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How to get more bang for your buck amid petrol price hike

Petrol attendants at work in Rosslyn ahead of the fuel price increase. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Petrol attendants at work in Rosslyn ahead of the fuel price increase. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)

Published May 27, 2022

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Durban - With yet another price increase on the cards that is likely to see the price of petrol reach the R25 per litre mark, motorists across the country have been forced to reach deep into their pockets.

But a little science always helps, according to advice from a resident, Antoinette du Toit, who spent about three decades in the petroleum industry. Du Toit works at the Mariannhill pipeline in Durban.

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Petrol has become an expensive commodity amid the geopolitical issues the world is facing.

Du Toit shared a few tips in a post on how to get more kilometres for every litre you use.

“Only buy or fill up your car or bakkie in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground.

“The colder the ground the more dense the fuel. When it gets warmer petrol expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening your litre is not exactly a litre. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the petrol, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role,” Du Toit said.

She said a one-degree shift in fuel temperature makes a “big difference” in the industry.

Du Toit said that filling the petrol slowly into your tank helps reduce the amount of vapour that is given off in your tank.

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“All hoses at the pump have a vapour return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapour. Those vapours are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank, so you’re getting less value for your money,” she explained.

Du Toit said the most important thing to remember is to fill up your tank when it is half empty.

“The reason for this is that the more fuel you have in your tank the less air is occupying its empty space. Petrol evaporates faster than you can imagine,” she said.

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Motorists were left in shock once again on Wednesday when the Central Energy Fund (CEF) suggested an increase of between R2.27 and R2.36 per litre for petrol could be effective from next week.

The state’s tax relief period on fuel is also reaching its tail end, meaning a further R1.50 would be added to the price, driving it up to about R25 per litre.

The fuel hike comes as the Russia-Ukraine war has spiralled into an economic onslaught in many developing countries and caused food and fuel prices to rise like Elon Musk’s Falcon 9.

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