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Fuel Saving Tips

Speed-O and Odometer error

Vehicle speed and odometer may have different errors. Most vehicles with ABS option the vehicle speed is normally taken from one wheel or averaged among the 4 wheels. The Odometer is recorded from an output on the transmission. If you do not have ABS on your vehicle the Speed and Odometer is read from the Transmission. The last option is you have ABS, but the manufacture was still reading it from the transmission. The best method for insuring the accuracy of the Speed-O-meter is to test it against a GPS. The best method of insuring the accuracy of the Odometer is measuring it against a known distance, such as the milepost of an interstate highway over a distance of 100 miles or more. GPS Trip distance measurement is inaccurate.

posted by racenviper on August 18, 2014

this tip works for 33% of voting Fuelly members.

Oncoming traffic

Ever felt the wind from oncoming traffic? One vehicle is not so bad, but we usually don't ever just have one car pass us in the opposite direction. Giving as much distance as is safe between you and oncoming traffic is not only safer, but can help keep your fuel mileage from dropping unnecessarily, especially as traffic gets heavier.

posted by sparkn on August 15, 2014

this tip works for 0% of voting Fuelly members.

Find the sweet spot of needed throttle pressure.

When traveling around highway speeds note your throttle input. Find the speed that requires the least amount of pressure on the accelerator/throttle. There are lots of variables that effect this and it will change day to day. Slower may not always be more efficient. Your car may need more rpms, higher speed to be efficient. An easy way to monitor this is through the addition of an "eco gauge" that can easily be plugged into your cars computer.

posted by Lokis_Tyro on August 13, 2014

this tip works for 0% of voting Fuelly members.

Turn off the engine

When sitting at a red light (unless you're right at the front) or waiting for a passenger turn off the engine. Saves fuel and pollution. Lights on orange - restart the engine ready to go. The heater can still put out warm air or the aircon cool air for a little after the engine is switched off.

posted by xj53c on August 10, 2014

this tip works for 75% of voting Fuelly members.

Be sure that your engine is idling well

An engine idling above 1000 rpm's is a bad symptom of a failure of it, but it maybe minimal so you keep on running it that way because you don't notice it or simply you think that it can run perfectly that way, that it's just an odd thing. Well, be sure that the engine is idling at the speed that the owner's manual advise, if it's not something may be wrong as fuel injectors, throttle bodies, intake systems, etc... Those reparations are simple and if you don't do them, besides having a mechanical failure you'll be wasting fuel.

posted by judacomadc on August 7, 2014

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't turn on the engine if its not needed

There are some situations in which turning on the engine is not needed, in my case I do it when I have to move some feet my car to give way on a parking lot or so, taxi drivers in my city do it as well. It may sound dumb, but by doing this you avoid operating the engine when less efficient because of the cold starts. Also, when you hit a big traffic jam like when some accident happened and traffic is not moving you can turn it off, or if a cop or somebody stops you to have a chat you can switch it off as well. The thing is: try to use the engine only when is really needed.

posted by judacomadc on August 7, 2014

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

Set mileage calculator to instant-read

Instead of leaving your mileage calculator on the default average MPG setting, move it to "instant-read" mode. You'll get immediate feedback on how various actions affect your MPG. For example, I learned that tailing a semi on the highway increases my MPG 7-10 mpgs, and turning on the AC decreases it by 5. As a result of this instant feedback, I have learned how to become an even more gas-efficient driver!

posted by Juttah on August 4, 2014

this tip works for 100% of voting Fuelly members.

Use high-quality synthetic lubricants.

The most inefficient part of your car is the motor. A minority of the potential chemical energy that enters your cyclinders will be converted into usable power; most of the energy in the fuel is lost due to pumping losses, friction, and heat-transfer. Reducing the friction in your engine, transmission, and differentials by using a PAO based, non petroleum lubricant (Like Amsoil, Redline, or Royal Purple), will increase your feul efficiency 3-10%. The effect is most noticable in large 4WD vehicles, and is less noticable in lighter cars. For instance, my 2001 2.3L Accord milage increased by about 7% after switching, as you can see in my fuel history.

posted by ChampagneRocket on August 4, 2014

this tip works for 0% of voting Fuelly members.

Reduce braking to save gas

You will get better mileage by using the brakes as little as possible, maintaining speed and momentum wherever you can. You don't even need brakes at all, if the horn works!

posted by Stoopy on July 31, 2014

this tip works for 100% of voting Fuelly members.

Modding your off-road vehicle: what to expect

If expectations are in line with reality, unhappiness is avoided. When modifying a Jeep or other SUV, keep in mind: - 2 highway mpg for Roof Basket [reduced aerodynamics] - 3 highway mpg for Larger Tires (1.5 inches taller than stock in my case; suspension lift may be required to run larger tires) [taller tires reduce mechanical advantage, like running in a higher gear. Larger tires are also heavier. Results will vary.] - 1 highway mpg for adding steel skid plates, rock sliders, bumpers, etc. [extra weight] There is a trade-off between mpg and off-road prowess. This trade-off can be partially overcome by spending even more $$$: +2 highway mpg for Re-gearing the differentials (e.g., from 3.73 to 4.10 ring & pinions). This mod can regain your rig some power and mpg if you are running tires 1.5+ inches taller than stock, but will decrease mpg with the stock tire size. [increases mechanical advantage, offsetting larger tires. Results will vary.] Example: V6 Jeep Liberty with roof basket, 4 inch lift, larger tires (245/75/R16; stock 225/75/R16), but not yet re-geared: Stock Configuration: 14 mpg city, 22 mpg highway Modded: 11 mpg city, 16 mpg highway

posted by lfhoward on July 28, 2014

this tip works for 0% of voting Fuelly members.

AC Setting helps MPG

Cars typically are more fuel efficient when the air conditioner is set to re-circulate interior air. This is because keeping the same air cool takes less energy than continuously cooling hot air from outside. Of course, turning off the air conditioner saves even more fuel. For driving around town and not at highway speed, keeping the windows open and the air conditioning off is the more fuel-efficient way to go, if you can stand it.

posted by 1motime on July 27, 2014

this tip works for 100% of voting Fuelly members.

Choose the better route.

If you choose the route closer to sea level, and higher in humidity your engine will run more efficiently then EPA estimates. Water vapor adds to the combustion pressure, giving you more HP.

posted by Macbriggs2 on July 25, 2014

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

Stop wasting your time.

Stop wasting your time waiting for yourself to get hungry, or waiting for the other shoe to drop. Make an errand day like an adult, load that kitchen up and stop making trips to grab refreshments and food, you can make that at home for cheaper and you know it. That'll save you a ton in gasoline, not to mention all the savings not paying people to make your meals / drinks !!!

posted by Macbriggs2 on July 24, 2014

this tip works for 100% of voting Fuelly members.


For those of you with manual shift vehicles: If you're not using the a/c constantly, coasting to stop lights in neutral with the engine off, and keying back on as the light turns green, can greatly increase the gas mileage of any vehicle. One long, light pump of the brake pedal will not deplete the brake booster, leaving you with plenty of braking power as you come to a stop. This method alone gave me an extra ten mpg on my daily drive, which adds up fast!

posted by cowmeat on July 20, 2014

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

Cruise control on roads with hills

Never use cruise control on roads with a lot of hills. You will waste more gas than you would with normal acceleration. For instance when going down hill take your foot of the gas pedal and coast down. Once you get leveled out use the gas pedal again. Cruise control is good for the Freeway/Highway.

posted by AdamStryker on July 19, 2014

this tip works for 100% of voting Fuelly members.

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!

posted by Mitch6R on April 24, 2013

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by mattfitznz on April 23, 2013

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by choppysmash on April 23, 2013

this tip works for 44% of voting Fuelly members.

When buying LRR know this.

Low rolling resistance tires also have low grip, and you may notice poor grip if you live somewhere not built like a grid. I would rather buy a grippy tire and keep my speed in the corners. Do your research!!

posted by Mitch6R on April 9, 2013

this tip works for 66% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by mexglx on March 28, 2013

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by ItalianHonda on March 20, 2013

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.


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.

posted by Mitch6R on March 11, 2013

this tip works for 48% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by bates on March 5, 2013

this tip works for 49% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by engineered on February 27, 2013

this tip works for 57% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by pegn on February 22, 2013

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by bates on February 22, 2013

this tip works for 75% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by oeight74 on February 21, 2013

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.

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!

posted by snwbdr09173 on February 14, 2013

this tip works for 99% of voting Fuelly members.

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!

posted by vtecintegra9 on February 4, 2013

this tip works for 44% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by HuskyNuda on February 3, 2013

this tip works for 81% of voting Fuelly members.