If, like me, your personal data shows you like vehicle-related content then Google ads has probably shown you one of these obviously-false claims about quite unbelievable fuel savings with an intelligence-insulting clickbait pic.
That pic might depict putting some soft drink, toothpaste, a dishwasher tablet, an egg, ketchup, or some other ridiculous engine-damaging substance in the tank.
The same ads were seen around the world, in various languages, and a bit of research showed that clicking on it would take you to, not an explanation of the pic, but an ad for a product that would plug into the OBD (diagnostic) port, and not do what it claimed either (in fact it would do literally nothing except displace a diagnostic device which you could use to monitor the engine more closely).
Scams like this aren't new, but with the price of crude oil increasing (with no reason for it to drop for quite some time) we'll probably only see more of them since these ads operate on the same principle of forgiveness rather than permission as the copyright violations in Youtube content.
Given that the claimed savings have become so implausible now, I don't know who I respect less; those making the claims, those allowing them to violate any sense of fairness in advertising (as we're meant to have in Australia), or anyone gullible enough to click.
Actually, in a thread on Reddit, some satirical soul suggested that the roads may be safer without the people who would put something so damaging in their tank.
As for what can actually help to lower your fuel consumption, I offered various suggestions in a story in April. I've also repeatedly advocated for more production of biofuels because we want to not only avoid wasting fuel ourselves, but to lower crude oil consumption overall to lower demand, which in turn eases the pressure on the price.
So, here are a few more suggestions, some or all of which will apply to you.
Don't dawdle away from a stop. Intersections are where the most accidents happen, so don't take risks diving into gaps that don't exist, but if you're not getting on with it when you (or the lights) decide it is time to go, a couple of things can happen.
If entering traffic, and you cause someone else already on the move to slow for you, then they have to waste fuel getting back up to speed. That drives up overall fuel demand, which drives up the price.
If you ignore safe gaps yourself or don't get on with it at lights, causing more vehicles to get stuck behind in the following queue, that means they run their vehicle for longer, also driving up demand, also driving up the price.
However, don't speed. Having accelerated at a rate that allows the traffic to actually flow, just do the posted speed limit. Apart from the obvious safety and legality issues, the faster you go, the more resistance you encounter pushing through the air, which takes more energy, which burns more fuel.
Use the trip meter's fuel usage readouts. They may not be accurate, but they should be consistent. Let it teach you whether you're being too much of a leadfoot or using the gradients to your advantage (without going too fast or too slow in the process), and choosing the right cruise gear (ie. rev band).
Lift and coast. If you can clearly see you'll need to slow soon for an intersection or a red light, (and so will those behind you, ie. doing this won't hold others up needlessly; see above) lift off and coast before braking. It's a tactic that race drivers use to conserve fuel.
Get, whatever that is, off the roof. If you don't need it now you're just carrying unnecessary weight and causing additional air resistance to push through.
Check and pump your tyres up to the recommended pressure. Overinflation is dangerous, but underinflation is also dangerous and it increases the rolling resistance. While you're there, make sure they have plenty of tread to deal with more wet weather too.
Reconsider your route, or if you have the option, the time of day you travel. Avoiding busy areas or busy times will help you and everyone else.
Carpool. Not fake taxi ridesharing, but the old and original method of actually cooperating with your neighbours or coworkers to take turns providing the transport.
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