Everybody knows, even the whole world know it, that to own a car is not an easy task most especially here in Nigeria very expensive. It’s not enough, you will need to pay for your car documentation and the renewal every year, you’ve also got to deal with equally ridiculous fuel and maintenance costs. Maybe that’s why we have such a love/hate relationship with car ownership in Nigeria. But we hate the huge cost that comes with owning a car.
While you can’t lower the cost of buying a car, you can lower your fuel and maintenance costs with some cheap and simple guidelines. Here are experts’ advices on what you can do to make driving less expensive and drive safely this festive period and later as the case maybe:
Watch your speed limits: The biggest way you can save money on petrol is to obey the speed limits and not drive as if your life can be renewed or has duplicate. That’s because for most cars, fuel economy starts to drop once you drive faster than 80km/h. Depending on the make and model of your vehicle and whether you’re driving in the city or on the expressway, your fuel economy can drop from 5% to 33%, So if you’re looking for the fastest way to cut down on your petrol costs, it’s simple, stop driving so fast.
Keep your tires properly inflated: unless you have a flat tire while driving home or to your place of work, hardly any of us cares how inflated our tires are, we only care that they have enough air in them to get us where we want to go. But if you’re driving around with tires that aren’t inflated according to the sticker on your door jamb, your fuel economy will drop by about 3%. You may see it as a small number, but 3% added to some certain amount of money you spend on fuel at the end of the day. Also, if your tires are under/overinflated, you risk wearing out your tires even faster and that’s not a cheap expense.
Replace Your Air Filter Regularly: Yet another neglected part of vehicle maintenance, your air filter keeps the flow of air to your engine free of debris (bugs, dirt, etc.). Of course, if you don’t change it at least every 24K kilometers, you’re going to end up with a car that accelerates as poorly as a computer with a couple of viruses. Change out your air filter regularly so your engine can “breathe” properly to ensure better performance and acceleration.
Use high quality of Engine Oil: Regular engine oil is dirt cheap, but this is one instance when something “inexpensive” is actually more expensive in the long run. The problem is that normal engine oil breaks down very fast, especially with city driving. And if you don’t change it at least every 4,800km/3 months, it’ll reduce your engine’s performance as its consistency becomes thicker.
Air condition: You can cut back on air conditioning for the sake of fuel economy, turning off the A/C and lowering your windows for city travel below 80km/h will save you more fuel compared to leaving the A/C on. BUT, if you’re driving at speeds 80km/h and above, it’s actually more fuel efficient to leave your A/C on because leaving your windows down creates efficiency-reducing “drag” that hurts fuel economy.
Weight: Also affects your vehicle fuel consumption, it lower fuel efficiency a few percentage point and always plan your route very well because you should know that when you take off to work, every other person’s does Exactly the same, you end up in a situation where car-to-car traffic that makes you feel like you can bicycle to work faster. And of course, your fuel economy is getting wrecked by the constant stopping and idling.
But if you plan your route well by avoiding congested areas or waking up earlier to avoid the rush, you’ll end up saving even more money on petrol.