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Bad news for fuel prices in April

The outlook for fuel prices in South Africa remains mixed. Petrol prices are expected to increase again in April, while diesel prices are projected to decrease.

The mid-month data from the Central Energy Fund (CEF), for the end of week three of March, indicate that petrol prices are showing an under-recovery of around 18 cents per litre – slightly higher than last week – while diesel has an over-recovery of around 32 cents per litre.

As we head into colder months and potentially much higher fuel prices, we need to look at how to make petrol last longer.

This comes after a massive increase in fuel prices in March.

HOW CAN YOU SAVE FUEL? 

MasterDrive CEO Eugene Herbert said basic driving adjustments could help with fuel consumption:

  • Anticipate changes to traffic conditions and minimise unnecessary braking and acceleration.
  • Reducing speed by 20km/h can reduce fuel consumption by 20%.
  • Plan your route and use traffic apps and alerts to avoid traffic jams and congestion.
  • Keep your RPMs around 3 000, as it can also reduce your consumption by 20%.
  • Regular maintenance improves fuel efficiency.
  • Minimum use of the aircon.

“South Africa is also heading into the coldest months of the year, and a temperature dip can also reduce a vehicle’s fuel efficiency. 

“Much of the research on this is conducted in areas that experience drops in temperatures of up to 25 degrees Celsius, and consequently, the reduction in efficiency can be as high as 12%. While South Africa is highly unlikely to see a 25-degree drop in temperature, there is still an inevitable drop in temperatures and, consequently, reduction in fuel efficiency.”

Eugene Herbert said.

WITH THE COLD MONTHS YOU NEED TO THINK OF THE FOLLOWING:

Ensure you reduce the effect winter can have on your fuel consumption in the following ways:

  • Tyre pressure: As temperatures drop, so does your tyre pressure, and as this decreases, so does your fuel economy. Additionally, if your area experiences slippery roads, it also becomes a danger. Check your tyre pressure first thing in the morning when they are coldest to get the most accurate reading if your car does not automatically monitor tyre pressure.
  • Park inside: If you have a garage, avoid the temptation to leave your car out overnight. When temperatures drop, engine fluids thicken and use more energy to thin out. Parking inside reduces this effect and your fuel consumption.
  • Warmups are unnecessary: as technology improves, the need to warm your car’s engine before driving has become excessive in most cars. Even if you need to warm the engine of your older model vehicle, it’s more effective to do that by driving slowly and carefully than leaving your car idling in the driveway.
  • Never forget: irrespective of whether it is winter or summer, remember the important tips for reducing your fuel consumption: remove unnecessary items from your car, ensure maintenance is up-to-date, drive fuel-efficiently, and remove anything from your car that reduces its aerodynamics.
  • Be prepared: If necessary, replace your air filter, particularly in older model vehicles. A dirty air filter can directly impact fuel consumption.

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