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Fuel Saving Tips

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.

posted by parkave98 on March 8, 2009

this tip works for 93% of voting Fuelly members.

Start Warm!

Using an engine block or coolant heater to pre-heat your engine will allow you to achieve maximum fuel economy much more quickly. Even in the summer, your engine starts out at about 120 degress below peak efficiency temperature. The benefits are especially large for diesels, as they tend to take much longer to heat up, due to their thermal efficiency. Tarbe

posted by Tarbe on March 5, 2009

this tip works for 88% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by coolbreeze on February 26, 2009

this tip works for 84% of voting Fuelly members.

Pulse and Glide

If your car has an manual tranny OR, as in my case, you have a car with an automated manual transmission (the Smart is the only such car, AFAIK), you may find your milage improves a bit thru pulse-and-glide. Here is the trick: Choose an optimum speed, say 60 mph. Then speed up to 65, let the car go back to 55, and repeat. Even on a flat road, you'll do better than if you were to set the CC to 60. Here's why: It doesn't take much to raise the speed a bit over the optimum, and then while you're decelerating, you're basically not using any gas. Here's proof: I have better reported milage than any Smart Car owner with more than a handful of fill-ups, averaging over 44 mpg in nearly 100 visits to the gas station! And this works really well in hybrids, too! I should point out: This tip really works when traffic is light -- otherwise you'll interfere with the flow of traffic, and it's probably not worth it!

posted by unicycle on February 12, 2009

this tip works for 27% of voting Fuelly members.

The More Power the Better!

Do you drive on a small (2-3) lane highway with a relatively efficient but underpowered car? You may be using the same amount of gas on that daily drive trying to pass traffic as a car that is more powerful. If you can't resist some enthusiastic driving, a more powerful car is maybe what you need. When you accelerate and mash the gas in your underpowered car, trying to pass traffic, you're being fuel inefficient. Try switching to a more powerful car (something around 300hp). You'll find that with more power, gradual acceleration will still provide enough power to pass other drivers, while returning back on fuel economy.

posted by crazjayz on February 10, 2009

this tip works for 14% of voting Fuelly members.

Fix-A-Flat cans for your vehicles

You can get a can of fix-A-Flat sealant and inflation propellant in a can for less than $5.00 (I've even found it at the $0.99 store sometimes for less than $1.00.) at many auto parts stores. A can of that can often allow you to get to the tire shop without having to change the tire. I keep a can in all of my cars, 2 cans for trucks with big tires. But beware, the sealant can make a goey mess that gets on the wheels as well as the inside of the tires. This mess isn't looked upon fondly by most tire shop repair persons. If you're in a pinch it may get you home but it isn't intended as a permenant repair.

posted by bates on February 8, 2009

this tip works for 17% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by bates on February 8, 2009

this tip works for 93% of voting Fuelly members.

Coasting through curves SAVES gas!

When driving on those back roads or even on the highway, coasting around curves in the road will save gas. There is no need to accelerate if you don't have to. The coasting of the car through curves also helps to maintain proper speed limit. Of course, some corners may require you to accelerate. Just something to think about, since most people don't! In most cases, this will save you a little money in the long run. Give it a try!

posted by xtcbct on February 2, 2009

this tip works for 52% of voting Fuelly members.

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

posted by soutthpaw on February 1, 2009

this tip works for 85% of voting Fuelly members.

Safety Tip

Don't tailgate !

posted by Jerrya2k9 on January 11, 2009

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by bates on January 4, 2009

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.

Keep The A/C On!

Contrary to popular belief, running the A/C in your car does not waste gas! While the A/C compressor does pull its power from the engine, the effect appears to be completely negligible in modern cars. And, with the A/C off, putting the windows down for cooling tends to increase drag on most cars, cancelling out any minimal gain from turning the A/C off. So, turn that A/C on, and not only will you be more comfortable, your mileage should stay the same!

posted by DrewSRQ on January 4, 2009

this tip works for 43% of voting Fuelly members.

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!

posted by DrewSRQ on January 4, 2009

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by DrewSRQ on January 4, 2009

this tip works for 94% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by cee on January 3, 2009

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by bates on January 2, 2009

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by cee on December 27, 2008

this tip works for 62% of voting Fuelly members.

Vacuum Gauge

Buy a vacuum gauge and hook it up. Drive by using it instead of focusing on keeping rpms down. More vacuum equals better mpg.

posted by GotGas on December 24, 2008

this tip works for 90% of voting Fuelly members.

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!!

posted by drmood on December 20, 2008

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by knave on December 18, 2008

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.

The Coasting Game

I know not every one likes to drive the back roads because the MPH are slower.But if you live around alot of back roads with hills it can gain you better fuel milage. You Ask How; simple. Plan your trip using the roads with the hills going to and use flat roads coming back (Note this work better if you have an manul transmission). When you get to the road with the hill take the car and put it in Neutral and coast as far as the car will go. Now keep in mind the speed limit and the cars behind you. ( Note if the the speed limit is 35MPH I will coast 5MPH under the limit as far as the car will go then Put it in the gear that will not spike the RPMs up).

posted by ilovatto on December 6, 2008

this tip works for 12% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by Dragon64Leo on December 4, 2008

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

Proper Accelleration

Many suggest wimpy 'egg on the pedal' acceleration as best for mileage but it ain't so. Internal combustion engines do the most work for the quantity of fuel burned at the top of their torque curve. So push the pedal firmly allowing the engine to get up the curve. If you have an instant MPG indication in your car it will read a horribly low number but that's OK for those few seconds it takes to get up to speed. In this way you will also: 1) Get into higher gears more quickly, especially overdrive, where your mileage is best. 2) Get traffic moving behind you thus letting more cars through a light and saving others fuel as well. You know you are pushing the pedal too hard though if you spin your tires or see the tachometer near the red line!

posted by DrFranken on December 1, 2008

this tip works for 87% of voting Fuelly members.

..Auto Trans--Learn Yer Ride.. takes some careful monitoring and/or practice, but you can learn the "sweet spots" where your veh switches gears (to lower RPM)..once you get an idea of your ride's "feel", then accelerate steadily (but not heavily) to that sweet spot & let the engine shift & work less as quickly (again, not using lead-foot but steady acceleration) as possible.. here's to high-MPG!>> --c.

posted by cee on November 22, 2008

this tip works for 67% of voting Fuelly members.

Cruise as much as possible!

When going on highways, even though speeding at 70 or 80 may not give the best mpg as 65, it will when you let go of the gas pedal to recieve maximum mpg and longer cruising time before hitting the gas again. Therefore when going at 65...lightly accelerate until hitting 70 then let go of the gas for cruising instead of having the foot on the pedal all the time. Then repeat the technique again when it hits 65 again.

posted by Khoifishh on November 18, 2008

this tip works for 12% of voting Fuelly members.

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!

posted by cemnei on November 13, 2008

this tip works for 85% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by spacetime on November 9, 2008

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

Regular tuneups for older cars

Older cars can benefit from a conversion from points to electronic ignition. Simply switching to a Pertronix unit will save the hassle of adjusting and lubing the distributor cam and only takes about 15 minutes to do. Spark plugs on older cars can get pretty cruddy and should be changed out every year or so.

posted by TorkLugnutz on November 8, 2008

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

..Automatic Transmission Suggs..

..ok, coasting is best with a manual transmission, but it also can be effective with auto-trans vehicles..however, putting an automatic into neutral at a prolonged stop actually ups the RPM the engine runs at, for most vehicles.. ..i've found watching my RPMs, instead of my actual MPH, is a better way to try to adjust my automatic mini-wagon for better fuel efficiency.. ..i mean, sometimes i'll be barely pressing the accelerator (or even just trying to coast) & the automatic transmission shifts to a lower gear/higher RPM.. makes sense to use the gas to make sure your engine doesn't downshift, i usually happens on slight inclines..accelerating a bit there keeps my Outback from dropping a gear & upping the RPM from around 1500 to 2500.. ..results may vary, so get to know the idiosyncrasies of your own ride.. l8r, fellow-fuellyers!>> --c.

posted by cee on November 2, 2008

this tip works for 29% of voting Fuelly members.

..Road Mgt..

..i know it's sorta counter-intuitive, since folks here are trying to maximize their OWN fuel economy, but since we're paying much more attention to the road than the average Joe/Jane, this sorta makes sense to me.. ..rather than driving the freeways at 50-55mph & becoming an "obstacle" to other drivers, be aware of your surroundings & gradually increase speeds when you see someone charging up on you..or increase speed to start with (i like to use this on pickups, SUVs, & other low-mileage types), then ease off, causing the faster moving traffic to ease their speed (without braking, optimally).. ..the idea is to prevent other drivers from doing the being a "road manager" you can help prevent other, more clueless motorists from wasting fuel..if it costs me a MPG or so but helps improve the clueless one's by the same (or more) it's a net wash/gain, no?.. ..for ex: if i see a semi coming up from behind in the distance (knowing their propensity to tailgate & try to intimidate cars to move out of their way) & i can tell he's traveling faster than me, i'll gradually increase my own speed to prevent him from having to step on the brakes..if there's plenty of passing room/lanes, it's not so much a concern, but if traffic is heavy or i'm on a narrower-type highway, it makes sense (to me) to up my speed a tad.. ..i also like to do this "road management" thing when i realize the vehicle following is willing to adapt their speed down to my own..often someone will approach more slowly & then cruise behind me for awhile (`til they get frustrated, i guess) before passing in an empty long as they don't vrrooom by, it's a success in my book.. here's to hypermiling!>> --c.

posted by cee on November 2, 2008

this tip works for 40% of voting Fuelly members.