However, as a rule of thumb, a small city hatchback should be able to achieve an average fuel consumption of around six to seven litres per 100km, a mid-sized SUV will be closer to eight or nine litres per 100km and a full-sized family SUV will use closer to 10 litres per 100km in the real world.
While perhaps not everyone might get confused between fuel and oil, most drivers aren’t aware of the benefits and functions of motor oil compared to their knowledge of fuel. With every different motor oil brand telling you to purchase their specific product for a host of complicated reasons, many drivers aren’t sure what they’re putting into their car and why. We’ve covered the basics between fuel and oil for you below, but the safest measure is always to first and foremost trust the manufacturer guidelines – after all, they built the car and know how best to maintain it
|What is it?||Motor fuel is a liquid material that is forced to react so that it releases energy that is harnessed as power.||Motor or engine oil is a substance made up of base oils that are enhanced with additives (i.e. anti-wear, detergents, or dispersants).|
|What does it do?||Motor fuel is used to power the engine of a vehicle by forcing it to react through combustion or compression.||Motor oil is fed only into the engine oil filler compartment and not the compartment where the oil dipstick sits. The image below shows you the details.|
|What types are there?||The most commonly used motor fuels are petrol (93 or 95 octane) and diesel. Most modern cars use 95 octane petrol.||There are lots of different viscosities of motor oil, each customised to treat different issues with different additives.The most common type would be 5W-30, which is an oil type that has multiple viscosity grades.|
|Where do you get it?||You can purchase fuel at any petrol station in South Africa.||You can purchase motor oil at any petrol station or most mechanics and motor spare shops in South Africa.|
For those who aren’t sure exactly where to fill up their motor oil, this graphic clearly displays the difference between your dipstick compartment and where you should be pouring motor oil into your car.
factors that Affect Fuel Efficiency
- Engine size
It’s a simple fact that bigger engines use more fuel.
- Vehicle size and weight
Again, put simply, a heavier car uses more fuel to carry itself.
Keeping your car in tip-top shape is important to maintaining fuel efficiency, because when upkeep is neglected, everything runs less efficiently, which usually results in a loss of fuel efficiency.
- Tyre pressure
Worn out or flat tyres pull your car out of alignment, which causes additional friction to your car’s momentum and directly influences its fuel consumption.
While this always impacts fuel used, it mostly has a role when you’re doing long distance travelling. Less aerodynamic vehicles, like vans or SUVs, will experience more wind resistance, which, like tyre pressure, acts as additional friction and forces your car to use more fuel for the same speed otherwise.
Turbos are surprisingly good for fuel efficiency, against popular opinion. It’s a power-smart and fuel-smart choice. Turbocharged engines differ from naturally aspirated engines in that turbocharged engines artificially pump more air and fuel into the engine’s combustion chambers, whereas naturally aspirated engines use natural air pressure to trigger combustion. This can help smaller engines produce more power. This means that you can achieve similar power to larger engines in smaller cars, avoiding the need to install big engines that guzzle fuel in many instances. This is just one of the reasons that Suzuki has introduced turbos to two of our models.
You’ll have often heard the adage that “regular short trips aren’t good for cars” and one of the reasons for this is because it guzzles your fuel. Your engine works best when it’s warmed up, and short trips simply don’t allow it enough time to do so, making your car use more fuel for the same results in long-distance travelling.
- Drive style
This goes without saying, but speeding, excessive or hard braking, and other bad driving habits or styles all impact your fuel consumption negatively. Like with most of the previous points, if you’re making your car experience more friction and weight, or regularly using more power than is necessary, you’re wasting fuel.
Motor oil lubricates your engine and so reduces the friction your engine experiences while running. The better lubricated your engine is, the easier it will run without friction, and the less fuel it’ll need to do so.