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First Gear English edition, Avoid fuel funk (Chapter 08)


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Everything you need to know about your first car.

Welcome to the wonderful world of wheels!
We know that every single person dreams of owning a car. It’s understandable: a car epitomises independence. Success. Stature. Mobility. The freedom to go your own way. But we also know that the decision to purchase a car can be fraught with challenges. What car do you buy? What can you afford? What about the servicing requirements? What safety features should you look out for? What about safety out on the road? These and many other important questions plague your mind. First Gear aims to address all these topics and many other essential issues associated with car ownership. We have canvassed the opinions of the world’s leading authorities and this book aims to give you independent, authoritative and utterly essential advice. We want to take the mystery and malaise out of car ownership, and replace it with easy to follow advice and tips… so that your road to car ownership isn’t filled with potholes! We trust that it will provide you with a stress-free introduction to the world of wheels.

Enjoy your first car; you’ve worked hard for it!

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First Gear English edition, Avoid fuel funk (Chapter 08)

  1. 1. CHAPTER 8: Avoid fuel funk62  First Gear First Gear  63
  2. 2. s is that it The good new ill have ad news. and st have g ood and b ave as you drive ear. The b ad We ssible to s d of the y ould only y po en is actuall or a holiday at the bits. If you w tf a money le f driving h bout real dollar ou – a nd your a news is y e talking glide until it’s green and accelerate Don’t sweat it, but if it’s cool enough, s e ha bits, you’r moderately again, he would save petrol switch off the air conditioning, and possibly tweak tho just cents. – and brake pads. save yet another 10 percent on fuel. not savings, Given the price of fuel these days, there are 2. Slow and steady wins the race tips galore on how to drive more fuel- Taking your speed down to 90 km/h from efficiently. But which ones really work and 105 km/h can improve your fuel how much can you save? Jamie consumption by 10 to 15 percent, according McCullough, cross carline feature and to the U.S. Environmental Protection technology manager, Ford Asia Pacific and Agency. Drive at low engine speeds, ideally Africa, reveals the top ten winners. at 1,500 to 2,500 rpm to maximise fuel economy. Why waste all that fuel – and 1. Watch the aggression risk your safety and getting a ticket – just Sudden acceleration and hard braking can to get there five minutes faster? increase fuel consumption by as much as 40 percent while toxic emissions can be 3. Use natural air conditioning more than five times higher. Studies have The verdict’s still out on this one as some also shown that changing lanes doesn’t studies have found that turning the air result in significantly reduced travel times, conditioning off may reduce fuel so stick to your lane, and decrease fuel consumption only minimally. consumption – and your blood pressure. Jack loves to accelerate right up to the red light – but is this really necessary? Why not ease off the accelerator from a distance? Were Jack to use the car’s momentum to64  First Gear First Gear  65
  3. 3. Slow down Jack! 7. Get tuned in 8. Regular’s good Sudden acceleration and An improperly tuned engine hurts fuel Unless your vehicle is specifically tailored hard braking increase fuel consumption by an average of 4.1 percent, to take advantage of the higher octane consumption by 40 percent! according to U.S. government studies. A level in the premium fuel, you’re potentially properly working oxygen sensor is most wasting money. Go by what is important to fuel economy and can recommended in your owner’s manual. At increase or decrease your efficiency by as current prices, you might save up to USD much as 40 percent. 150 a year by opting for unleaded instead of premium. 40% Your fuel bill can rise by this percentage if your car doesn’t have a properly working oxygen sensor. 4. Inflate your tyres fuel consumption. As notes: Under-inflated tyres increase resistance “Lightening your car’s load may take a Regular or premium? and make it more difficult for the engine to chunk out of your day, but you’ll be saving Save money by using the type of fuel recommended in your move the car along the road. These under- money – and the environment – in the long owner’s manual. The difference between regular and premi- nourished tyres can chow more fuel by up run.” So adopt a minimalistic approach and um, other than the price, is the octane rating. Now, the rat- to six percent. Check your owner’s manual get rid of all the junk and clutter. ing doesn’t indicate how much power the fuel delivers. But for optimal “pounds per square inch” or PSI Remember: a light car equates to a happy, a higher octane rating means the fuel is less likely to cause ratings. The U.S. Department of Energy less thirsty car. your engine to knock. says that for every one PSI you are under the optimal rate, you take 0.4 percent off 6. Oxygen needed Knock, or detonation, happens when part of the fuel-air your fuel economy. Cars do not run on just fuel. They need mixture in one or more of your car’s cylinders ignites sponta- oxygen too. If air flow is restricted by a neously due to compression, independent of the combus- 5. Think light clogged air filter (and your engine cannot tion initiated by the spark plug. Instead of a controlled burn, You don’t need to store all 300 pairs of breath as a result), the car’s performance you get the equivalent of an explosion – certainly not good your shoes in the boot! Clear out all the and fuel economy will suffer. It’s been for your engine. To avoid this, high-octane gas is formulated magazines, shoes, golf clubs and clothes estimated that you can save eight percent to burn slower than regular. that are in your car and you’re off to a each time you fill up your tank by replacing slimmer fuel bill. Remember, an extra 48 a bad air filter. kg of weight can add two percent to your66  First Gear First Gear  67
  4. 4. 9. Training pays dividends I don’t need Still not sure how to change your driving to carry that much. habits? Then what about enrolling in Ford’s Driving Skills for Life programme? The Save energy! training combines classroom teaching and practical driving sessions to help you be a safer and more eco-friendly driver. 10. Buy a greener car And, if after all that, you’re still unwilling or unable to change your driving habits, there is still one more option left – buy a fuel- efficient car. This may or may not be a hybrid; there are now lots of regular cars on our roads that boast terrific fuel economy. Saving money at the pump is not rocket science; it just takes making small changes to the way you drive. Look at all the tips, pick one, and go save the world. to 20 percent fuel improvement and 15 seeks to improve economy. By 2015, for There are lots of ways percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. instance, it plans to increase car and truck fuel economy by more than 35 percent that cars are becoming Green tyres Tyre manufacturers are developing low thanks to powertrain advancements. Small is big more economical. rolling resistance tyres – which means a lower fuel bill at the end of the day. Put Car manufacturers the world over are downsizing – and Ford is no exception. simply, with these tyres, there is less “We’re changing from a company focused So, if you want to cut your fuel bill, look out double-clutch gearbox and cuts fuel friction. In other words, they roll down the mainly on trucks and SUVs to a company for these features: consumption by as much as nine percent. road more easily. This is a very big deal; with a balanced product line-up that energy is wasted all the time thanks to a includes even more high-quality, fuel- Smart gearboxes Turbochargers build-up of heat between tyres and the efficient small cars, hybrids and all-electric We all know that a manual gearbox is Turbocharging technologies have allowed road. vehicles,” says Mark Fields, Ford’s President generally (but not always) less thirsty than automakers to come up with smaller of The Americas. “As customers move to an automatic transmission. But what if engines that can deliver the power of a Improved powertrains more fuel-efficient vehicles, we’ll be there there’s a way of mating the best of both larger engine. For example Ford’s EcoBoost Globally, Ford is making an unprecedented with more of the products they really worlds? Ford’s PowerShift technology engines combine direct fuel injection investment in new engine and want.” essentially does that with its six-speed technology and turbocharging to deliver up transmission components – all because it68  First Gear First Gear  69