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Be a ‘turtle’ on the road

Be a ‘turtle’ on the road

Ronald Rey M. de los Reyes

These are 5 easy steps to carefully drive while likewise saving fuel

With skyrocketing fuel prices these days, it’s just practical to muster up and save on fuel while behind the wheel. Some may even opt to level up and buy themselves a brand-new hybrid vehicle or even a full electric one.

But for others who still don’t have the budget for these and are stuck with their same old internal combustion engined-ride, don’t fret. Being thrifty at the helm can be overwhelming, at first. Eventually, you’ll learn that this kind of skill can be learned, particularly on the road. As soon as you get a hang of it, you will worry less at the fuel pumps as this skill, or shall we say trait, eventually becomes second nature.

But first, you must practice these five easy steps, nurture them, develop and know these skills like the back of your hand.

Mindset is everything

First of all, one must learn that everything starts with oneself. Before you start something, always remember the person making or breaking this deal is that one person in front of the mirror. Remember Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart in the US? He started out in life as one of the poorest in his neighborhood. And when he died in 1992, his company had already established itself as the largest retail sales chain in his country.

Now, why am I saying this? My point is that, with a strong mindset, you can achieve anything. And yes, this can be applied even in the simplest of things, like saving fuel. Also, your mindset should not just be strong but should be the right one, as well. You can’t have the mindset of Aryton Senna if you’re saving fuel. It should be more of Frodo Baggins of the Shire, wherein the fictional world describes him as: “brave, selfless, thoughtful, wise, observant, and even unfailingly polite”. With the right and strong mindset, economizing your car can be as simple as a walk in the park.

‘Healthy’ under there

After equipping yourself with the right mindset, it’s likewise important to equip yourself with a ‘healthy’ set of wheels if you want to save on fuel. This means you have your car regularly checked up. You do your PMS (preventive maintenance service) on the dot, or at least, try to. As we all know, performance is everything. And it’s not just for speedsters on the race track. It’s for the everyday grind out there on the open road–out in snail-pace traffic, moon crater-like bumpy roads, sweltering heat, rain and even floods. You can’t save fuel if you have a loose chain or pedal, a leak or a trippy fuse. Common sense clearly states: You simply can’t.

Check your tires

Speaking of performance, another factor in saving fuel is by having a properly inflated set of tires. Some may even over-inflate them a bit for lesser friction on the road. This allows the vehicle to roll on the road as smoothly as possible. Now, speaking of ‘smoothly’, this is the perfect segue to our next topic.

Driving as smooth as possible

To save fuel, you can’t be Max Verstappen lest Lewis Hamilton on the pedal. Both are aggressive drivers. You achieve absolutely nothing when you drive like this. Heck, even Fred Flintstone could drive better if this were the case.

The absolute goal here is to drive as smoothly as possible. You do this by carefully pressing on the pedal, lessening unnecessary movements like sudden braking, or cornering, turning the steering wheel abruptly, so on and so forth. To up the ante, one can just feather the pedal and even turn the air conditioning to the lowest level. As we all know, this affects the performance of the vehicle, as well.

See Also

For me, on inner roads, I try to keep the speed at 40 to 50kph, depending on the situation as I keep it at 1,200 or the max of 1,500 rpm. While for highway driving, I maintain the speed at 60 or even 80kph, while making sure to not to go over 2,000 rpm.

To be even technical about it, one can even use momentum just to lessen the time of your foot on the pedal. Use physics or even anticipation. Read the road, so that you won’t have to press the pedal unnecessarily. “Reading the road’ means you foresee the ongoing build-up of traffic, where other cars beside or in front of you are heading, what lanes have lesser obstacles, hence, you can drive smoother there when you traverse it, so on and so forth. It’s like having an imaginary line traced ahead of your path for you to follow.

Avoid idling

This here is basically common sense. Remember: Every drop of fuel counts. So, just turn off the engine if you find yourself stopping for more than a minute or two in traffic or while waiting in the parking lot.

Now, following these steps might feel weird, at first, especially if you haven’t done this, or have rarely done this before. But eventually–with patience–you will see your city driving will going from 6 km/L to 10 up to 12 km/L. While your fuel-rating in highway driving propelling from 10 km/L to 16 or even 18 km/L. This can save you about P3,000 – P6,000 per month.

Overall, this can even be likened to the moral story of the Rabbit and the Turtle, wherein the former was quick yet careless and the latter careful and consistent. Here, “slow and steady wins the race”–in this case, wins, not just our hearts, but our pockets, as well.