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Tue, 08/12/2008 - 15:09
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KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 (Bernama) - A couple holding the world record for fuelefficiency driving say that having a pro-active stance can go a long way to help reduce fuel costs.

"You don't need rocket science to achieve fuel efficiency," says Helen Taylor, who together with her husband, John, is now in Malaysia to impart their knowledge on fuel savings.

"Stop complaining about higher fuel prices, think and do something constructive by being proactive, save fuel and give the money back to the Malaysian community," she told Bernama after a demonstration on "fuel economy simulator" organised by Shell Malaysia at Wisma Bernama lobby here Tuesday.

"We hope our lessons will help all drivers reduce fuel consumption by at least 10 percent, resulting in much lower carbon emissions and more money in the people's pockets," said Helen.

John and Helen set the Guinness World Record for fuel efficiency in 2006 for using less of 40 tanks of fuel to drive 28,970 kilometres around the world in 78 days.

They are officially the world's most economical drivers. In recent years they have dedicated their lives to proving it and have notched up an impressive list of 35 fuel economy records.

Their next goal is fuel economy endurance drive across 48 states in the mainland of the United States to break another record as "records are meant to be broken," said John.

He also revealed that an under-inflated tyre at just one pound per square inch or psi lower can negate fuel efficiency by three percent.

"Check tyres regularly to keep all of them at the right pressure," said John.

The fuel economy simulator, which has been designed to show the effect of a car's acceleration on the mileage and fuel usage, is timely as it comes when most Malaysians are griping about the price of fuel, which was raised by 40 percent in June this year.

John and Helen will also conduct similar demonstrations at the Sunway Pyramid in Petaling Jaya this weekend and later across the country.

By implementing one or two recommended tips, they said motorists could already save 10 percent and "when millions of motorists do it, the results can be highly significant".

The Taylors, who have driven in over 20 countries, have also established a Fuel Academy to take this message directly to the motoring public, which contains a list of tips to improve fuel efficiency.

According to their website at, they have laid down some 30 "Taylor's Tips such as getting the car into higher gear quickly as this would help save fuel.

In urging motorists to drive smoothly, they also advised motorists to avoid carrying excess weight, remove the roof rack when not in use, use the correct lubrication and fuel, ensure a clean air filter and avoid excess idling, which means turning the engine off when one is stationary.

Motorists should plan trips carefully to avoid rush hour driving and over revving.

One should keep also use air-conditioning sparingly, conserve momentum, ensure that the fuel cap is airtight, be calm while driving and moderate the speed when driving against a headwind.

John and Helen said motorists of manual transmission cars should also use the handbrake when stopping on a slope rather than riding their clutch to balance.

They also advocate -- travelling light, preparing to ensure a relaxed journey, planning the route, avoid using a handphone while driving and accelerating gradually.

The couple emphasised that the driver was by far the most important factor in fuel consumption, adding that the rule should be to drive slightly below the speed limit.

"There is no need to stomp the accelerator into the carpet to the next red traffic light. It is (still) possible to achieve the same speed using far less fuel by simply being patient. If you're using your brakes unnecessarily, you're essentially wasting energy," added Helen.