Malaysian drivers say they are confident on the road and knowledgeable about what constitutes as ‘good driving’, but when they are asked to identify key fuel-saving driving techniques, most were misinformed.
In a recent survey conducted by Ford, 786 Malaysian drivers were asked about their driving habits and fuel efficiency knowledge.
86% claimed they know how to drive their car to achieve maximum fuel efficiency, and more than 94% said they make a concerted effort to drive efficiently on a daily basis.
“When it comes to fuel efficiency, unfortunately there’s a yawning gap between what most of us think we know, and what we actually know,” said Kevin Tallio, chief engineer, Engine Engineering, Ford Asia Pacific. “For example, our survey showed that most people haven’t thought about the potential fuel saving benefits of using GPS or cruise control.”
So,what did Malaysian drivers get wrong about driving tips that could help keep their tanks fuller, for longer?
• 35% of Malaysian drivers don’t know that harsh accelerating and braking can negatively affect their car’s fuel consumption.
Fact: Aggressive driving – like braking harshly or taking off too quickly – is a major offender when it comes to wasting fuel.
• 15% of Malaysian drivers believe that keeping the engine running while idling will save more fuel.
Fact: Turning the engine off and restarting it again is actually more fuel efficient.
• 87% of drivers are unaware about the fuel efficiency benefits of cruise control.
Fact: Cruise control is a modern car’s secret weapon against wasting fuel. Maintaining a constant speed means you don’t waste fuel by unnecessarily braking and accelerating – and it also stops you from driving faster than allowed.
• Only 1 in 4 motorists know how to use the GPS to map the quickest route before heading out.
Fact: It seems obvious, but the longer you drive, the more fuel you’ll burn. Both time and money can be saved by checking your route on your GPS system before you hit the road.
• 41% did not know that driving in hilly areas can affect fuel consumption.
Fact: A long drive in the mountains will use more fuel than driving on a flat, straight road. Driving uphill burns more fuel as the vehicle is working slightly harder to go against gravity.
• Many respondents were unaware that cold weather (85%) and hot weather (61%) affect a vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
Fact: Cold weather can reduce your fuel economy significantly as it takes longer for your engine to reach its most efficient temperature. In warmer weather, pay attention to when you should use the car’s air-condition. The higher the speed, the more wind resistance affects mileage. At highway speeds you’re better off using the air-condition, but at lower speeds drive with your windows down.
• Only half of those surveyed knew that removing heavy items or clutter from the car can to help save fuel
Fact: Excess weight in the vehicle can wreak havoc on your car’s fuel consumption. Any extra 20kg you carry can reduce fuel economy by roughly 1%. So try to pack lightly on your next road trip.
• 74% were unaware that adding sports tyres or body kits to the vehicle can affect your fuel consumption
Fact: Going for that “fast and furious” look for your vehicle may get you street cred, but the increased rolling resistance and drag will reduce your fuel efficiency.
• 37% of drivers were unaware that regular servicing helps save fuel, and 45% were unaware that regularly checking tyre pressure also helps to save fuel
Fact: Basic knowledge perhaps, but it’s all too easy to forget that a properly maintained vehicle and correctly inflated tyres will help stretch your petrol usage further.
While Malaysian drivers are showing more interest in purchasing fuel efficient vehicles to save them money, the best way to economize on fuel is good driving habits (and that’s for free!)
“Owning a fuel efficient vehicle is definitely an important piece of the puzzle,” says Tallio, who worked on the development of Ford’s award-winning 1.0-litre EcoBoost engine. “But if getting great mileage is your aim, then driving habits make a world of difference.”
About the Ford Survey
This online survey was conducted by Global Web Index on behalf of Ford Motor Company. 9,509 consumers were surveyed across 11 markets: Australia (1,026 respondents), China (1,011 respondents), Hong Kong (784 respondents), India (1,023 respondents), Malaysia (786 respondents), New Zealand (774 respondents), Philippines (783 respondents), South Korea (760 respondents), Taiwan (762 respondents), Thailand (1,026 respondents) and Vietnam (774 respondents). Fieldwork was concluded in June 2016.