Thursday, June 5, 2008

18 Tips on Saving your Petrol

Petrol is very expensive everywhere now, even in a petrol-rich country like Malaysia! It's fact and life goes on, we are forcing to accept it. So have you plan how to cover your additional petrol expenses?

Plan to sell leg and hand to exchange for petrol?

I'm currently using a Wira 1.3cc Manual. My petrol spending is about in average of RM160-200 monthly with the previous petrol price. I will spend extra about RM350 per year after RM625 rebate. Why I need to pay extra for that if I have tips to cut them off?

Dont worry, I have a quick tip for you here, especially for Sarawakian and Sabahan.
Brunei current petrol price is B$0.53 per litre (Diesel B$0.31) and it hasn't been revised since 5 years back, because the government is kind and love their citizens. After convert it's only about RM1.25. Extremely cheap? Not only that, vehicle and road tax there is also very cheap, with B$18,000 you can get your lovely Toyota VIOS drive home. You get higher pay after converted, no toll, no government tax, no personal income tax, no service tax, less barbarians, rice & cooking oil is fully subsidize, etc & etc. Brunei dollar is attached with Singapore dollar, and it is keep rising over the last 10 years, and now the rate is about B$1 to RM2.36! So don't wait anymore, pack your luggage now and migrate to Brunei to work or become a boss, so you will not suffer anymore.

I was just kidding. You won't do that right?
Unfortunately I'll be doing that very soon, but perhaps it's for temporary only. So don't envy me please.

Back to my topic, I'm trying to share 18 tips of how to save your petrol. I introduced tip #2 to my colleagues and all of them opted for it after the announcement, including their spouse. It seemed not many people are knowing about this. Unfortunately, none of them thank me for doing so, but surprisingly some of them thanked another colleague who contacted the card agent instead. It's relatively okay for me, sometimes we did really forget to thank the right person.

After a thought, I decided to write this post as I think the tips below may helps you. Please kindly take a look.

1. Go for Petrol RON92
After price hike, the new petrol price is listed as below:
Petrol RON97 - RM2.70 (RM2.68 for East Msia)
Petrol RON92 - RM2.66

RON92, 95, 97

You can use Research Octane Number (RON) your car is tuned for, by checking your car manual’s fuel section. Most of the cars are tuned for RON92, except luxury cars. Furthermore, using RON97 won't increase vehicle mileage and power if the car is not tuned for that octane level. If you opt for RON92, you are able to save 2-4 cents (0.75-1.48%) per liter, without any change in performance. And you will able to save RM88.80 a year if you spend in average of RM500 petrol a month.

2. Get a Credit Card with Cash Rebate
There are a few banks offer cash rebate when you spend at any outlets, especially on petrol station. If you are using CIMB Petronas, UOB One or Citibank credit card, you will enjoy about 2-5% monthly cash rebate on your petrol expenses. If you calculate 2% rebate based on spending in an average of RM500 petrol a month, you will save about RM120 a year.
For credit card selection in details, you can refer to my previous post.

Cash Rebate Credit Card

3. Get a Fuel Efficient Car
You are paying a lot more if you driving a high CC car and it's not fuel efficient. It's worth and try to change a fuel efficient or lower CC car for long term saving (not for rich guy to do so). So which type of car is consider fuel efficient? I believe some experts have done their homeworks. One of the reference web site listed 25 cars that officially achieve at least 16.74km per liter on a highway. Well, you'll see only very few of them are Malaysian made cars, it's relatively okay.

I've read a Taiwanese vehicle magazine last year, with the comparison of the hot economy cars, Honda Civic is the most fuel efficient car. Perhaps you can try it as well. Toyota VIOS is pretty okay too. But the only mistake is, both of them are selling with automatic gear in Malaysia.

Another good thing is, if your car is under 2,000cc, you're also entitle to get a cash rebate of RM625 a year from gov. So with the combination of #1 + #2 + RM625, you can save about RM833.80 per year! Meaning you can enjoy pump up to RM171 per month, without having to pay more with the new petrol price. But, for diesel car, I can only shake my head.

4. Obtain Last Drops
There is still a little flow of petrol after the petrol pump reached what you paid for. So don't let the worker pump the petrol for you, just pump it yourself for the sack of petrol saving. When you take your hand off the lever, give the pump quite a few seconds to let all the petrol flow out, you can even turn the lever around to get every last drop. I used to do that, it's really quite a few drops, especially diesel. This will ensure you get all petrol you pay for, and also stop it to splash to your car or clothes when put the nozzle back.

5. Right Time to Pump
It is advisable to pump your petrol under cold temperature, either in the morning or evening. This is because Petrololine becomes denser in colder temperatures. Petrol pumps measure the volume of fuel you pump, not the actual density. If you fill up your petrol tank in the coolest condition, you will get better petrol price economy. I started to practice about this for a couple of months, and seems it makes a slight difference.

6. General Driving
Perhaps you already know, the way you drive affects how often you have to fill up. You can take note of the followings:

a) Avoid high speed - If you manage to cut your average speed from 110km to around 80km, you will save about 25% petrol consumption, especially auto. You can try. I normally maintain my speed at 70km with 5th gear rolling.

b) Smooth driving - Avoid sudden acceleration or brake, plan for your traffic ahead.

c) Use the right gear - No one is rolling 3rd gear with 90km on the highway, that's pain.

d) Close your window - Close them will allow your car be more aerodynamic, if you insist open , it will causes significant drag which increases fuel consumption.

7. Maintain Your Tyres
Tyres might costing more petrol consumption if you are not maintaining them.

a) Pump tyres - Under inflated tyres increase resistance to your car, and it burns more petrol for your car to move. Check your car manual or driver's glove compartment door for recommended pressure. It's free and it able to instantly improve your fuel consumption. Anyway, pressures should be checked cold, as there is an increase when the tyre has warmed up after being driven.

b) Use thinner tyres - Thicker tyres have more resistance and more fuel consumption. Fitting thinner tyres will improve your fuel consumption. If possible, don't change your car's factory default tyres size, or else you can just get advise from the garage. I never change my rim and tyre size of my car, perhaps i'm stingy on them, haha.

8. Wheel Alignment
If your discover your car tyres appear to be unevenly worn, or your car steeling is not balance when you driving, most probably the wheels need to be realigned. Improper alignment affects the handling of your car and again, increases fuel consumption. It shouldn't be expensive for normal car and the range is about RM25-45 depends on area.

Make sure the mechanic adjust them down to 0.00-0.01 for best practice.

It is advisable to check it every 4 months or 10,000km. But it also depends on how you use your car. i.e. frequent outstation, see hole hit hole etc. I hit about 10 holes a week in average, due to the poor road condition around my living place.

9. Car Maintenance
Know how to maintain your car is always important and sometimes it's just not about fuel saving.

a) Motor oil - Using clean oil can reduces the wear caused by friction of moving engine parts, helps to improve fuel consumption. Your motor oil should be keep track and changed on time, based on usage or period. Ideally should be change every 4,500km or every 5-6 months. It can last longer if you using semi or full-synthetic oil. You can even service yourself by saving labour fee of RM6-10, and motor oil & oil filter of RM10-30, as it is very easy to do so. If possible, stick to your car brand motor oil to avoid performance issue.

b) Air filter - Clogged air filter did increase fuel consumption by restricting airflow to the engine and it should be cleaned or replaced when necessary. Normal air filter won't be expensive. Cleaned air filters able to increase fuel consumption by up to 10%.

Air filter

10. No Air-con
We used to enjoy air-conditioning before this. But it does increase our petrol consumption, by as much as 10%! When the weather is cool or perhaps we only can practice it between 6pm - 7am, you can try to have the fans on cool, instead of having the air-con on, or turn the window down slightly. If you still feel warm, then just on the air-con!

11. Make your Car Lose Weight
Is your sport shoes, water bottles, shirts, underwears, magazines & books, rubbishes are still left inside your car? How about roof rack and kits?

The heavier your car is, the more fuel it consumes. So please slim it down today and start to save some bucks. Hey, if you try to remove your audio system is still consider okay, please don't remove your spare tyre and car back seats, people will laugh at you later.

Hey, what if, may be put off some weights from you will helps too? Just kidding.

12. Try Fuel Booster
Most of the fuel booster claimed that they able to save your petrol consumption aggressively, like VNET claimed it can save up to 25%, where 88db just claimed that it able to save petrol. May be they are hot cake, but I don't know because I never try it. I asked one of my ex-colleagues, he said no difference after using it (local x-brand). If you have tried any and confirm it is efficient, please kindly recommend to us here.
Please make sure you are not the one sell fuel booster!

13. Avoid Engine Idle
Idling your engine more than a minute consumes much more fuel than restarting the engine. So you can try minimizing petrol wasted in idling by stopping the engine first, if you plan to stay more than a minute.

14. Reduce Trips to Petrol Station
You can try reduce your trip to petrol station, by pumping full tank every time you visit it. It's worth because you won't waste your petrol and time to wait and park at the pump, and restart your engine. You can calculate the extra miles you spend and drive in and out from the petrol station.

Your should also keep a small notebook and pen in your car, to record your petrol purchases and mileage between filling up. If you get in the habit of know exactly how much you spend on petrol, you'll become more conscious of how much you are spending.

15. Make Payment Online
With the advent of the Internet banking launched by most of the banks, you can pay almost all your bills, credit card and do bank transfer online. Even online stock market and unit trust investment are available now. This wonderful system does save us a lot of petrol, energy and time, and it's free! So we should make fully use of it. :)

Except that if you want to withdraw your money, or someone owe you money who doesn't want to bank in to your account.

16. Take Wiser Route
Avoid rough, longer, many traffic lights and traffic jam roads. Listen to radio before you go out (not applicable to Sarawakian & Sabahan). Take the wise route to save your petrol.

17. Other Alternatives
You may look for other alternatives when you unable to save much on your car.

a) You may try car pool with your colleagues living within the same housing area, brother and sister etc. It saves a lot.

b) Switch to public transport like commuter, LRT or bus. But I think you don't use to it right. Government should invest more on public transport to make it better and integrated.

c) Motorbike might able to save much, but it has it's level of danger, and Malaysia weather is hot, not worth it yet. It goes the same to bicycle.

18. Stay at Home
Cut down your social life and entertainment outside.
Start a blog now and spend some time to manage it, like me xp.
Or you can do something else at home, like watching TV, listening to radio, play video/online/computer games, read newspaper/magazines/books/blogs, surfing, make loves, educate your children, care about your parents/grandparents, play with your pets, cleanup your house/car, do works leftover from office, exercise, resting etc etc. There's too many of them you can do at home.
It sounds pain for some of us, don't worry, actually we can get more income to cover the hiked fuel price. This sound more simple right.

That's about it. Hope it helps and works for you.
Do recommend if you have any good idea for us.


Anonymous said...

I'm a salesman and now using a fuel optimizer and it does give about 10% fuel savings and better engine performance. RM30 to run for 630 liters petrol.

Wong said...

One useful tip can contribute is to tune your car's RPM to the lowest it can accept to save your petrol.

RiccLee said...

Wong, I doubt lower rpm will save any fuel.

Let say ur engine run at 800rpm, no 1onepress the gas, ur fuel consumption is 0.1 liter per second (assumption)

Then, u press the gas, and maintain it at 4000 rpm, ur fuel consumption is still 0.1 liter per second.

The fuel consumption is high, when the engine revving to reach the 4000rpm line. When it reach there, the fuel consumption will be back to normal, which is the same as revving at 800rpm

I get this from a computer plugging into the engine, so, I doubt it is inaccurate ^^

Vincent Lee said...

It could be right or wrong, to prove it let's test it out.

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