Myth-busting fuel-efficiency facts

2017-03-22 06:03

FUEL efficiency is always a hot topic and for years there have been myths circulation about how to get the most mileage out of your fuel.

Vishal Premlall, Director Motor Industry Workshop Association says while fuel-efficiency tips may have worked in the past where vehicles had less sophisticated components, most don’t apply anymore since vehicles manufactured today have computer-controlled automotive systems. Some of the myths are:

Gearing into neutral at stops: Today’s cars have computerised fuel-injection systems which sense if an engine is revving above idle when you ease off the accelerator. If that happens, the fuel injectors shut off, so fuel is no longer injected into the engine, even if the car is still in gear. By constantly shifting in and out of neutral the only thing you may accomplish is premature wear on your gear box.

A full tank is more fuel efficient The idea that a tank more full than empty will prevent fuel evaporation inside the tank is incorrect. Fuel systems in modern cars are designed with vapour recovery systems so no evaporation is possible. A dirty air filter leads to lower mileage

Filling up when it’s cooler saves money. Myth - if you buy petrol during the cooler part of the day you get more for your money, since a cooler liquid is denser. This theory may sound believable but at filling stations petrol is almost always pumped from storage tanks underground that are naturally insulated from large temperature swings..

Cruising downhill in neutral saves petrol. The truth is that when coasting in neutral, the engine is idling, consuming just as much petrol as when it’s idling at a traffic light or warming up in your driveway. The reality is that it’s actually a bad idea to roll downhill or up to a stop sign in neutral because you need to be able to use the accelerator to avoid any unexpected road hazard.

Fuel saving devices. Lastly be aware of claims made by manufacturers regarding fuel-saving devices. There is no scientific evidence that any of these devices will in any way improve the fuel efficiency of a motor vehicle. - Cathy Findley, PR

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