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Fuel Saving Tips


Modern cars warm up faster

Modern lubricants flow well in cold weather, and do their job better than their previous formulas. Modern engines are also made to much tighter tolerances. Fuel injection has eliminated the choke and the need for a warm manifold. You'll get better mileage if you only warm up the car for 30 seconds or so. The car will warm up faster with gentle driving for 5-10 minutes than it would idling for the same amount of time. Gentle driving will also warm up your brakes, preventing warped rotors, etc. that can be caused by an abrupt stop with cold brakes.

posted by chuckbalog on August 17, 2008

this tip works for 94% of voting Fuelly members.


Get an OBDII compatible computer

Cars built after ~1996 have a port (OBD II) for accessing the sensor data from your car. The Scanguage II is recommended.(http://www.scangauge.com/) "Trip computer: Maximum Speed, Average Speed, Maximum Coolant Temperature, Maximum RPM, Driving Time, Driving Distance, Fuel Used, Trip Fuel Economy, Distance to Empty, Time to Empty, Fuel to Empty A digital gauge: Fuel Economy, Fuel Rate, Battery Voltage, Coolant Temperature, Intake Air Temperature, Engine Speed (RPM), Vehicle speed (MPH), Manifold Pressure (not available on some vehicles), Engine Load, Throttle Position, Ignition Timing, Open/Closed Loop And scan tool: Reads Trouble Codes, Reads conditions that set the Trouble Code, Clears Trouble Codes, Turns off the "Check Engine" light, Tells you when vehicle is "Ready" to pass OBDII testing."

posted by Taera on August 14, 2008

this tip works for 95% of voting Fuelly members.


Is your alingment right???

If your cars wheels and tires are not aligned right this can cause a decrease in your MPG. If even the front Toe is out .10 degrees for 7500miles that tire has gone sideways for 25% of that time. Think about it is it more efficent to drive straight or sideways. allthough sideways might be more fun...:)

posted by pynikal on August 12, 2008

this tip works for 93% of voting Fuelly members.


Keep Tire Pressure High

Low tire pressure means more rolling resistance, which means more fuel consumption to move the car. Not to mention driving on under-inflated tires puts the driver at risk to tire blowouts and/or accidents, especially when turning. Check the inside of the driver door for a sticker that lists the suggested tire pressure and make sure all your tires at at that pressure. Don't forget to adjust your pressure if you're carrying a load, such as for a road trip or something.

posted by justinperkins on August 12, 2008

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.


Take it easy on the gas pedal

Instead of gunning it once the light changes to green, give it an easy acceleration. It isn't a race and revving that tach up when accelerating just uses up more gas. I try to keep mine around 2500 max when accelerating. Sure, people behind me may think I'm 150 yrs old. But, its not only saving me gas but them too! :)

posted by engineerdude on August 12, 2008

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.


Cruise control is your friend!

Use the cruise control where ever possible - make sure you don't use it in traffic, it is dangerous and don't use it in hilly regions. Also drive slow and passive. Aggressive starts from traffic light stops don't help you get anywhere much faster, but saves a lot of fuel.

posted by mrgoofy on August 11, 2008

this tip works for 42% of voting Fuelly members.


Use a higher gear

If you have a standard shift like I do (that's the real way to drive!), stick it in a higher gear whenever possible. Shifting to a higher gear lowers your RPMs so your car doesn't have to work as hard to keep the same speed. Don't stay in third if you're going 35... put it in fourth already. Or accelerate a bit more and you'll be cruising in fifth. Excellent.

posted by katiej88 on August 10, 2008

this tip works for 90% of voting Fuelly members.


50/50 Rule

As the television show Mythbusters has proven—when traveling under 50 MPH it is more fuel-efficient to leave your windows down and your AC off. When traveling over 50 MPH it is more fuel-efficient to have your AC on and your Windows up.

posted by TikiTantrum on August 10, 2008

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.


Don't Peel Out

If your in an automatic vehicle, take a few seconds between letting off the brakes and hitting the gas, because when you let off the brakes your car will start moving on its own, therefore saving gas because it takes more gas to get a car moving than it does to speed it up.

posted by pier27z on August 10, 2008

this tip works for 60% of voting Fuelly members.


Why charge a red light?

Look ahead, if you see a light is red just coast. You're not getting through the intersection until the light turns green anyway so why rush? You save the gas you didn't use to speed the car up to charge the red light, AND improve the chance that the light will turn green while you're still rolling. If you're still rolling when traffic moves you've saved the gas you would have used to get to that speed too! Also, less accelerating and braking will make for a more comfortable ride for your passengers.

posted by hudson on August 9, 2008

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.


fuel saving tips

If your vehicle has cross rails on the roof that never get used try taking them off to decrease wind resistance. I've found the best economical speed for my HIghlander is just below 50mph when the transmission just shifts into 5th and the RPM drops to 1500. The real-time mpg graph indicates over 30 mpg at this point. Cruise control on rolling hills can waste gas as the vehicle will shift down a lot trying to hold the set speed. It's better to use a gentle foot on the accelerator and try not to force a downshift.

posted by toycannon on August 9, 2008

this tip works for 90% of voting Fuelly members.


Cup of Coffee on Dashboard

Pretend you have a cup of hot coffee on the dashboard. Accelerate and decelerate in a manner that would not make the cup of coffee spill. That is the way you can improve your MPGs.

posted by pvertes on August 9, 2008

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.


Feel the Breeze

If it's a nice day outside, roll the windows down a little. Your A/C compressor eats away at your gas. In Texas, I noticed 7 mpg difference between the summer months and the spring/fall months as I was not using my AC during the fall or spring.

posted by JC on August 9, 2008

this tip works for 80% of voting Fuelly members.


Watch Your RPM's

Despite common belief speed is not really connected to MPG. The Revolutions Per Minute (RPM) of your car's engine is what really matters. If your car has a Tachometer watch your RPM's, keeping them low will use less fuel. Depending on the gearing of your transmission is what determines how fast you travel at a certain RPM.

posted by TikiTantrum on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 65% of voting Fuelly members.


Don't cut in line

While not a tip to directly effect your gas mileage, it'll help everyone behind you. When on the highway try not to switch lanes erratically. This is essentially what causes traffic. The person you cut off will break (maybe slam on their breaks!) causing the person behind them to break...a little harder, etc. The same goes for when you're sitting in traffic, it's best to sit in one lane, and minimize breaking by keeping a slow constant speed. Your car will appreciate it, and by virtue of keeping people behind you from stopping you'll do a little to alleviate the traffic jam.

posted by jjmatt33 on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.


Ease off the brakes

The moment you see a stop sign or red light (or a turn you have to make, etc.) take your foot off the gas (and put it in neutral if you've got a manual). Let your car roll to the stop. People behind you may get a little annoyed and speed by you just to come to a stop but don't worry about them, because if you time it right, you won't have to stop at all, the light will be green (thanks to the person who sped in front of you and is waiting at the light) and you can keep driving. Use this in moderation obviously, since there are some crazy drivers out there, and I'd rather you be safe, than save a few bucks at the pump :)

posted by jjmatt33 on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.


Accelerate a bit...sometimes

Though some people will tell you never to accelerate quickly, sometimes it's better to have a bit of a lead foot. Seriously. There are two main reasons for this. First: your engine likely operates at a higher efficiency (i.e. burns more fuel that would otherwise be wasted by your catalytic converter and just go out your exhaust) at around 80% acceleration. Second: Your car gets better MPG at higher speeds up to about 55-65 mph depending on your car. So as long as there aren't too many red lights ahead of you, it's best to get your car to the maximum legal speed as soon as possible.

posted by jjmatt33 on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 54% of voting Fuelly members.


Walk the line

Go inside rather than use the drivethrough. If you idle for more than 10 seconds, you're using more gas than needed for restarting your car.

posted by bonehead on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.


Coast...

Driving down a small hill? No need to hit the gas pedal. Just coast as long as you can while maintainign a safe speed.

posted by iamjoe on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 93% of voting Fuelly members.


Coast as much as possible

When it's safe, take your foot off the gas pedal completely and coast as much as possible. This is the equivalent of shutting off your engine, as you don't use any fuel at all when coasting.

posted by nmattus on August 8, 2008

this tip works for 81% of voting Fuelly members.


Pump You Up

Keep your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Low tires mean more surface area, and therefore more friction, which translates to higher fuel consumption. Check your tire pressure while your car is refueling. If you need more air, pump up while you are there!

posted by rickscully on August 7, 2008

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.


Stopped? Turn off your engine

If you're going to be sitting in your car with the engine running for more than 30 seconds or so, it saves fuel (which would be zero mpg at a standstill) to turn the engine off. Hybrids are famous for this, and it's a bit trickier to do in a regular car, but if you're at a long light, or waiting in a long line of cars, it does decrease fuel usage to simply turn off your car's engine.

posted by mathowie on August 1, 2008

this tip works for 70% of voting Fuelly members.


Use Cruise Control Often

On steady flat roads (especially at higher speeds), cruise control can save a lot of fuel by limiting accelerations and generally resulting in a smoother, more efficient trip.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.


Keep Your Distance in Traffic

When driving in stop and go traffic, try to keep a couple car-lengths of distance in front of you to minimize the chances of having to come to a complete stop (which requires you to start again, using more fuel). By maintaining some distance and a steady very slow speed, you can carry your momentum through traffic and save fuel.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.


Don't drive

It's obvious of course, but a great way to save fuel on all the short errand trips you do from home is to either walk, ride a bike, or at the very least cluster your errands into fewer trips. Riding/walking will also keep you healthy as well as save money and fuel.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 77% of voting Fuelly members.


Keep Filters Clean

Changing your oil filter and air filters as recommended is a good way to keep your engine running more efficiently and saving more fuel. Oil changes are common but you might forget to change the air filter often enough. Try it and you may see an increase in power and gas mileage if it's been a while.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.


Kill the Jackrabbit

Punching the gas from a stop (aka "jackrabbit starts") is a great way to waste fuel. You can optimize gas by starting from a stop slowly and gradually. Generally, drive as if you are taking a baby home from the hospital -- smooth, slow, and careful, to save the most fuel possible.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.


Slow it down

As much as I love to drive fast, it's a fact that you're on the freeway and you are driving beyond 65mph, your fuel economy will go down. As much as I like getting home faster by driving 80mph, going 55mph saves several mpg.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.


Save weight, save fuel

Don't leave heavy items you don't need in your car's trunk or truck bed. Put away tools, golf clubs, skis, whatever and watch your mileage go up. I noticed my car lost 2-3mpg when fully loaded on a long car trip, and returned to normal when emptied.

posted by mathowie on July 31, 2008

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.


Keep Tires Properly Inflated

You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. (from fueleconomy.gov.)

posted by pb on July 25, 2008

this tip works for 98% of voting Fuelly members.