It’s just like old times when fuel prices never changed for long periods, and there was no need to keep motorists informed of the latest prices at the pumps. For the third consecutive week, the KPDNKK (Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism) has decided not to raise or lower the prices of fuel. Certainly, given that it has been explained that many factors – besides changing global oil prices – are taken in to consideration in determining prices, it cannot be that all factors have not changed for such a long period. So perhaps there are other reasons why the prices are being maintained… and hopefully will remain the same until early May?

So by now you would already know that RON95 petrol is RM2.20 a litre and if you want to use a higher octane fuel, RON97 is priced at RM2.47 a litre. Diesel is still RM2.18 a litre for the Euro2M grade and you need to add just 10 sen more for the cleaner Euro5 grade which has much lower sulphur content. The prices are applicable nationwide but at one time, pump prices varied as the distance the tankers had to travel from the refinery was also taken into consideration.

Fuel-saving tip of the week – increase tyre pressures slightly. The tyre pressures that the manufacturer of your vehicle recommend are usually a compromise. They are chosen to give the best combination of ride comfort and handling in most cases. For sportscars, the emphasis may be on performance and better grip so the pressures recommended may not necessarily prioritise ride comfort (as the owners may not be too unhappy about that!).

But for your everyday driving, adding a bit more psi, kPa or bar (depending on the air pump’s display) can help in improving fuel economy without the ride getting noticeably bumpier.

The slightly harder tyre will have slightly less rolling resistance, which means the engine can work just that bit less hard to move at the speed you choose. That means it will draw less fuel and in the long run, a litre will last longer.

We’re not talking a big increase – if your recommended pressure is 26 psi or 179 kPa, then you could increase to 28 psi/193 kPa or even 30 psi/207 kPa. You can experiment with the pressures to see what works best so having you’re your tyre pressure gauge is a good idea.

When you check the pressures, do so when the tyres are cold because they don’t necessarily heat up in the same way when you drive. So a good idea is to check the pressures in the morning before you start off.

[Chips Yap]

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