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III. Driving efficiently
 
Smart driving practices
 

Fuel efficiency starts when you turn on your engine. Proper warm-up helps lubricate components and seals, reducing wear and leakage. Starting your bus properly can save money on fuel. As a driver, you can help to protect the environment from the harmful effects of driving by following these suggestions:

    • When starting your vehicle, make sure you use zero throttle and are in a gear that doesn’t need any.
    • Don’t pump the throttle unnecessarily; the amount of fuel required for starting is pre-measured, so it is wasteful and can damage cylinder walls.
    • Use ether sparingly when having difficulty starting your engine; excessive use can harm the engine.
    • Let your vehicle warm up for three to five minutes-if the temperature is below 0 degrees Celsius, allow it to warm up for seven to 10 minutes. Do not rev the engine; let it warm up gradually.
    • Warm up your vehicle after the initial idle time by driving easily; don’t try to get too much speed out of the engine by pushing the throttle down hard.
    • Ensure oil and air pressure are in their normal operating ranges during start-up.
    • Back off the accelerator when going down a hill, and let gravity and momentum do the work.
    • Use cruise control where appropriate.
    • Change gears smoothly-shifting professionally will result in about 30 per cent improvement in operating costs.
    • Always use the clutch; failure to do so can wear down the gear teeth in the transmission.
    • Practise progressive gear shifting at approximately 1600 r.p.m. Shifting before you reach the maximum governed r.p.m. reduces equipment wear, decreases noise levels and saves fuel.
    • Run the engine in the highest gear range to keep it in low revs.
    • Use your retarder properly, and turn it off when you don’t need it. Allow the terrain to work for you.
    • Turn off your engine when you stop for any length of time. You will save fuel, reduce maintenance requirements, prolong engine life and prevent unnecessary emissions.