra fuel [consumed] so if there’s anything in the boot you don’t need on the journey, take it out,” Mr Razak said.
“Don’t start the engine until you’re ready to go because idling wastes fuel and the engine warms up more quickly when you’re moving.”
Cold starts also use more fuel so people could combine errands in one journey instead of separate trips.
Weather conditions in the UAE should also be taken into consideration when planning travel, experts said.
Mr Razak suggested that people try to find covered parking areas during the day time, because the high temperatures and direct sunlight can cause the fuel to evaporate.
“Switch off the air conditioning whenever it is not necessary because it increases the fuel consumption,” he said.
Roshanara Sait, director of Ciel Marketing and Events, which organises road safety awareness campaigns, advocated the use of public transport, but added that for commuters “the problem is weather conditions”.
“It’s more comfortable to travel in a car than to wait for public transport,” she said. “Fuel costs are low and so people don’t hesitate to use their cars.”
Published: July 31, 2015 04:00 AM