Kenya just shipped out the first crude oil barrel. That, however, doesn’t mean every Kipchoge, Mwangi, and of course Jack will be sliding and rolling in free fuel supply. At least not in the foreseeable future.
With every end month comes a surge in traffic.
Legend has it that all the cars previously abandoned in the basement of a dusty home garage, finally come out to see the light of day. The owners’ dust them up, refuel the almost always empty tanks and power them back to life. The engines roar again. It’s a bright new day, with some cash in the pockets, the magic of paydays. The babies are out to play.
And this also means an increased number of cars on the roads, which are rarely adjusted to accommodate the volume.
How then, do you save fuel in the ensuing gruesome traffic snarl-ups? We thought about this during our random chit chat with Jack and below are some of the simple tops of mind Dos and Don’ts that he advised.
1. Rush Hour Driving is a No, Always.
Here is the thing, rush hours not only waste your time but take a considerably huge amount of your car’s fuel. This is because every stop and start during traffic means your car consumes more fuel to get you from the first and second gear, stabilizing the movement. It would be better driving at a slower steady pace, rather than accelerating and braking every now and then.
In Nairobi streets, leaving 5 minutes earlier or later can have a whole different result on the roads. Try planning better ahead by understanding the traffic patterns.
2. Reduce excess Baggage.
Both for your car, and yourself as well. It’s hard moving around in life, weighed down. Imagine just how hard it is carrying so much with you all the time? Your car is not any different. Keep the car as light as you possibly can. Weight highly contributes to energy loss in a car. If you don’t need it for the day, let the excess baggage stay at home, that’s the legends’ wise council.
This is especially for those who turn their cars into a mini house, packing everything on the backseat, and making the boot a storeroom. We see your grin.
3. Windows Up, Aircon Off.
A tough one this is. For new car owners who prefer “mkono Samosa,” this is a very tough call. Do you ever just settle on the drivers’ seat, power the beast on, roll down the windows, turn on the aircon, release the brakes, step on the accelerator and whistle your worries away?
Listen, it’s really okay to want the fresh breeze swooping in as you cruise on the new wheels. Maybe even okay to want everyone seeing who is behind the wheels. But guess what? That drag is costing you more fuel consumption, and the Aircon is not reducing the spend any better. The good news is, the choice is absolutely yours!
4. Get Narrow tyres and balanced pressure.
What consumes a lot of energy in the car is dragging pressure. Any attempt to reduce it will ultimately result in equally reduced fuel consumption. Narrow tyres help with this but don’t go overboard and get ones that aren’t compatible with your wheels. Your manufacturer is best to approve before you adjust the tyres that the vehicle came with.
How about the pressure?
It’s very easy to underestimate its impact on fuel consumption, but basically, a properly inflated tyre helps reduce the consumption of fuel by up to 3% on every trip. How much would that save you in, say a week? DO the math, you’re smart.
5. Choose Quality Fuel.
Saving a few shillings is always a cherry welcome. Ooh, yes we know!
However, the legend still maintains that cheap is expensive, that is something he needs not to explain. The discounted fuels may save you some cash in the short term, but getting original and quality fuel ensures you less consumption as it burns at the required rate. Plus, you are better placed not spending extra on engine repairs later on.
So, in the spirit of sharing, what are some of your own tips and tricks to save on fuel cost?