Fueling our automobiles has become one of the most significant challenges for motor vehicle owners in Nigeria today, especially after the subsidy removal.
Unlike in the past when most vehicle tanks could be filled with between N7,000 and N10,000, it will now require between N35,000 and N43,000 to fill such tanks.
This means that if a vehicle owner has to fill his tank four to five times in a month, he should be ready to set aside about N200,000 for this purpose. This is in addition to the usual repairs and services, and, with the poor state of our roads, no shock absorber lasts for more than one year, but the car must be on the road if you must meet your obligations, like going to work, the market, school runs, and so on.
It is essential for drivers to find ways to economize fuel. While Nigeria may not fully embrace green mobility with electric vehicles yet, there are still practical steps vehicle owners can take to maximize fuel efficiency and minimize wastage.
1) Lighten the Load:
Avoid carrying unnecessary items in your car’s trunk or backseat. The more weight your vehicle carries, the higher the fuel consumption. Clear out any junks or items you don’t need to reduce the load and improve fuel efficiency.
2) Use Air Conditioning Wisely:
Contrary to popular belief that fuel consumption is higher when driving with air conditioner on, it is worthy to note that using the air conditioner is more fuel-efficient when driving at a steady speed of around 80km/hr. It’s more economical than driving with open windows at high speeds, which creates wind resistance and increases fuel consumption.
3) Maintain a Steady Speed: Driving at very high speeds or very slow speeds on highways can both negatively impact fuel economy. Maintaining a consistent speed between 50km/hr and 90km/hr on highways is the best way to achieve optimal fuel efficiency.
4) Avoid Excessive Acceleration: Rapidly revving your accelerator to high RPMs consumes more fuel. Opt for smoother acceleration and avoid excessive revving whenever possible.
5) Utilize Cruise Control (for Automatic Cars):
If your car has cruise control, use it during long drives on highways. This feature helps maintain a constant speed, leading to better fuel economy.
6) Select the Right Gear (for Manual Cars):
For manual transmission vehicles, maintaining a higher gear when possible can contribute to fuel savings.
7) Ensure Proper Tire Inflation: Regularly check and maintain the correct tire pressure. Under-inflated tires create higher rolling resistance and can decrease fuel efficiency by up to 10%.
8) Avoid Hard Acceleration and Stop-Start Driving:
Aggressive acceleration from a complete stop and driving in stop-start traffic can increase fuel consumption. Try to drive smoothly and anticipate traffic flow.
9) Avoid Idling:
Turn off your engine if you anticipate being idle for more than three minutes. Idling consumes fuel without moving the car, so it’s best to turn off the engine when not needed.
10) Regular Car Servicing:
Proper maintenance is crucial for fuel efficiency. Regularly service your car to keep it in optimal condition, prevent sludge and corrosion buildup, and ensure the engine runs smoothly.
By implementing these fuel-saving tips, motor vehicle owners can economize on fuel even after the subsidy removal, reducing the burden on their wallets and helping the environment through improved fuel efficiency.