Secrets to Saving Fuel For Your Car – And the Environment

AdditivesFuel and engine oil additives are developed to keep engines running longer, more efficiently and with lower emissions. Some additives have been claimed to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 20% although this is rarely verified by users.

Do your calculations first to see if it’s cost-effective to invest in a certain additive and check with fellow motorists who have successfully tried it before purchasing such products.

Aggressive Driving

Aggressive driving behavior such as “jackrabbit” starts from traffic lights and hard braking may reduce travel time by about 5% (hey, that’s just 3 minutes out of an hour’s trip) but may increase fuel consumption by 40%!

Aggressive driving saves you little time, increases your blood pressure, wastes fuel, increases emissions and causes excessive engine and brake wear. It may also increase your chances of involving in a road accident 81aircon!


Air conditioning could easily add 10% to your fuel consumption. Turning off the aircon in the morning or on a cool day helps save fuel. Parking under a shade will also lighten the load on the aircon later.

However at speeds above 70kmh on an expressway, it is more fuel-efficient to turn on the aircon than to wind down the window.

Air Filter

Replacing a dirty air filter will improve your fuel economy by as much as 10% and protect your engine. The air filter keeps out the impurities, which can damage your engine in the long run.

Body Kits

Body kits look great and help in stability control at high speed but increase the drag and make your engine works harder.

Cold Weather

Your engine does not run efficiently until it’s warmed up, and it’ll take longer for the engine to warm up in cold weather. In winter, use a block heater to warm your engine before starting it. Block heaters can improve fuel economy by as much as 10% in winter.


You’ve learnt this when you were 10 years old – a dark coloured object absorbs more heat than a light coloured one. Hence a dark coloured car makes the aircon works harder on a hot day, which in turn consumes more fuel.

Cabin Equipment

Audiovisual system, air purifier and ioniser, mobile phone charger, fancy cabin lighting and navigation system all take up electricity.

Cruise Control

Some cars come with cruise control. Do use cruise control on an expressway to help you maintain a constant speed and thus saves fuel.

Diagnostic Checks

If you notice your car consumes more fuel lately, get your mechanic to conduct diagnostic checks on your car. The ignition timing could be off or there could be leakage in the fuel system.

Driving Habits

Poor driving habits are the most common and major contributor to low fuel efficiency.

Accelerate to cruising speed as soon as possible and maintain at that speed for as long as possible. However during the run-in periods of new cars, most manufacturers advise against maintaining at a constant speed for too long. Consult your owner’s manual on the run-in period of your car.

Automatic transmission will shift up quicker and smoother if you release slightly on the accelerator once the car gains momentum.

Avoid hard braking. Do not drive with your left foot resting on the brake pedal, it increases fuel consumption and causes excessive brake wear. It can also be dangerous because it leads to heat buildup in the brakes, thus reducing the braking power.

Don’t drive haphazardly with numerous abrupt stops and quick starts. Don’t follow the front vehicle too closely so as to avoid frequent braking and acceleration. Remember, you want to maintain constantly at cruising speed for as long as possible.

Rushing up to a red light and then having to brake at the last minute is an expensive bad habit that wastes fuel and wears out the brakes. When you approach a junction, release your foot from the accelerator pedal well in advance to slow down your vehicle. If there’s a red light, it may turn green by the time you reach there, so you don’t even have to stop. It’s definitely more fuel efficient to accelerate from 10kmh than from a standstill at the stop line.

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