Member Tips for Improving Mileage

Don't pop the clutch downhill on a modern car

You often read tips to depress the clutch or drop the car into neutral downhill, on most modern cars with fuel injection this actually uses more fuel than leaving it in gear.

If you can display actual fuel flow rate (not MPG) you can prove it to yourself.

The reason is simple, with the clutch depressed, fuel is needed to keep the car idling, but modern fuel injection systems shut off fuel completely during overrun; leaving the car in-gear, in the highest possible gear to reduce engine braking, will result in no fuel being used at all.

With a bit of planning you'll be surprised how many 'free' miles you can gain, especially if you're prepared to lose a bit of speed on occasions.

This can mount up to a significant percentage of a journey in some cases, with the resultant significant increase in MPG

Travel Light.

In a lightweight car every item you add decreases your mileage. Keep your trunk empty when you can, when buying a sub-woofer, pick a lightweight option, most large boxes are very heavy.


If you are looking for some unique MPG figures, I have friends who completely remove their interiors and extra seats for better mileage and handling on their sub-compacts. I wouldn't do it myself and you should think twice about ditching your spare tire if you don't have roadside assistance!

watch your Air pressure - the follow up

Those drivers who set their air pressure to the higher end of the suggested range to improve fuel economy need to be especially vigilant to the rising spring temperatures. If your car recommends 32-38psi, you may choose to set your tires to 38psi for the best fuel economy. If you hit a warm day, your tires may read 42psi or more just because of the warmer temps have expanded the air in the tires. Now might be a good time to bring the pressures back to nominal to prevent over-inflation once it gets toward summer.

Shoe choice

A thin shoe or just socks allows for a more precise feel of pedal pressure. Big boots greatly reduce the ability to feel pressure between your foot and the pedal.

If you have a instant fuel use gauge try skipping the big shoes and notice how easier it is to feel the pedal.

Shifting Automatic Transmissions manually

I saw two posts one by BenjaminWKI and another about using the manual shift mode on automatics to keep RPMs low. I have found a 16% improvement in fuel economy by doing this. Combined with another tip to accelerate briskly at 50-75% throttle is brilliant in my Passat v6 wagon.
I am constantly trying to get into top gear as soon as possible and I can get into 6th gear past 40 mph at about 1,300 rpms.

I regularly barely get 22 mpg but on two deliberate attempts to get good MPG I went from 25 mpg in fully automatic to 29 mpg when shifting at 2000 rpms manually.

Also "manual" mode on the highway in cruise, my car does not kick down to 5th gear unless I really slow a lot. In normal "Drive" the engine downshifts on long hills and overpasses pretty quickly to maintain roadspeed. In "manual" mode it really lugs down to around 1,500 rpms before downshifting.

Plan and be consistent.

High MPG is helpful but using your head on when and how to drive can save a lot more. Going to or from work or another errand? Great time to fuel up if it's on the way. Hungry? If you can, stop at your destination and combine a little walking with grabbing your meal.

Flexible on when you go? Driving at times when traffic isn't as congested is generally more economical of course, but often less congested equals less stressful too.

Driving distracted (eating, talking to others in the car or on the phone, reading, playing a game on your phone, ...) is not only dangerous to you and others. It typically also has a negative impact on performance and therefore fuel economy.

How fast do I speed up? Mash on the accelerator or barely push it? The trick is to use a fair amount of throttle so you get the most fuel efficient use of power while reaching the desired speed but not so much that the engine is working extra hard. This varies from vehicle to vehicle. Altitude, air pressure and humidity also play a role.

Tire pressure - as recommended is usually best though the one in your guide or on the sidewall? Usually up to the sidewall indication but not more and check it before you get in to go somewhere every time. If you use pressure caps, this can be a simple look.

Following another vehicle too closely is dangerous and often illegal but following at a safe distance at highway speeds can be helpful, especially if the other driver is driving at a compatible speed with cruise control set similarly to yours.

Mail order saves having to go out.

Last for now - use the phone to avoid unnecessary trips.
here's no point in going somewhere to get one thing if they don't have it.

Hypermiling

Blowing through stop signs and nearly never using the brakes can cause an accident, but being more conscious about how you drive, pop the clutch down every hill and accelerate BEFORE the hill and let your car decel a bit going up the hill can seriously increase your mileage. This is how i get ~40MPG in my honda accord, a better figure then my friends hybrid civic!!!

Coasting wont work if you have nothing to coast on... Hopefully you live in a valley like me.

Raw Egg on Accelerator Pedal

Pretend that there is a raw egg between your foot and the accelerator pedal in your vehicle. You don't want to break the egg and get the mess on your floor boards so you'll be less inclined to mash down the throttle pedal. The idea is to encourage gentle accelerations and avoid flooring or lead footing your vehicle.

Calibrate your odometer readings

Quite often your odometer reading will differ from your actual distance travelled. Usually it is over reported, so that you think you're driving faster and travelling farther than you actually are. This can be 5-10% in many cases, which would decrease your mpg by 5-10%.

Use a GPS unit to measure your actual distance travelled and compare it to your trip meter. If you're GPS reads 100 miles, and your odometer reads 105 miles, then you should divide your fuelly entry by 1.05 to get it to 100.

Compare gas stations

If you regularly have several choices of gas stations, compare stats over several fill-ups. For example, my local full service Shell is usually 2 cents more expensive than the other off-brand station. Yet I found my fuel economy was 5-10% higher (lower? - more miles for the buck) with the full service Shell. I've mentioned my results to several of my friends, who have found the same increase over several months of checking. Although this runs contrary to common thinking, the numbers here have proved differently. Your mileage (literally) may differ.

Coast or Decelerate Cruise Control

When using your cruise control and approaching a red light, stopped or slowing traffic, a freeway interchange, an intersection or anywhere when you need to slow down use the "Coast" or "Decelerate" function or button on your cruise control to let the vehicle coast down rather than using your brakes to disengage the cruise function. After you pass the slow down then accelerate back to your desired speed with the throttle pedal, NOT the resume button and click the speed set button at your stabilized speed.

Change Your Air Filter!

A dirty filter can easily decrease your MPG by 1-2 miles. Also by doing this yourself you save more money. The dealer / oil change places charge a premium price for this service. It's easily a 100% mark-up considering the new cost of the filter is $10-20! My Hyundai dealer charges $35 for a Air Filter replacement. I do it myself for $17 and it literally takes 20 seconds to install.

Slow down before red lights

When you see a red light in the distance, start to slow down moderately well before, and wait for it to turn green so you can stroll on through, hopefully maintaining quite a bit of speed - this helps fuel economy greatly over the standard method of coming to a complete stop and then having to accelerate all the way back up to your prior speed!

Save Fuel in Turns!

One great way to save fuel is to do minimal braking for turns. When coming up to a turn or bend, threshold brake at the limit of adhesion and slowly release the brakes as your turn the wheel. Once your come out of the turn you will still be near the speed limit. Why brake, it only slows you down! If you experience oversteer, countersteer!

In winter, turn off heater during first 5 min

In the winter, using the heater/defroster immediately after startup may delay the engine's full warm-up to its optimum fuel efficient temperature by a few min. If you have heated seats, turn them on and turn off the heater for the first couple miles or 5 min., so that the engine may warm up faster. Also, don't let the engine run for a few minutes before driving off. Start, buckle up, put on sunglasses and check mirrors, then drive moderately for a few minutes. This tip works especially well on hybrids.

State highway vs Interstates

Whether you have a hybrid or non-hybrid vehicle, most cars burn more fuel when speeds exceed 55 mph. If you want to increase fuel efficiency and have the option to do so, choose a state highway or even a county road where the speed limit is 55 vs an interstate highway with higher speed limits.

Follow those "breaking wind"

Use other vehicles on the road to your advantage when opportunity allows. Driving a safe distance behind a larger profile vehicle helps lower the resistance of your vehicle to still air so your engine doesn't have to work as hard. The result is increased gas mileage. You should not and do not need to get dangerously close to take advantage of this "quasi-drafting" technique. You are just looking for the vehicle in front of you to break the wind. If you have a MPG meter on your car you can test this theory. This technique becomes less useful on hills when the vehicle in front of you prevents you from taking advantage of coasting.

Top Offs

Don't top off or overfill your tank to get the most gallons or the most accurate MPG reading. Not only is it hazardous to your health, dangerous and messy, your fuel system will have to capture excess fumes in the system's carbon canister. After some time this overtaxes evaporative control system parts and requires costly repairs. Carbon canister replacement is expensive and averages around $600.

Accurate Fill-ups

Accuracy with any process is a result of reducing variations between samples. If you want consistent fill-ups, park your car the same way at each fill up. This helps ensure that the gas tank is in the same position each time. A gas tank may have more reservoir in front of the gas tank or the back. Air can get trapped, reducing the amount of area that gas can occupy. Try to park your car the same way and your MPG readings will be more accurate.

Find your "true" city/highway driving splits!

According to the EPA test cycle average speeds of 21 MPH for the city cycle, and 48 MPH for the highway cycle.
If your car has a menu display for average speed, reset it when you fill up. At your next fill up, record the average speed for the tank, and use it to find your "true" city/hwy driving splits in the following formulas:
Percentage of Highway Driving = 100*(AVG SPD - CITY)/(48 - 21)
Percentage of City Driving = 100(1-(Calculated HWY%)).
Any average speed under 21 MPH is 100% city, and anything over 48 MPH is 100% highway driving.

For example: If at your next fill up, your average speed is 35 MPH, your city/hwy splits using the formula above are: 52% hwy, 48% city driving.

Repeating this at each fill up allows you to compare your driving on Fuelly directly to the EPA estimates, rather than guesstimating your city/hwy splits. It also gives you much more consistent results than guessing does.

Try "Surfing" the Hills in the C-Max Hybrid

Highways in the cities are not flat. There are undulations in the terrain caused by overpasses and underpasses, They are called "vertical curves" and are the result of elevation changes. Overpasses are usually a mile or so apart as they cross over roads below. Sometimes the freeway will go underneath a road and you will descend in elevation to go underneath a bridge.
Now Here's the "Surfing" trick, try to eyeball the road ahead so that you are at the top of an overpass when you are at 68 and you are backing off the throttle to go into electric mode. The electric motor is more efficient going downhill, even slightly and you can maintain your speed longer because it takes less KW or juice to go downhill. The C-Max is a heavy car and it's own mass going downhill is a big plus. The longer you can run the electric motor, the higher your mpg will be simply because electric mpg is way higher than than using the Internal Combustion Engine. That is the crux of getting higher mpg. At the end of your trip you should see a definite increase in the percentage of EV-Mode used.
Now if you see the road ahead is going uphill for an overpass, time it so you are firing up the ICE to propel you uphill and increasing your speed to the top.
If all you do is run the gas engine from the bottom of the hill to the top, and go electric from the tops down you will increase your mileage.

Slide back from the pedals

Adjust your drivers seat back so youre not too close to the pedals. Make sure you can still access fully the pedals but being further back prevents you from mashing the gas and/orte brakes too much.

Do not Compare Too Much

Comparing your vehicle's mpg with other vehicles especially with smaller engines would often frustrate you. Always compare with vehicles of equal engine capacity and of same body type. Better yet calculate mpg * 1000 cc value to get a engine capacity neutral mpg value when comparing with vehicles of different engine size.
Eg a car with 1.0L engine does 15kpl, and a car with 1.5L engine does 10kpl are equivalent because you compromise performance for fuel economy and vice versa.

Check your bike's gearing!

If you're riding a smaller motorcycle and feel that it's struggling to keep up, take the time to check your front and rear sprockets. Although it is nice to have a powerful bike in the first place, often times changing the rear sprocket up a tooth or the front sprocket down a tooth can make life so much easier for both you and your bike. Power is one thing, but as long as your bike is making good torque, gearing can make all the difference.

Plan and be consistent.

High MPG is helpful but using your head on when and how to drive can save a lot more. Going to or from work or another errand? Great time to fuel up if it's on the way. Hungry? If you can, stop at your destination and combine a little walking with grabbing your meal.

Flexible on when you go? Driving at times when traffic isn't as congested is generally more economical of course, but often less congested equals less stressful too.

Driving distracted (eating, talking to others in the car or on the phone, reading, playing a game on your phone, ...) is not only dangerous to you and others. It typically also has a negative impact on performance and therefore fuel economy.

How fast do I speed up? Mash on the accelerator or barely push it? The trick is to use a fair amount of throttle so you get the most fuel efficient use of power while reaching the desired speed but not so much that the engine is working extra hard. This varies from vehicle to vehicle. Altitude, air pressure and humidity also play a role.

Tire pressure - as recommended is usually best though the one in your guide or on the sidewall? Usually up to the sidewall indication but not more and check it before you get in to go somewhere every time. If you use pressure caps, this can be a simple look.

Following another vehicle too closely is dangerous and often illegal but following at a safe distance at highway speeds can be helpful, especially if the other driver is driving at a compatible speed with cruise control set similarly to yours.

Mail order saves having to go out.

Last for now - use the phone to avoid unnecessary trips.
here's no point in going somewhere to get one thing if they don't have it.

Question Conventional Wisdom

When taking off from a stop, do so briskly, 50 to 75% throttle. Then let up on the gas. This uses less fuel than if you gently roll away from a stop. Don't believe me? http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Become-a-Hypermiler/step9/Acceleration/

Warm air intake saves gas see ecomodder.com

Warm air is better for MPG
check it out www.ecomodder.com
Cold air is condensed and good for fitting more air into your cylinders.
Warm air mixes with gas better.
Cars burn up to 4 times more gas when they are cold.

Did you know that about A/C?

Most newer cars will activate A/C when you select the "Defrost" or "Defrost + feet" setting on your heater (hot setting) to accelarate the defogging/defrosting of the windshield. Unfortunately, it doesn't activate the A/C indicator, it's a "stealth" feature. If you forget about the setting, and keep the setting to "Defrost" during all your commute, then the A/C is on, without you knowing about it.
Make a habit of always changing the setting to "feet only" or "feet + face" once the windshield/side windows are defogged.

Some cars may even automatically activate the A/C when set to "extreme cold" (all the way in the blue), again without lighting on the A/C indicator. You can set it to one notch before extreme cold to avoid it if the temperature (heat) doesn't call for A/C.

Check your manual to know the specifics of your model! Having A/C on without being aware may be costing you dearly!

Accelerate ON the onramp

When you're getting on the freeway, use your time on the onramp to gradually accelerate up to the speed of traffic. This is safer than accelerating up to traffic speed on the freeway itself, and, since you will not be going as hard on the accelerator to match traffic speeds while you're on the onramp than if you're accelerating on the freeway, you'll save gas in the long term.

Dont be a drag

For all the DIY'ers-when servicing your brakes, be sure all parts operate smoothly after installing new brake pads or shoes. If the brake pads dont retract correctly, they will drag on the rotor. This resistance will cause excess heat and will require more power to turn the wheel than if it rolled smoothly.

Some Hill Suggestions

While going uphill is of course going to kill your MPG, a hill can still be your friend. Consider some options when dealing with a hill:
- For many hills, ease up on the gas (factor in whether you'll be greatly inconveniencing traffic behind you though, if you care...). It's okay to lose some MPH on the hill (see the reward part below for why!).
- Before you reach the downhill, you may be on a fairly level road and, if possible, continue with your speed until you get to the downhill.
- Reap your reward while going downhill. You just invested energy to get to the top of that hill, and downhill is a wonderful treat for your MPG. If you're going much slower than before you arrived at the hill, use the hill as your opportunity to get back up to your cruising speed. If you're already going the speed you want, coast and maintain that speed.
Gravity may fight with you on the uphill, but it will help you out on the downhill, and we want to make as much use of that help as we can.
While this sounds blatantly obvious, 'accelerating downhill is better on your MPG than accelerating uphill,' I am always surprised how many people ignore it. Perhaps they are not concerned about their MPG.
Lastly, to give you a mental image of the energy involved with a hill, consider riding a bicycle up the same hill. If you want to conserve your own energy, are you going to race up the hill? Are you going to pedal quickly on the flat before the downhill? Are you going to slow down while going downhill?
I myself would rather go slower up the hill (technically I'm forced to because I get tired), level out a comfortable pace, and then either coast downhill, or use that extra downhill energy to get some more speed so I can use it to allow me to coast farther.

Be Patient

In rush hour traffic, go ahead and leave a little room between you and the car in front of you during acceleration. You'll catch up when he hits the brakes in a few seconds. Occasionally someone will cut in front of you. So what... let him go and don't worry about it. It probably only cost you 10 seconds on your commute.

But always be considerate of the drivers behind you, so don't go to the extreme with this method.

Avoid short trips

Trips that dont get your vehicle up to proper temperature are less efficient. Holding off to go to the store on your way home from work can increase the fuel efficiency of your vehicle by a nice margain, so plan ahead.

Don't top off!

Never fill past the auto-stop on the pump - anything above that can spill and can be negated by emissions systems! Either way, topped-off fuel is wasted!

Use your garage in the winter

In the winter, a warm engine heats up faster, and runs more efficiently than a freezing cold engine. If you have a garage and are using it for storage instead of the car, make room for the car. It's also very nice to not have to scrape frost and brush snow.

Dont use the heaters when the engine is cold

When you start the engine it'll slowly start to warm up the cooling systems fluids which powers the cabin heater

When the engine is cold it uses a richer fuel mixture to help it warm up

So putting the fans on to clear your screen when its still cold is only making the car cooler, wait for it to start showing signs of warming up before putting the heat on

But remember you need clear vision, so use your elbows not your fans to get you going in a morning

Reduce your power consumption to save fuel

When you sit at the lights, heaters, fans, wipers, lights all set to max, the alternator demand is high, the engine idle therefore sits a little higher to try and feed this demand

So when sat at lights or in traffic, turn the fans down a speed
Turns the rear demister off for a few minutes, it'll stay warm for a few minutes continuing to clear your screen anyway!

drive the apex to reduce driving distance

On a 4 lane divided highway, driving closest to the apex of the turn can reduce your overall driving distance, while getting you to your destination faster, this does not directly affect fuel economy, but driving less distance means more fuel will be left in the tank to get you further down the road!

As with every other time you are behind the wheel of your vehicle, you have to be aware of your surroundings, only change lanes when there are no fast approaching vehicles in the other lane, and it is safe and clear to do so, Most sharp turns will have a safe speed posted before the turn, and some turns will be marked to discourage lane changes. Do not cross solid yellow and white lines, or into merging lanes, I also suggest you use turn signals as required or as a courtesy to let others know your making lane changes intentionally, (and likely avoid being pulled over by the police)

Although this sometimes means being in the left lane throughout the turn, it is the shortest route thru the turn, on a long trip this can add up quickly

Additional Tip, Zoom out your GPS view and you can see upcoming turns preemptively and be in the correct lane ahead of time

Also Google "Racing Line" to learn more on cornering, Early Ideal and Late Apex for the next time your on a familiar road in a capable vehicle and have the road all to yourself.

Experiment with different fuel brands

Especially with modern motorbikes, some fuel brands might provide a better mileage than others.

This might be highly subjective and hard to be sure if that extra MPG you got had anything to do with the last fuel you tried or not.

50/50 rule--updated

Although Mythbuster has "proven" that it is more efficient to have the windows up at 50 miles an hour and higher, likely their test was done with a car with belt driven A/C. This rule will not be true with newer cars that have electric A/C.

Look farther down the road.

When driving, your attention should be as far down the road as possible. This gives you more time to react to changing driving conditions. Instead of hitting the brakes when the car in front of you does, you can see the congestion farther down the road. This allows you to coast earlier and farther, saving fuel.

(Its also safer.)

Keep your tank above the half mark

There are several advantages to keeping your tank above half full:

1: Filling the tank doesn't cost as much per fill up.

2: It will help prevent partial tank fill ups here on Fuelly.

3: You will have plenty when/if an emergency occurs, such as getting stuck on the side of the road in winter, or having to take a trip to the hospital, etc.

Also be sure to always fill your tank the same way every time you fill up. This helps give you accurate mileage results.

No pen needed!

Pretty much all receipts are now printed on thermal paper or carbonless paper that is so sensitive, it also reacts to the frictional heat generated by simply scoring it with your finger nail. That means, you can just scribble the odometer reading on the receipt with your fingernail or key. No pen needed!

Use your stats at Fuelly

Don't just use the avg fuel economy reading on the site. The best way to monitor your car is to see the full graph of fuel economy over a long period of time.

If you notice some tendency for higher fuel consumption in the mid or long run, you can take decisions and or have your car checked.

If you are trying things to get better fuel mileage, make the change and try it out consistently for varios fuelups (at least three or four) and then check against the past.

Don't just use one fuelup as a measure as even if you are careful to fill up to the same level, it's still not precise enough to guarantee you a good reading.

Buy "LRR" Tires Next Time Around

Tire manufacturers have been meeting the demand for tires which are designed to give improved mpg over standard tires by producing new tires with a "low rolling resistance" rating. Some claim mpg improvement of 5% to 7%. Certainly your choice of tires can impact your mpg, just look for the "LRR" rating next time you buy tires. Do some research and shop around.

Replace Your PCV Valve

Especially in older cars, your positive crankcase ventilation valve will get dirty and gummed up, which can cause cause excessive fuel usage. Fortunately, the pcv valve is easy to replace and very cheap to buy for almost any car. You can test your old one by taking it off, cleaning it out with some carburetor cleaner, and blowing (or sucking, depending on the end.) If it makes a nice solid seal, then it's still good and can be reused.

Don't drive a mile to save a penny a gallon

In my morning commute, I keep an eye on gas prices if I need gas on the way home. While the cheapest gas in town is about two and a half miles further past my work, it doesn't make sense to make a special trip to save three or four cents a gallon. According to fuelly.com, my van's year round average is 19.3 mpg or 17.3 cents/mile at $3.339/gal (last fill up).
Driving five extra miles, two and a half there and back, to make a special trip for the cheapest gas would cost me 86.5 cents. Saving 86.5 cents means the cheaper gas would have to be over four cents cheaper for a 20 gallon tank. It would have to be eight cents cheaper on a 10 gallon fill up. Factor in the time saved, and it's not worth it. I only fill up at the "cheap" gas station if I'm already out and driving right past it.

Turn the engine off at long red lights

You can save some gas by turning your engine off at long red lights or at drive thru's. In my commute I usually have to wait a few minutes at a specific stop light. I turn my engine off while waiting for the green light. I can tell when the light is about to turn green by watching the crosswalk sign. When the crosswalk sign starts blinking to not cross, then I restart the engine. Saves about two minutes of idling (at zero mpg!). I also turn off the engine while I'm waiting at a drive through like at my bank. Improves my gas mileage by at least 1mpg.

Look ahead

Look well ahead in the traffic to predict when you might need to stop or slow down. This way you can avoid or minimise heavy braking then accelerating again.

Not only does this save a massive amount of fuel, but also reduces wear and tear and is much safer because you notice what's going around you. You drive more smoothly, not 'fighting' your way through the traffic.

Dont use cruise control on hills

Cruise control is good on flat roads but on hills it is much more economical to supply more power as the car requires it letting the momentum of the car do the work as much as possible. It takes some practice!

Reverse Park

When you arrive home, take the time to reverse park into your garage/parking lot.

Do this while the engine is already up to temperature instead of spending time in the morning reversing and maneuvering the car out while the engine is cold and consuming more fuel.

It also helps if you're late to work and reduces the wear and tear of a cold gearbox shifting between reverse and forward.

Slack Your Speed

When driving through hilly terrain, just let your car lose its speed while keeping your right foot still. Don't worry as you'll gain all the speed back later when going downhill.

Adjust your throttle accordingly so that you don't slow down too much. It pays to also gain speed to a sufficient level before hitting the uphill so that you don't need to accelerate mid way.

Do not use cruise control at all. This system will to needlessly accelerate your car when climbing up hill to obsessively keep its set speed.

Manual Override Your Automatic Gearbox

Modern automatic gearboxes will not shift up until you've achieved a predetermined minimum speed. This is noticeable towards the last few gears.

The upside of this is that it guarantees that your engine are at the revs when it generates sufficient torque to carry you on into the higher gear without much loss in acceleration and without consuming more fuel in the process.

The downside is that the gearboxes are unable to tell when you don't need that additional torque. Like going downhill or slow cruise on a flat road, this safety program makes your engine rev higher & consume more fuel until you achieve the minimum speed before it allows the next gear change.

It will always assume the worst in that you're climbing uphill and will not shift up until its certain you're fast enough.

You can override this program for gearboxes with the steptronic/tiptronic ability. Just notch the gearbox into manual and shift up a gear and then return it to "D". If the gearbox kicks down a gear during or back into the original gear after the process, you're doing it too early and not yet at enough speed to save any fuel from this trick.

Through trial an error, you can find a speed range where you can notch up the gear to reduce revs and save a bit of fuel without having to increase speed to get the auto gearbox to finally shift.

Coasting is your friend

Coasting as far as safely possible before coming to a stop saves me more gas than anything else. Many modern engines will either cut off the flow of fuel or significantly reduce the flow of fuel to the engine if you coast longer than a couple of seconds. In addition to saving gas, losing at least 1/4 to 1/3 of your speed by coasting before coming to a stop significantly reduces wear on your brakes, keeping even more cash in your pocket.

Slow down on that morning commute.

Let's say that driving right at the speed limit, you can average 50mph on a 15 mile commute in to work. If you're in a rush, you go 10 over the limit. Hey, you get to work sooner, right? Well, do some simple math. At the speed limit, it'll take 18 minutes... at 10 over, it'll save you a whopping 3 minutes. That's right, you get to your desk a whole 180 seconds sooner. You'll burn much more fuel, though.

Let's not even go with what happens when you hit traffic... the danger you're causing by whipping around everyone, and the fool you look like.

Install a Cold Air Intake

If you live in a drier climate, install a cold air intake unit to save 1 to 3 miles per gallon. This replaces the OEM air box and air filter assembly. With a CAI, cooler air is drawn in from lower in the engine compartment, so the engine does not need as much gas as compared to when it sucks in hot air from under the hood. Many car makers offer these as OEM performance parts and if installed by a dealer, won't affect your warranty.

Remove snow from your car in the winter

Put a little more effort into clearing snow off of your car than just clearing the windows. It's added weight and drag and also very unsafe. Twelve inches of snow is equivalent to one inch of water. A one inch layer of water or ice weighs approximately five lb per square foot. So even a three or four inch layer of snow on your trunk, roof, and hood could be adding almost fifty pounds of extra weight. It is also much safer than letting it fall off on your drive. Large chunks can break off and strike other motorists and snow on your hood will just blow back onto your windshield.

Drive between the speed limit and 5 mph under

Driving at or slightly below the speed limit in suburban areas has a number of benefits. The reason I add slightly below the limit is because unless you stare at the speedometer constantly, you can't stay exactly at the limit all the time. The 5 mph range gives you room to vary your speed a bit.

The benefits? Less gas spent accelerating, less energy wasted via braking, less time spent sitting still, a more comfortable ride, easier to decide whether or not to stop on yellow and less wear on your brakes, tires, engine and drivetrain.

Sadly tailgating becomes an issue when employing this driving style. It's distracting and even a bit scary sometimes when someone is following you too closely. You can adjust your mirrors so that you can't see tailgaters directly which will allow you to concentrate more on the road ahead and remain calm. ALWAYS STAY TO THE RIGHT.

Get an EZ Pass!

or whatever that electronic toll-collection device is called in your area. I live in the mid-Atlantic area of the east coast of the United States, and my EZ Pass works in all the surrounding states. In anything but very light traffic on the highways, it saves me time and gas, and some aggravation too, every time I come to tollbooths. I do not have to worry about carrying small bills and coins, and I have a record of all tolls paid, since for me they are a deductible expense.

Traffic stop and go

For Auto Transmissions: When in heavy traffic, when the line moves just a little bit, don't press the accelerator. The engine will pull you along slowly. It's generally enough to keep up with the slow moving traffic.

You may have 2 AC units.

Do you have rear climate control in your minivan or SUV? If so, you may have a second AC unit or booster in your vehicle. Some only control the fan but others have a second air conditioning unit for the rear. When you use the separate rear one, it KILLS your fuel economy. See if it makes a difference for you, you'll know right away.

To get around this, we sometimes just use the main AC, but boost up the fan and direct it to the rear.

Switch off A/C when climbing a hill/flyover

Switching off the car aircon while climbing a hill or a flyover reduces that much load on the engine and thereby also improving the car fuel economy.

Go easy when you're stuck!

When stuck in mud or snow, don't make the problem worse by damaging an expensive component. Gently rocking in an attempt to free the car is fine. But if it looks as though you're really stuck, don't keep at it. Throwing your car from forward to reverse repeatedly, as well as spinning tires at high speeds, can generate lots of heat and spell trouble for transmissions, clutches, and differentials. It may be cheaper in the long run to call the tow truck rather than risk big repair bills down the road. It's always a good idea to carry a traction aid in the trunk, such as sand, gravel, or kitty litter.

Don't fill up if you see the tanker!

If you happen to see a gasoline tanker filling the tanks at your local gas station, come back another day or go to a different station. As the station's underground tanks are being filled, the turbulence can stir up sediment. Sediment in your gas can clog fuel filters and fuel injectors, causing poor performance and possibly necessitating repairs.

Recording your odometer reading

When I fuel up, I write my odometer reading right on the receipt, which I make sure to get. If I'm caught without a pen, I do one of several things. 1) Take a picture of the pump with my phone as suggested elsewhere. 2) Most phones have a feature to write a note and save it in the phone, or just send yourself a text message with your odometer reading. 3) Zero out your trip odometer, and when you get home, record your odometer reading and your trip meter reading and subtract your trip odometer from your odometer to arrive at your odometer reading when you filled up.

Take a picture

I was frustrated that the gas stations are always out of receipt paper at the pump. So I am always scrampling for a notepad to avoid going in to the station. My wife said to just take a picture of the pump. Thought it was a great idea. I just snapped a photo with the phones camera of the gallons and price with one click. Saved notepad paper and receipt paper. Just an idea. Hope it works for you.

Keep you car Tuned Up!

Always perform regular maintenance on your vehicle. Use synthetic engine oil (if its compatible) and change it per your vehicle manufacturer recommendations. Synthetic for most cars and trucks actually lowers the engine's turning resistance, plus it handles higher internal temperatures without breaking down as easily. In short it helps your mileage!
Also keep your transmission fluid topped and fresh! Have it and the filter changed at least every 50 thousand miles. Keep the engine and engine bay clean, your filters changed regularly, and be sure to have it tuned up/checked out every year or so!

Passing Cars

With an automatic transmission, manually shift out of overdrive or shift down just before passing. This avoids the need to press the accelerator all the way down to 'engage' the passing gear.

watch your Air pressure

Especially now in early spring with the temperatures rising and falling it's imperative to check your tire pressure on a regular basis. An under inflated tire will cost you more fuel and also affect handling.

Keep her waxed

A slippery Car cuts through the air better than a dirty one. So keep your car washed and waxed, make sure nothing is hanging underneath.

Switch out of defrost mode

Many of today’s vehicles turn on the A/C automatically when you turn on defroster mode, many without illuminating the A/C indicator. You may inadvertently be driving around with your A/C compressor engaged which is killing your mileage. Check it out on your vehicle!

Consistent Filling!

When filling the car always do the same thing. i.e. fill it until the pump cuts off OR fill it to the top of the neck.
I filled my wife's car & it shows poorer MPG as I fill to the top of the neck, she fills to first cut off.

Re LPG - some LPG pumps fill to a greater capacity than others, this can vary your MPG figure too.
Gareth

Manual Transmissions - Shift at lower RPMs

For those of you who drive stick, upshifting at lower revs will use less gas; consequently, driving in a higher gear will use less than driving in a lower gear, as your revs will be lower.

Around town, I usually upshift at just above 2000 RPM; sure the engine produces less torque at lower revs, but since you're not racing around elementary schools there's no need to gun it at low speeds.

I use the rule of thumb to keep my RPMs always between 1500-2500 RPM, as I feel that's the best compromise between torque and fuel economy. Thus I'll be in fourth gear even just coasting through my neighborhood.

Note though - when you are traveling up hills, high gears will actually reduce fuel economy, as your engine has to struggle to climb the gradient with low torque. So everything I said above should apply to level grades only.

Watch pedestrian coundown clocks.

Many communities have timers showing how long a pedestrian can cross the street before the light changes. Drivers can use this coundown and start coasting when they realize they wont make a green light.

Accelerate moderately

Contrary to popular opinion, the slowest acceleration is not the most efficient. Engines are more efficient at higher torque but less efficient at higher RPMs. You want to accelerate as much as possible without letting the RPMs go too high (over 2500-3000 for many engines).

Check speedo against GPS

If you are tracking your mileage using the trip meter in your car, you may find you are being short changed, on average by about 5%. If you have a GPS, do a quick check yourself, work out the difference by driving at 60mph on your GPS and compare against the speedometer in your car. Typically when doing 60mph on the GPS you will only be doing about 57mph on your speedo. So, if using the speedo to track your fuel usage, you will actually be travelling 5% more than you are tracking, making your fuel economy appear worse than it actually is.

Walk Thru Don't Drive Thru.

Instead of getting into that long line to get your lunch and idle all the way around the restaurant, park and go inside to place your order. There have even been times I have gotten in and back out before the car at the end of the line made it through!

Don't orbit the parking lot...

Always take the first available parking space that you find on entering the parking lot. That way you will keep the distance driven, and fuel used, to a minimum.

Empty the Junk from the Trunk

The less weight in your car, the better the gas mileage. Do a little spring cleaning and remove everything from the trunk of your car (and everywhere else) that doesn't need to be there.

Avoid backing out

When parking in a parking lot, look for a space where you can pull through so you'll be able to start up and pull away without backing up. It's not only safer, but it's more fuel efficient compared to the 20+ second maneuvering it usually takes when backing out of a space.

Long Trip First

When making a trip with multiple stops, such as running errands, start by making the longest leg of your trip first. This helps to get the engine up to its operating temperature before you turn it off for your first stop. Your engine will run more efficiently, put out lower emissions and start easier once it's up to operating temperature.

Practice carpooling

Forget MPG and use MPPG!! Share your car with your work's friends. Consider the fuel economy by 'Miles * carried People Per Gallon' not only by MPG. A car is more efficient when there is 5 peoples on board! Stop driving alone if possible.

The right vehicle for each task

If you have a large vehicle for hauling passengers and/or cargo, consider getting a smaller one such as a scooter for going places where you just need to transport yourself and some small items. A scooter can get 100mpg, which will go along way toward paying for it in the long run (more quickly than a new hybrid). Plus it's a more fun way to go places.

To Coast in Neutral or Not...

Coasting to a stop in neutral with a modern manual (and in some instances automatic) transmission might not actually save you as much gas as keeping it in gear. Many modern engine management systems sense deceleration and negative load while the car is in gear and cut off fuel from the injectors, allowing the turning drive shaft to keep the engine going. Shifting into neutral while decelerating means the system has to keep the engine running with gas.

Combine Trips

Combine trips when possible. Go to the store on your way home from work. Get gas when you pick the kids up from school. A vehicle is most efficient when fully warmed up.

Know Your Route

I use a simple GPS that I bought for only $99. Whenever I am unfamiliar with the route, I plug in the address to avoid getting lost and waisting miles. It also works great for finding food and fuel stops along the route of your trip.

Consider a Diesel

When looking for a new car, do your homework and research today's new diesel cars. Diesels have been reborn with clean, quiet engines that have low carbon footprints and meet today's toughest standards for exhaust emissions. Diesels offer 30 to 40 % better fuel economy than equivalent size gas engines, and have loads of torque making them fun to drive. Clean, fun and efficient, and worth a look.

Check the pressure in your spare too.

When you check the pressure in your tires don't forget to check the pressure in your spare. Many people are dilligent about checking the pressure in their tires, but neglect the spare when checking the pressure and adding air in tires that need it. Remember that the spare is a pneumatic tire also and will bleed down over time. The time to find a low spare is when you don't need it, not when you are trying to change a tire on the side of the road somewhere and need it to be full to get you home.

Cruise Control not always better

On flat or constant grades, the cruise works best for MPG. hover on constantly changing grades the cruise is regularly changing throttle position to maintain a constant speed. In other words it is accelerating and coasting regularly.... you may notice the automatic transmission will up and down shift depending on the vehicle. depending on how advanced the cruise setup is it may increase gradually or more commonly go to an all or none setting to resume speed. like putting your foot to the floor.. It is doing the all or none If you have used the resume button after braking from cruise say to slow down by 10 mph and the car downshifts and takes off like its floored to get back to cruising speed... You do better by gradually accelerating back to your cruising speed then pressing resume... Non electronic cruises that are cable controlled will surge and often exceed the cruise speed then settle back to the preset speed. This is caused by a streched and out of adjustment cruise cable.. most are easily adjusted and will result in a smoother cruise with less surging

Buy the proper octane for your vehicle

Contrary to popular belief more octane doesn't make your engine perform better nor is the gasoline any cleaner than lower octane ratings. Octane is a burn retardant, that means that it slows down the rate of combustion (burning) for gasoline. Octane ratings higher than those required by your engine actually decrease performance, albeit very slightly and probably imperceptively at that, so buying higher octane ratings than needed just wastes money. As engines wear and tire out you may need a higher octane rating to control detonation, my last car wouldn't climb the mountains on 87 after about 100,000 miles and needed 89 - 91 to keep from pinging, but around town it did just fine on 87 octane up until I had it rebuilt at 195,000 miles.

I am not reccomending violating your owner's manual requirements, if your owners manual says to use mid grade or high test then by all means do it, don't jeopordize your warranty to save a few cents per gallon, but if you're adding high test because you think it is better gas and your manual doesn't suggest or require it, then you should revisit this logic.

Watch That Speed Limit!

Every vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed, but gas mileage usually decreases quite rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. In fact, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas! And, let's face it, observing the speed limit is also safer, too!

Stay Calm, Save Gas!

Aggressive driving maneuvers like speeding, rapid accelerations and hard braking, can really waste your gas. In fact, it can lower your gas mileage by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, too, so you may save more than just gas money.

Turns Without Braking

Note: Safety First! Careful Practice Is Advisable! Results Will Vary Depending on Your Vehicle's Center of Gravity, Handling, etc.

You can take turns at around 20mph without having to apply the brakes & slow momentum. Even up to 90-degree or cloverleaf turns are manageable in my car. So, if you coast slowly to an intersection & aren't impeding traffic, and you have right-of-way, there's no need to brake before entering the turn. Plus, coming out of the turn, centripetal forces assist you in re-accelerating to proper speed.

As a further note, if you're approaching too fast to no-brake the turn/curve, be sure to brake down to the proper mph-range for your vehicle PRIOR to entering the turn, so you can still take advantage of momentum to accelerate coming out of it.

Start your car efficiently

Don't push the accelerator when you start a modern vehicle. It is unnecessary, wastes fuel, and is hard on your engine. Back in the day of carbureted cars you had to floor the pedal once or twice before cranking your engine to engage the choke and then often had to add a little throttle to get the engine to catch and stay running. Todays modern fuel injected engines don't need either of these things, in fact they should be started without touching the accelerator pedal. When the engine is first started the oil is all in the pan, starting the engine with the gas down will cause engine parts to wear unnecessarily, shortens the life of your starter, and wastes fuel.

Reverse Without Gas

For auto-transmissions, you don't need to press the pedal to move if you're in Reverse gear. The engine torque (?) will move you, unless you're sitting on an inhospitable incline (which should be avoided, too).

Basically, don't touch the gas pedal if you are reversing. The engine will move your vehicle naturally & pushing the accel pedal is just a waste. No one accelerates in reverse (except in the movies) for any good purpose.

Apropriate Engine Oil

Using engine oil with the correct specifications and suitable for the car and the weather outside is very useful for fuel economy and it maintains the vehicle in the best state. It also gives additional horse power!!

Leave a Buffer

Following other cars closely means you have no choice but to brake when they brake (for example, a car in front of them slows to make a turn). Leave several car lengths ahead of you, and use that space to smooth out your cruising speed.

Leave Early

Leave early for your trip or commute, general rule is 1 minute per mile of travel. What this will do, is to remove the urgency to get through that light that is turning red anyway, and remove the pressure of being late.

This will save fuel because you will naturally drive more "mellow", and thus drive more efficiently. There is an added benefit from this, reducing commuter stress and road rage. On a long trip, this will give you time for a nice lunch, or longer rest at a stop you may like.

Don't Look Back!

Consider parking at a store in the double parking slots. This works only when both slots are available. Enter as you normally would into the chosen space, but continue on to the other side so the front of the car is facing the parking lane.

This eliminates two times of accelerating (once to back up, and once to start up again forward), by simply being able to pull out forward.

Sure, you might have to park farther out, but I usually do that anyway to avoid unwanted door dings, and I get a little more physical activity in my day. Hope this helps!

Get Ready to Drive Before Starting the Engine

Before I start my cars engines, I make sure I am ready to drive. I adjust the seat if necessary, make sure any items I have with me are secure, fasten my seat belt, adjust the mirror, adjust the tilt steering, put on my sun glasses if necessary and do anything else that needs doing. It may only take 20 or 30 seconds to do these things but it you start the engine first, that means 20 or 30 seconds of letting the engine wastefully idle.

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