The government wants to keep fuel prices down as low as possible so that there is less impact on the cost of living. As we’ve said before, increases in fuel prices will eventually get passed on and ultimately impact the consumer as goods and service become more expensive. So when possible, the prices are kept low or even reduced and this week, it has been possible for the government to reduce the price of RON97 petrol by a bigger amount. Last week, it was just a 1 sen drop but this week, it’s 9 sen. This brings the price per litre to RM2.50 which is lower than the average price of the petrol grade since the year began. Compared to 2017, it is still 7 sen higher though as the average for the whole of last year was RM2.43.
For most cars that use RON97 (or owners who want to use the fuel grade even though their engine runs fine on RON95), the savings will amount to a few ringgit for each full tank – enough for a simple Malaysian breakfast. But if you own a Range Rover with 105-litre fuel tank, then 9 sen will save you RM9.45.
Until 2018 comes around, those using RON95 petrol and Euro2M/Euro5 diesel don’t have to worry about changes in fuel prices. If necessary, the government will subsidise the cost so that pump prices do not have to be changed – but it also means that prices will not be lower than what they are now for the coming 6 months.
Whether prices go up or down or stay as they are, it’s still good to save fuel and the amount you save could be enough to cover one simple Malaysian breakfast every few weeks. So here’s one more way we can suggest to save fuel – brake less. To understand what this means, think of the brake pedal as a cigarette lighter and in your hand is a ringgit note. Each time you press the brake pedal, the flame shoots up and burns the money. That’s a waste, isn’t it and when related to motoring, that means you are wasting fuel.
This is because the amount of fuel that is injected into the cylinders can provide a certain amount of energy. This energy is what moves the car forward and if you were to accelerate and then keep moving until the car comes to a stop by itself, you would have theoretically utilised every bit of energy the fuel provided. However, if you brake, then you are not making maximum use of the energy that was available.
Braking less requires some thoughtful and attentive driving as you need to watch traffic around you. You need to anticipate what cars ahead will do and adjust your speed by just coasting when necessary (not pressing the accelerator pedal). For example, if you see the traffic lights ahead turning red, you would know that the cars in front will stop. So rather than keep your foot on the accelerator pedal and brake at the last moment, you lift off and roll as much as possible until the speed drops and all that is needed is just a gentle press on the brake pedal to stop the car.
The fuel savings you can get may not be significant but they can add up over time. Nevertheless, braking less should only be done with safety being given a higher priority. There’s no point trying not to brake and then having an accident which will wipe out whatever you saved before.