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Driving habits

March 19, 2009

Yesterday’s super busy day ended with a trip to the bar with my associates, my first one this year. I had my usual – coca cola with a generous squeeze of lemon. Yeah, lame.

Anyway, we got to talking about one of the dudes’ favorite topics – cars, and somehow got down to comparing gasoline consumption.

Here’s the tally.

Toyota Altis 1.6, 1 year old            $40 a week
Honda Civic 1.6, 2 years old          $80 a week
BMW 325, 3 years old                   $120 a week

All are auto transmissions. Mine’s the Toyota.

We drive roughly the same distance so I reckon it came down to two things, the car condition and driving style.

I’ve ridden in my associates cars and notice lots of little things they don’t pay attention to. Things like how often they’d step on the brakes and hit the gas pedal. Things like if they were happy to drive behind everyone or if they treat every passing car as an invitation to race.

They too had ridden in my car and remarked at what an unaggressive a driver I am. I drive at a tame 80-100kmh, my engine revs at 2500 rpm max, I hardly brake at all when I’m at cruising speeds, and I don’t resort to manual downshifts to overtake traffic.

One of my associates who love the raw power of his car keeps his engines at 2-3000 rpm when driving on urban roads, just so he has power on tap. And he’s complaining about why his gas bill is so high.

It just reaffirms to me that the way you drive is proportional to how much you enrich Shell, Caltex, etc. But the real culprits that burn a hole in your pocket, I suspect, are

– Frequent braking. Every time you brake, you have to accelerate to regain lost speed. Accelerating burns fuel.

– Driving at uneven speeds. Frequent acceleration and decelaration causes the same consumption problems as frequent braking.

– On the road aggression. Hate to be overtaken? Then pay the price of heavy acceleration and deceleration.

Econo drive, the lamest way to drive of all, is to drive at the most constant speed possible, not be brake happy, and not let the Ah Bengs with their heavily blinged cars snooker you into a drag race.

But of course, guys wil be guys and that’s good for the economy. It keeps the gas pump operators smiling.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. LC Teh permalink
    March 19, 2009 5:36 pm

    I used to drive like I want to be the first to get to wherever I was going. Then I realized whether you burn fuel or wear out brake linings faster or not you still get there within a certain time, give or take a few minutes unless it’s journey over a few hundred kilometers. Perhaps it’s with the way your mind is tuned.

    BTW, being unaggressive doesn’t mean you’re not a guy.

    Some drive for fun. Some drive as a chore to get them from A to B. Its the former that often wears out the brakes.

    Oh yeah, just the other day one woman overtook me on the way from the airport. She must have been driving at 160kmh.

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