It’s a new year and usually, people make resolutions that can have a positive impact on their lives. Here are some suggested resolutions for motorists who want to prevent their motoring costs from increasing in 2015…

Have your car serviced regularly: Regular servicing is important to ensure that the engine runs efficiently. Over time, various parts  wear out, dirt starts to accumulate on the air filter and the oil loses its friction-reducing properties; everything starts to add up and performance will decrease while fuel consumption will rise. By servicing the car at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer, you can save money in the long run.

Check tyre pressures regularly: The air in your tyres slowly decreases over the months of driving. It’s important to ensure that the pressures are in accordance with what is recommended (you can usually see the recommendation on a sticker on the driver’s door frame or in the manual). Low tyre pressures will increase friction and fuel consumption will be higher. Worse, grip will be less which can be dangerous and the faster rate of wear will mean having to buy new tyres more often. Checking the pressure regularly will also give you early warning of a leak due to a puncture.

Minimise the load carried: There’s a difference in fuel consumption when you drive alone and when there is the added weight of another 3 people on board. The less weight on board, the less hard the engine has to work to achieve a desired speed and less fuel is needed. So don’t use your boot as a storage space for your golf bags or other stuff which can be left at home when not needed. That ‘dead weight’ will only make your motoring costs higher.

Use the air-conditioner less: Yes, our climate is hot and an air-conditioner is a necessity. But the comfort actually costs you extra money in fuel because the compressor is powered by the engine. Therefore, minimising the use of the air-conditioner will reduce fuel consumption. So switch it off when you are parked and waiting for someone.

Don’t exceed speed limits: If you get caught, the fine can be up to RM300 and at the latest pump prices, that’s equivalent to 157 litres of RON95 petrol, or almost 4 full tanks for the Proton Iriz. And going above 110 km/h also means that fuel consumption will be higher so you have to spend more on fuel.

Drive defensively: In a perfect world, every motorist around you would have common sense and be a responsible and considerate driver. Unfortunately, the world is not perfect and so you need to drive defensively to avoid an accident This means ensuring that your car is more visible (switch on the lights in rainy conditions), signalling your intentions at all times (so other drivers don’t ram into you), and observing further ahead so you are aware if the cars in front are going to brake suddenly (so you don’t ram into them). In the long run, you’ll save money because an accident can be costly and waste much of your time (police report, insurance company, workshop and maybe even being without your car for sometime). So avoiding having an accident means you won’t waste money which could have been used for more important purposes.

[Chips Yap]

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