Fuel saving tips for today and tomorrow
Gas prices are up, and savings seem to be coming down. What can the ordinary Jamaican driver do to cushion the high cost of fuel? Surely the basis of a well-maintained motor vehicle is a well-tuned engine. Without an engine that operates at full efficiency, an automobile is a hazard on our Jamaican roads and a source of stress for its driver. A sputtering engine can be very dangerous, along with being bad on fuel, and its reliability will be uncertain.
“Let your auto mechanic check the spark plugs every few thousand miles,” advised Kurt Harding, a St Andrew-based auto mechanic. They will last longer if they can be gapped periodically, and a check of this kind will reveal any malfunctions in the carburettors that may lead to poor gas mileage, and by extention, impede performance. The ignition points should be adjusted at regular intervals. When these contacts, which transmit the electric current to the spark plugs, become a few thousandths of an inch out of position, they burn out quickly and mileage and performance suffer.
Ms H. Rowe, senior teacher at Red Hills Primary School, says that with the high price of gasolene, she tries as best as possible to avoid heavy traffic, use less air conditioner, leave home early, and drive at a moderate speeds.
Motorists should bear in mind that driving technique is usually considered the most essential element in determining the fuel economy of any motor vehicle. Here are some simple pointers a motorist can apply to save fuel in driving.
Pointer 1: Use your brakes carefully and wisely. Remove your foot off the gas pedal and slow down smoothly when stopping.
Pointer 2: Try not to let your motor car idle too long. It takes less gas to restart your car than it does to let it idle more than a minute.
Pointer 3: Drive at moderate speeds. Also drive within the required speed limit. ‘Haste makes waste,’ goes the old adage.
Pointer 4: Organise yourself and join a car pool whether with family, relatives, friends, or co-workers. Avoid unnecessary trips. Plan your day and moments carefully and try to do several errands in one trip to save fuel and money.
Pointer 5: Ensure that your motor vehicle is in good condition. This includes regular servicing, regular tune-ups, clean air filters, properly inflated tyres, to name a few things that should be done.