This week’s revision in the price of RON97 petrol is tiny – just a sen up, compared to 8 sen for the previous week. So for those with sportscars planning on a Sunday run, the cost of the pleasure won’t be significantly more.

This week’s fuel-saving tip is a bit similar to an earlier one about planning your route so as to avoid jams which waste petrol. When your car is not moving or moving too slowly, fuel is wasted unnecessarily so the idea is to keep the car moving as much as possible.

If you are familiar with the roads in your town or city, you may know shortcuts and that would help – until others also start to discover the same shortcuts and then the road gets congested as well!

But if you are going to a place you are totally unfamiliar with, it helps to do a virtual ‘recce’. This is possible now with most GPS route navigation systems that have maps which show the area you are going to. Sometimes, the area may be difficult to find and you waste fuel and time driving around or stopping to ask for help. If you could drive straight to the destination, you would not waste fuel.

Of course, most of the GPS units and apps like Google Maps or Waze will give you specific directions to where you want to go too. You get turn-by-turn instructions and if you make overshoot a junction that you should have turned at, the system will just plot another route or guide you back to the junction.

Using Google Maps’ Street View to ‘recce’ a place, you can see the area before you reach there and also see what parking conditions are like if you plan to eat at Restoran Nasi Kandar Noordin in Bidor. This will help you to figure out whether parking is easy and where you can find it so you don’t waste fuel unnecessarily.

You can also do the ‘recce’ mentioned with Google Maps’ Street View which provides actual images of many places. This makes things even easier as you can take note of landmarks (temple with red roof or house with green gate) that can help you travel along more confidently. The more aware you are of the route you will travel, less stopping will occur and that too can save some fuel.

Only thing about referring to Street View is not to rely too much on signboards that you see. The images are not real-time and may have been taken months or even years earlier and the signs may have been changed or even removed! But buildings are less likely to disappear so quickly.

[Chips Yap]

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