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Can You Keep The Adventures going with the looming Fuel Price Crisis?

Updated: Apr 10, 2022


It's no big secret that 4x4 vehicles use a bit more fuel than your average run-around town car. The fuel price in South Africa is now well above the 20 Rand per litre mark. More price hikes are on the way due to the Russia / Ukraine crisis forcing the price of oil up. Based on the current data, 95 octane petrol is set to increase by R 2.15p/l, 93 octane by R 2.07p/l and diesel between R 2.94 and R 3.08p/l in the first week of April 2022. These increases are going to be almost unmanageable for most people and off-road exploring is going to become very expensive. So we thought we could share a few fuel-saving tips we have learnt over the years of travelling and exploring off-road that work for us...


- Beware of the Snakeoil... Fuel additives that claim to reduce your vehicle's fuel consumption don't work. Don't waste money you could have spent on fuel buying these additives.


- Check your tyre pressure regularly. Underinflated tyres cause more friction and drag on the road surface and that means increased fuel usage because your engine needs to work harder to overcome the drag from the tyres. Inflate your tyres to your manufactures recommended pressures.


- Try and lose some weight... Carrying heavy stuff around in your vehicle increases fuel consumption. When you are home from your adventure, unpack all the heavy 4x4 equipment like compressors, recovery gear, fridges etc. Less weight = less fuel usage.


- Decrease the drag... Things like roof racks, rooftop tents, jerry cans, spades and gas bottles on top of your vehicle not only add weight but cause a serious amount of drag and aero inefficiency. These things look cool on top of your 4x4, but they really don't need to go shopping with you at Sandton City. More drag = more fuel usage.


- Don't freewheel in neutral. No matter what your grandad told you, freewheeling in neutral does not save fuel... Not only is it dangerous but when you are freewheeling in neutral, your fuel injectors are feeding the engine fuel to keep it idling. When going downhill simply lift your foot off the throttle and the ECU in your vehicle will tell the injectors to stop feeding the engine fuel because it doesn't need any. The less your injectors work, the less fuel you'll use...


- If your vehicle has an auto start / stop function for traffic, TURN IT OFF. When a vehicle starts up it has an initial spike in fuel consumption. No matter what the salesman told you about that start / stop function, it was designed with emission control for cities in mind NOT better fuel consumption.


- And here is my massive fuel saving tip for everyone with a petrol 4x4. look in your service manual for the grade of fuel your car was designed to use. Pretty much everyone I've looked at says "recommended fuel, 91 octane or higher". If yours says that, STOP paying for 95 at the pump, and where you can get it put 93 octane in your vehicle. I promise it will not damage your vehicle in any way at all and it's over 25c per litre cheaper. All our SA Adventure vehicles run on 93 octane and they are perfectly fine...


- If you have a diesel vehicle, shop around, diesel is priced differently at every fuel station. Find a cheap one...


- Install a Power+ Throttle Controller. This is actually not snake oil and really works, especially if you tow a trailer. See for yourself by reading our blog about this product here: Power+ Throttle Controller


- Lastly, check your bank's rewards programs. For example, our SA Adventure business account is with FNB so we earn EBucks when we fill up at Engen Fuel stations. We currently earn 18c per litre back. It adds up very quickly and can give you a few "free" fill up's over the course of a year...


I hope this helped some of you to save some fuel so you can keep going on those off-road adventures. Have faith, things will get better again...


If you have any fuel-saving tips or tricks, please let us know in the comments below, we would love to hear from you...



SA Adventure off-road tours

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Stay Safe, Big Love, the SA Adventure Team!

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