5 Car Rental Tips To Help You Improve Your Car Fuel Economy


After you’ve hired self-drive vehicle from Tristar Africa Skimmer Safaris for a given period of time or purchased your own, it is up to you to maintain it in a manner that allows it to achieve the highest possible fuel economy. At first brush, it may sound like an easy thing to do, but it is a bit more complicated. Luckily, there are a number of simple things you can do that can decrease your fuel consumption exponentially when you decide to book car rental services in Uganda or anywhere in the world.

1. Plan your day

For starters, did you know that your car achieves its maximum fuel economy after the engine has been properly warmed? Conversely, a cold engine consumes much more petrol or diesel for that matter. One way to take advantage of a warm engine is to plan your day so that all of your short trips are grouped together. Since it takes your vehicle’s engine up to an hour to cool, you can head out to the market or supermarket or other places in one trip without diminishing your fuel savings. An even better idea is to park your car and walk to some of your multiple destinations if they are reasonably close together.

2. Replace your filters

One of the ways that automakers have improved the fuel economy of the vehicles that they produce is by allowing better air flow and a higher air to fuel ratio. One of the key elements to that improved airflow is the air filter. Daily driving can clog your air filter with dust and debris especially on these generally dusty roads of Uganda and East Africa at large. Once a month, you should take your air filter out and inspect it. If there is quite a bit of dust visible give it a sharp rap (or several) on your thigh. That will dislodge quite a bit of loose debris, improving airflow. If you live in a very dusty environment, you will want to do this more frequently. Be sure to replace the air filter as the manufacturer recommends in the owner’s manual.

Another filter to replace is the fuel filter. This little filter keeps impurities from reaching your engine and often clogs slowly. As it clogs, your fuel economy may decrease. However, that decrease is the least of your worries. If the fuel filter completely clogs, the engine may stop immediately or impurities may reach your fuel injectors causing a very expensive trip to the garage.A good idea is to also ask a serviceperson how often your fuel filter needs to be replaced.

3. Avoid the air conditioner

For most foreigners who are unaccustomed to the environment, driving without the A/C at any time of the year in Africa can be impossible. With so many vehicles emitting smoke, the constant dust among other worries, you will often find a reason to you’ve your windows close. So the best you can hope for is to use it sparingly. Also, you need to avoid running at speed with your windows down. Yes, that’s a contradiction. Turn off the A/C and open your windows when you’re travelling between 15 kph and 60kph or if you are only going a short distance. Obviously, if you are stuck in traffic on a blisteringly hot day, you will want to have the A/C on. Additionally, when driving down highways at the appropriate speed, having the windows down will lower your fuel economy by making your car less aerodynamic.

4. Regular maintenance

Regular maintenance goes beyond oil changes and obvious repairs. Every car has a recommended regular maintenance schedule for tune-ups, belt changes, etc. These do more than help you avoid breaking down. All of these scheduled items will help your car maintain the highest fuel numbers possible. Tire maintenance is often an overlooked aspect of improved fuel economy. Tires that are either over-inflated or under-inflated will diminish your car’s fuel efficiency – as will having the wrong size tires.

Another tire issue to look for is uneven wear. A tire that is wearing on the inside or outside is a sign of poor alignment or a worn ball joint. Both will wreak havoc with your fuel economy. Additionally, a worn ball joint needs to be repaired before it becomes a dangerous safety issue.

5. Change your driving habits

One of the biggest obstacles to maximizing your car’s fuel efficiency is you. Well, your driving habits at least. Sudden acceleration, speeding, and not driving at a constant speed all impact your car’s fuel efficiency for example we all know that a car often consumes more fuel while in traffic jam as compared to when on a freeway. Get to speed smoothly, there is no reason to accelerate like you are in a race. There is plenty of advice about the optimal speed to drive at, however many seem to agree that 89 kph is a good speed to maintain if you want to achieve the best fuel economy when taking a long road trip.

But more importantly, hire or buy a car that is fuel efficient.

And for the best car rental services in Uganda, Kenya and Rwanda, simply trust Tristar Africa Skimmer Safaris. You can get in touch with us by caaling the reservations line on +256-758-540071 or by email to booking@tristarafricaskimmersafaris.com and we will be more than delighted to get you a rental car of your choice at affordable rates that suit your budget and personal needs.