How to drive efficient

MyCarYourRental.com encourages efficiency in every aspect of car rental transportation. By maintaining your vehicle and ensuring that it is running as efficiently as possible, you are encouraging other users to rent it out. They feel as though they are getting more for their buck.

Here are some tips to improve your vehicles efficiency whether you are a car owner or you are renting a vehicle:

Tyres

Pressure

Regardless of the type of vehicle you are driving or which tyres you have, fuel efficiency and safety are affected by whether or not your tyres are correctly inflated.

Did you know that the rolling resistance increases if your tyres are under-inflated? You end up needing more energy or burning more fuel to make your wheels turn. It’s kind of like riding a bike with flat tyres, you have to work up a sweat to pedal hard. By making sure your tyres are inflated correctly you could save approximately 8 cents per litre in fuel! That’s a efficiency saving of up to 4%. With the cost of gas these days that’s a huge saving!

You are also making the most of your tyres genuine lifeline in terms of wear and tear. If they are under inflated the part of the tyre that touches the road is mainly the two outer edges of the tread. This contributes to faster wear of that part of the tyre and in turn means that they won’t last as long as they should.

It’s not only more efficient to correctly have your tyres inflated but it’s a safety concern. You increase your chances of having a dangerous blowout or losing grip on the road when coming around a corner or when driving in wet conditions.

Checking your tyre pressure

Every vehicle requires a different level of tyre pressure. In some vehicles you can find the correct pressure on a plate just inside the drivers doow, in the vehicle handbook or on the fuel flap. If you can’t locate it in these places then we strongly advise you pop into any tyre servicing or mechanic shop and ask. There should be no charge for this kind of enquiry.

The best time to check your tyre pressure and get an accurate reading is when the tyres are cold (so when you have driven less than 3km is ideal). You can do this at most petrol stations. When checking all four tyres, don’t forget to check the spare tyre too. You never know when you need it and if you ever do, it won’t be much help flat.

We recommend you check the pressure at least once a month and especially before you leave on a long trip. This is because tyres can lose approximately 3-6% of inflation per month.

When to add extra pressure

If you know that you are about to carry a full load of passengers or if you are planning on towing a trailer or caravan, it is wise to slightly increase the pressure of your tyres. If you are not sure and your vehicle handbook does not recommend how much you should increase it by a rule of thumb is to add 4 PSI to the recommended pressure.

Tyre Tread

It is also very important to keep an eye on the tread depth of your tyres. We recommend that you regularly check at the same time you check the tyre inflation levels. Think of it like killing two birds with one stone. The legal minimum tread depth is 1.5mm in New Zealand. If you note any funny bulges or cuts in the tyre you might want to get it checked by a professional as you may need to replace it.

Important fact: Having a tread less than 3mm can reduce the grip it has when driving in wet conditions.

 

Ensure that you’re driving efficiently

By learning how to drive in an efficient manner can help you save money on fuel costs and slow down the rate of general wear and tear and maintenance. It also will ensure that you are a safe driver on our roads.

Here are a few tips:

  • Keep to the speed limit or just under. Make sure you drive to the conditions of the road as these limits are set to ensure your safety and will ultimately save you fuel.
  • Keep your eyes on the road and look at what’s ahead of you. In that way you can identify hazards and have time to slow down earlier.
  • Maintain a safe following distance (apply the 2 second rule as per the road code etc).
  • Slow down when you come to corners or windy bends in the road. Accelerating can lead to a lose of control and it is dangerous as you can’t see what is up ahead in order to brake in time if you need to. Don’t brake hard when you come to corner and accelerate as soon as you get around them. Brake gently and use a light food on the throttle. In doing this you are also saving money by not having to wear your brake pads fast.
  • Air conditioning in cars are great way to keep cool in summer. But when you are driving under 50km/hr why not wind the window down and enjoy the clean, green, fresh air. When driving over this limit on the motorway I wouldn’t do this as it can cause wind to blow in your eyes so you can see effectively.
  • If you need to stop for more than 30seconds, turn your vehicle off and avoid unnecessary idling.
  • Again, check the tyre pressure and tread.
  • The heavier your vehicle is the more energy is needed to carry the load. So lighten up. Take unnecessary items out of your car when you don’t need it. For example roof racks, bike attachments and bags in the boot.
  • Think carefully when planning a trip by trying to avoid peak hour traffic. In major cities often these times are anywhere between 6:30-8:30am and 5-6:30pm depending.

Find out how your driving habits stack up, and what changing them could save, with our efficient driving tool. You’ll save yourself time, energy, fuel and road rage (haha)!

Car Maintenance

So, we have already talked about a number of ways you can drive more efficiently. Cars are a little bit like us humans. They need gas like we need food. They need good tyres like we need good shoes. But there comes a time where even we must maintain ourselves and dose up on vitamins and medicines. A car in a similar way needs oil and water. It is important to make sure all your fluid levels are where they should be. If you are unsure how to check these, ask for help. Some service station attendees may be able to help or point you in the right direction of a local mechanic.

Having your vehicle regularly serviced can also help. A service includes changing the oil and air filters, tuning the engine to make sure its running at its best, checking the tyres and your cars wheel alignment.

Fuel

In keeping the environment in mind, the next time you fill your tank up with gas, look out for stations that sell bio-fuel. These are made by blending petrol and diesel with renewable materials like plants and other animal matter. By using these types of fuel you are helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the air we breathe. It also stands to reduce New Zealand’s dependency on imported oil which in turn could possibly benefit us in lowing taxes put on fuel etc.

If you have never use bio-fuel before it is good to change your fuel filter first. The reason for this is that the bio-fuel can break up and loosen dirt in the tank and carry it through to the filter.

The government has set specific regulations for fuel and its blends. As a result of this you can be sure that the quality you receive is good.

There are two types of bio-fuels

As you know there are two forms of fuel for vehicles. There is diesel and petrol. Bio-fuels come as an alternative for these. There is bio-diesel (for diesel) and bio-ethanol (for petrol).

Bio-diesel is commonly made with a special blend of regular diesel and a by-product of meat processing (used in cooking oils) called tallow.

Bio-ethanol blended petrol has only been recently sold in New Zealand since 2007. It is usually made by a blend of petrol and another by-product that comes from sugarcane. Currently this is being imported from Brazil.

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