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Fuel Saving Tips

Stop and Go traffic

This might be worth adding to projekt6's advice on stop and go traffic...most manual transmission cars can idle in gear in the lower 2- 3 gears without driver's throttle input; the idle air control valve will compensate for load. Again, nice for crawling in traffic.

posted by leighv on November 2, 2010

this tip works for 33% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't Use Neutral!!

Most people don't know this but many modern cars actually shut off the fuel injectors if you take your foot off the gas over 25 mph or so. The motion of the wheels turning through the transmission keeps the pistons moving and therefore, the engine stays running even though no combustion is taking place. It sounds contradictory but if you are on fumes and trying to make it to the gas station, leave the car in gear! Shifting into neutral will cause the engine to go to idle and the injectors will have to come back on, needlessly wasting fuel.

posted by lovemysantafe on October 27, 2010

this tip works for 75% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by silversx80 on October 25, 2010

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.

Drive with GPS on

Program your GPS even if you know where you're going. The GPS will tell you at what distance your next turn is. Learn how far your car car coast once you shift in neutral (manual) or release the gas pedal (automatic tranny), and let your GPS tell you how far the next turn or stop is. Here is an example for my car: - when traveling 55mph on level road, I shift in neutral 0.5 mile before a full stop. The car will slow down, and I will start applying brakes when the car has slowed down to 25 - 30 mph

posted by OldMan52 on October 14, 2010

this tip works for 27% of voting Fuelly members.

Read the manual regarding A/C use

Most vehicles automatically activate the A/C when settings on the climate control are in the Max, Defrost and Floor/Defrost settings. However, some manufacturer's activate the A/C when the floor (only) setting is used too. The best way to find out is by checking the owner's manual.

posted by boilermaker2 on October 12, 2010

this tip works for 63% of voting Fuelly members.

It's how you drive, not what you drive

In most cases, it's the way you drive that will affect your L/100KM reading. To try and get this number as low as possible (or high as possible if using MPG) is to always go easy and leave with plenty of time. If you are late, you will nearly always drive more aggressively, using more petrol and also wearing out car components quicker. I have also picked up that in lower torque cars, do not always change as early as possible, the engine will struggle and you will end up using more petrol if it is not a modern computer controller engine (because you put your foot further down). Also, don't assume that the slower the speed - the closer you get to being more efficient. I worked out (using my university's automotive engineering department equipment) that the most efficient speed for my car is 89.7 km/h I hope these help ;-)

posted by carlosbutler on October 9, 2010

this tip works for 88% of voting Fuelly members.

Two Quick Tips

1.) [This wont apply to vehicles with out power steering]. If your just inching up your drive way or some of that sort on a small incline, you can just wiggle your steering wheel enough for the power steering pump to kick in instead of having to tap the accelerator pedal. 2.) This works for my truck, but i do not know if other vehicles do it. I noticed in my cars if i just coast to a stop (i have an automatic) i will see the MPG reading jump to 99...i have read online is that because the fuel injectors get shut off when your foot isnt on the gas pedal, i know it sounds odd. but it sure does seem to work. I filled up almost a week ago and my gas tank is still 3/4 full. Usually id be at 1/2 or a little under that.

posted by jrtorress on October 7, 2010

this tip works for 7% of voting Fuelly members.

Use Craigslist Rideshare

Use craigslist rideshare for long trips. You help someone or more people out and they help recoup the cost of gas. Plus you're getting as a previous tip stated more MPPG. Also you have company for those really long trips.

posted by heyitsomid on October 5, 2010

this tip works for 33% of voting Fuelly members.

Get a motorscooter

I try to carpool when possible to work, but around town I always scooter for errands and meeting up with friends. There is more parking available for two wheels so you won't have to drive around and search. Traffic is a nonfactor, even on congested days cause you can just go around the cagers. And you get 70-90mpg without driving slow :P

posted by heyitsomid on October 5, 2010

this tip works for 56% of voting Fuelly members.

Compare gas brands to mileage

By comparing your style of driving per tank to the brand of gas of the previous fillup, you might find the 'cheaper' gas isn't always the most fuel efficient, by several dollars per tank.

posted by pegn on October 4, 2010

this tip works for 41% of voting Fuelly members.

Plug it in

With winter approaching, use your block heater if you have one. If you don't consider getting one installed. They plug into your house (I have mine on a lamp timer) and heat your coolant. This gets your engine up to temperature quicker, and causes less wear from cold components wearing on each other.

posted by Powershifts on October 2, 2010

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by slopo on October 2, 2010

this tip works for 26% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by MeatFarley on September 28, 2010

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by i90east on September 27, 2010

this tip works for 38% of voting Fuelly members.

know which tips to trust

My dad used to say "nothing succeeds like success" meaning if you want people to beleive your point of view, you better be a success in whatever you're suggesting. When you look at these tips-look at the profile of the tipster. I don't bother considering tips from anyone who gets poor mileage-what can that person teach me? Who do they think they're kidding giving tips when they get poor mileage?

posted by mtxjohn on September 21, 2010

this tip works for 85% of voting Fuelly members.

Use synthetics everywhere

It is commonly known that synthetic motor oil yeailds gains in MPG and engine life, but drivetrain losses can account for 10% lost horsepower to your wheels. Help reduce this by using synthetic transmission fluid. Be sure to consult a mechanic if you are unsure if your car can use this (IE, Hondas generally need honda ATF, but can use non-honda MTF)

posted by mtxjohn on September 21, 2010

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.

Avoid ethanol

My car requires premium-and "nonoxygenated" ie normal non-ethanol fuel gives me 6mpg better than 10% ethanol blend.

posted by mtxjohn on September 21, 2010

this tip works for 67% of voting Fuelly members.

GPS vs Speedo vs Odometer

Contrary to an earlier tip, your speedo will probably read faster than your GPS, this is because in some countries it is illegal for your speedo to read less than actual speed, but can read up to 10% faster. To allow for inaccuracies in the equipment most speedos are set to read faster so that they can never read slower than actual. Bear in mind also that the speedo doesn't have to match the odometer, and that the variances are different at different speeds. For instance, my speedo reads about 10% faster at all speeds over 40mph compared to GPS, but my odometer says i've travelled less distance than my GPS says.

posted by Mytheroo on September 14, 2010

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't brake to slow down in most traffic!

I've seen a lot of people on highways or moderate traffic get behind someone driving slower than they are and brake in order to avoid a collision. It's unnecessary to do so, as simply letting off the gas before you get too close will slow you down as well. Braking and then accelerating to match a new speed is a waste of engine power. In a manual transmission, downshift to slow down slightly more rapidly (unless that downshift brings you to >3000 RPM, then it's a grey area), then shift back in the needed gear once you've gotten near your new speed.

posted by playbass06 on September 11, 2010

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.

Where you circulate the air counts

Many people know that the common defroster settings of windshield and floor/windshield automatically turns on the A/C which of course decreases economy. However, depending on the vehicle, having all of the air come out of the bottom of the dash with the floor setting also activates the A/C. Your owners many indicate this (it does in the Ford manuals I've read over time). If it doesn't mention this, you can test yourself. At night, with the car running and the A/C button off (if equipped), have your lights on with the air coming out of the front panels, then switch to the floor setting. If the A/C comes on your RPM's should drop and should lights dim for a moment within about 10-30 seconds after switching. You may have been paying for years a helpful service you did not want...

posted by boilermaker2 on September 11, 2010

this tip works for 43% of voting Fuelly members.

A little weight in the bed helps

The rear end of pick-up trucks is light so there is not much down force over the drive wheels. I have gotten some of the best mileage with weight in the truck on the highway. This does not work in stop and go traffic but on the highway it helps out. A few hundred pounds is sufficient. There are people who will argue that extra weight kills mileage but they are unfamiliar with the concept of proper weight distribution.

posted by Highwaylizard on September 7, 2010

this tip works for 21% of voting Fuelly members.

Keep the car level

When you fill up at gas stations with a tilted surface, you will either put in more or less than you would at a gas station with a flat surface. The more or less in the tank might alter your results when tracking mpg.

posted by wjf on September 6, 2010

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.

Another way to record data at the pump

My cheapo pay-as-you-go cell phone doesn't have a camera. While it does have a "notes" function, it doesn't have a QWERTY keyboard. However, it DOES have a voice recorder, and I've used it to note data at the pump if the receipt printer is out of paper (about one out of every 12-15 fill-ups, it seems). When I get home, I play back the voice recording, and enter it into Fuelly -- simple!

posted by jprestonian on September 4, 2010

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't fill your tank.

Even though you need to fill up for this site to work properly, you should only do it when necessary (long trips, etc). Hauling around a full tank of fuel is wasting fuel. Everyone has different needs and requirements but keeping your fuel levels reasonably lower can save significant weight which equals better mpg. A half tank is roughly 100 lbs lighter than a full tank, it's helpful.

posted by Pro4x on September 2, 2010

this tip works for 9% of voting Fuelly members.

fuel additives

use a fuel additive. i use lucas fuel treatment and have noticed a marked difference. it keeps my injectors clean, preserves gas, and burns more effeciently. just a few dollars for the bottle and it gives me approximately 35 miles more per tank.

posted by joedonbob on August 28, 2010

this tip works for 14% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by sexgun on August 23, 2010

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.

different types of fuel

there are many different types of fuel. and not all are the same. vehicles are design to run on certain types. the type of fuels that are the most trouble with vehicles today are those that are quote on quote bio. e-10 fuel for gas. it breaks down rapidly. e standing for ethanol and 10 for the percent. here in jersey thats all you get. it breaks down rapidly due to the fact its from a plant of some kind. plants do carry water, bateria, and whatever else there is to sustain life. if you go through gas often the chances are there wont be a problem. but if your tank last awhile, breakdown of the fuel happens. wich robs performance and fuel economy. especially in older vehicles. they do make additive to help it. startron is a great product and stabil does make a version. is blue in color. and ment to use while driving. older boat people know this if they have fiberglass tanks. cause it actually delaminates the tank and start to grow a fungus like goo in the fuel lines. i use about an half ounce to an ounce a week in my truck unless im gonna drive it til empty on a single trip. in my motorcycles wich are carbed, i use ounce every fill up. and it is extremely noticable in those vehicles. these are the only additives i recomend. now for diesel. ultra low sulfur fuels and bio. no matter what you perfer, bio will be in all fuels by 1 percent unless buying bio. bio does break down really fast. here where im in the north east, bio should be only 5 percent. winters are tough and it does freeze fast. extreme breakdowns wich makes me tons of money. as diesels owners know winter is tough no matter what. there are plenty of diesel additive companies out there. please only buy to true good stuff. buying some cheap additive isnt good. its a witches brew you have no idea whats in it. in warm weather just an additve will do, but in the winter. only buy an additive that it soul purpose is to take care of a certain issue. there is so much going on in a modern diesel engine unless you know how it actually works you will cause extreme and expensive damage. remember, just drive safely.

posted by njsurferlarry on August 15, 2010

this tip works for 14% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by projekt6 on August 15, 2010

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

just drive

just operate your car safely. tips on driving is nice but for the most part, just pay attention to the road. tips on driving. hot summer days, highway and ac is fine. highway and windows open. better off with ac on. tire pressure. no less than vehicle manufactured pressure and up to what the tire manufacturing says. over that can cause drivability problems like steering and braking. proper maintence. cheap quick lubes no good. full servicing wich would cost more good idea. tail gate up. steady cruising always beats stop and go. hyper miling really doesnt help. especially going on to a highway. you make it dangerous for yourself, the vehicle already driving and who ever is behind you. that penny saved doesnt equal a life on the road. your mpg is always gonna vary. its impossible to create the same driving habits all the time. there is just too much going on to do so. the weather such as hot to cold, dry air to humid, wind and no wind. and much more. plus by trying to drive slow not allowing parts like your catalytic converter got hot to clean exhaust can eventually clog and cause poor mileage and earlier breakdowns that cost alot so all that was saved will be lost anyways. so all in all, just drive and record what you are getting and use it as a guideline to watch what you spend and how much you consume. just drive and be safe. you arent the only one on the road.

posted by njsurferlarry on August 15, 2010

this tip works for 10% of voting Fuelly members.

Use manual shift mode on long trips

If you have a manual shift option on your automatic transmission, use it to keep your car in top gear when in the hills. I was able to keep the engine from downshifting on hills in cruise by manually selecting the top gear. In my case its 6th gear. Once I got in 6th gear on the highway the crusie never kicked down to 5th on the hills. I put it back in drive for a while and noticed that every steep hill would cause the transmission to downshift to 5th and jump the RPMs up. Seeing someone elses tip on cruise control often causing the engine to downshift on hills gave me the idea. Remember this works on all manuals and automatics with the +/- manual shift options on your gear selector. Some car makers call it tiptronic, steptronic, DSG, sport shift etc...basically if you can manually shift your automatic transmission into your top gear you can try this. It was worth 1 mpg on the rental car after 200 miles on the cars fuel gauge. Hope this helps.

posted by mexglx on August 4, 2010

this tip works for 17% of voting Fuelly members.