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Fuel Saving Tips

Drive the flow of trafic...

If found that driving ~65 MPH, oddly does NOT get me the highest fuel economy, in heavy traffic. When I drive at a more higher speed of 75-80 MPH, I get better fuel economy (this is slower than the average flow of traffic)??? I assume, this is like following a semi-truck. Since the average block of traffic, is going 75-85 MPH, I'm sorta drafting, I suspect...

posted by ICantDriveFiftyFive on August 1, 2010

this tip works for 16% of voting Fuelly members.

Adjustable motorcycle screen

If you have a motorcycle with a height adjustable screen try to use the in the lowest position. The lower the screen, the better the gas mileage

posted by JQL on July 31, 2010

this tip works for 32% of voting Fuelly members.

Wide variation in fuel prices in France

Watch out for a wide variation in fuel prices in France, motorway service stations can be 30 cents a litre more! Use to check fuel prices in your area, it is a government website with all the fuel prices on it. There is often a much cheaper garage a couple of km away. Supermarkets, Esso and Elf are usually the cheapest in my area (06 Alpes Maritimes).

posted by smnbldwn on July 31, 2010

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by gory on July 22, 2010

this tip works for 52% of voting Fuelly members.

Keep it locked up

If your driving an automatic on the highway and you get to a hill, when you hear/see the engine RPM's go up but dont feel anything, it's not your imagination. whats happening is the link to the transmission from the engine went from a hard link to a fluid link. if you drive to prevent this you will get a better MPG because only 90$ of your engines power is used when in fluid couple mode. do things like slowly accelerate towards the hills so it stays locked longer

posted by Shimrra on July 21, 2010

this tip works for 32% of voting Fuelly members.

Vent or A/C?

If it's not too terribly hot, consider using the VENT setting on your A/C controls instead of using the A/C itself. You still get fresh air comming in and of course, no A/C = better gas usage.

posted by SEG388 on July 21, 2010

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

Air Filter

Keep her clean! It does more than you think. Higher flow filters help too. Consider using one.

posted by SEG388 on July 21, 2010

this tip works for 78% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by dhruvashar on July 20, 2010

this tip works for 59% of voting Fuelly members.

Fuelly fill up list

There have been several tips recently about keeping track of your fill ups and all are good. I'm a low tech type of person and use a piece of notebook paper. I list from left to right my odometer (trip) reading, # of gallons, price per gallon, date of fill up, mpg (for my own records to watch for trends) and brand of gasoline. Then when I get to a computer I can just type in the data in order from the sheet into my fill up form and I'm good to go. A small checkmark next to the line lets me know that this has been uploaded so as not to duplicate entries. 1 sheet of paper used front and back folded to fit in my shirt pocket is good for about 40 fill ups before it is too worn out, then I file it and start a new sheet.

posted by bates on July 19, 2010

this tip works for 78% of voting Fuelly members.

Micromanaging your gears

If you have an automatic with a manual feature (such as some newer Mazdas, Hondas, and other vehicles may have) then you can micromanage your gears for better fuel efficiency. The most important thing to figure out is at what RPMs the vehicle starts to get more power out of it. I found on my wife's Mazda 3, its at about 2.8k RPMs, which at 60 mph it actually was cruising at 2.25k RPMs in 5th gear, which meant that it was fuel inefficient climbing even slight hills and in a headwind. Switching to 4th gear, even at 60 mph, brought the RPMs to 3k (halfway to redline), and with it the power to fuel efficiently climb even slight hills or to cruise in a headwind. In fact, in my wife's car, with a slight amount of headwind, 4th gear and 5th gear use the same amount of fuel to cruise at 55mph even though 4th gear uses more RPMs. The catch is, with a light load, such as with a tail wind, down hill, or coasting up to a stop, 5th gear is almost always the most fuel efficient gear since it is the most like neutral; even at low speeds like 35 mph. Note that leaving it in drive it'll often stay in 5th gear even when the car seems to just inhale gas before finally getting some power. As it turns out, the most efficient speed for 5th gear on my wife's mazda 3 is a whopping 73-75 mph, more than most speed limits in the area. Also, when using a car with a manual mode, always let it automatically downshift for you when slowing down unless you anticipate accelerating before you come to a stop. It won't hurt anything.

posted by FBX on July 18, 2010

this tip works for 39% of voting Fuelly members.

AC Kills, Open A Window

If you want the best fuel economy, avoid turning on the air conditioning at all costs. It doesn't matter if you're going 70, 80, or 90. Drag is nowhere close to being as detrimental to your fuel economy as AC is. It's almost always a guarantee that I hit between 170-180 miles at the 3/4 mark. The three times I used AC continuously, I was between the 130-140 range at the 3/4 mark. Using AC makes a HUGE difference.

posted by TheBlueVersa on July 18, 2010

this tip works for 10% of voting Fuelly members.

most people taking pictures and receipts

instead just use your phones calendar and save all the information in one spot. save it as a past event so there is no alarm going off or anything. then you could apply multiple fill ups to fuelly with ease. make like a standard format - miles driven - gallons bought- price per gallon - on the correct date it saves paper time and you will have it saved for whenever you need it.

posted by rotorhead61388 on July 17, 2010

this tip works for 13% of voting Fuelly members.

Lube your lug nuts!

Lug nuts, if not lubricated occasionally, can seize or "freeze" to the studs due to corrosion. Repairing them can be expensive, too, and having to call a tow truck for a flat you can't remove is even more expensive. The next time you change or rotate your tires, pick up some anti-seize lubricant at your local auto supply store. Clean the stud threads with a wire brush and wipe them with the lubricant. It's formulated to prevent the lug nuts (spark plugs, too) from seizing and won't allow them to loosen as you drive, the way other lubricants might. If a lug nut does freeze to a stud, try spraying the nut and stud with WD-40 or Liquid Wrench. Allow it to penetrate for 10 or 20 minutes. Use a heat gun to apply heat, and then use a ratchet wrench to remove the lug.

posted by DrewSRQ on July 13, 2010

this tip works for 23% of voting Fuelly members.

Place a towel under baby seats!

All kinds of food bits and liquids and other gunk can accumulate under a baby seat, where they can permanently stain the upholstery! Place a sheet of heavy plastic and an absorbent towel under the seat to prevent such damage, and then re-secure the seat according to the manufacturer's directions.

posted by DrewSRQ on July 13, 2010

this tip works for 53% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by DrewSRQ on July 13, 2010

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by DrewSRQ on July 13, 2010

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

let your turbo cool before you pull up

If you have a turbo vehicle you know you should let your car sit for a few seconds to spool down and cool. Instead of racing into the parking lot to get the best parking spot just to sit there and wait, pull in casually and apply other methods of parking tips found here and you wont have to wait but a couple seconds while you unbuckle and open the door to shut off the car

posted by johnst185 on July 13, 2010

this tip works for 87% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by wirenutt on July 11, 2010

this tip works for 94% of voting Fuelly members.

better mpg

Get rid of as much unnecessary weight as possible. Could be as easy as emptying out your trunk of junk. or as hardcore as getting rid of ac, power steering, sound deadening, spare tire, rear seats etc. Happy Motoring.

posted by iwantspeed on July 7, 2010

this tip works for 55% of voting Fuelly members.

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.

posted by mexglx on July 2, 2010

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

Clean your Air Filter & MAF Sensor

Often times cars air intake systems get dirty and need cleaning. Check your air filter regularly at every oil change. Replace paper air filters if necessary. Opt for a reusable air filter that can be washed/rinsed instead of being thrown out. Another component of the intake system is the MAF - Mass Air Flow Sensor. Its a small wire that measures how much air is coming into the engine. you can remove the sensor and clean is using a MAF Sensor cleaner found at most auto parts stores. It can restore lost MPGs, smoother idle and even lost power.

posted by biking4jesus on June 30, 2010

this tip works for 73% of voting Fuelly members.

Think About Other People's MPG Too!

Accelerating too slowly through a stop light or stopping too far from the car in front of you can cause people not make it through a stop light or get stuck a previous stop light. This causes them to idle and have to go through an entire extra acceleration cycle (in addition to their lost time). Also, keep right except when passing on the highway to avoid making people who desire to travel faster than you have to brake and accelerate around you. It's also safer for everyone and promotes smooth traffic flow!

posted by WebMasterP on June 23, 2010

this tip works for 87% of voting Fuelly members.

Look for Gas Partnerships

In my area Giant Food & Shell are runing a cross-promotion where money spent using your Gian Food card earns you a discound on Shell gas from 10-30 cents per gallon. Looking for these partnerships may not increase your MPG, but it can certainly help your wallet & fuel costs.

posted by revengel on June 21, 2010

this tip works for 88% of voting Fuelly members.

Synthetic for your Manual Transmission Fluid

You use synthetic oil in your engine..why not your transmission too? The transmission is a major source of power loss- recycle that dino oil and get some quality MTF like Amsoil or Redline. This is for manual transmissions only - you can cause problems if you switch automatic transmission fluids from stock.

posted by mtxjohn on June 18, 2010

this tip works for 67% of voting Fuelly members.

Avoid Ethanol

Using Fuelly and my trusty Scanguage I always track my MPG. When using 10% Ethanol it decreases my MPG by 10% to 20%..look for and purchase "non oxygenated" fuel which is a fancy word for "Not blended with some sort of alcohol product". Ethanol is the biggest scam out there.

posted by mtxjohn on June 18, 2010

this tip works for 63% of voting Fuelly members.


Coast as much as you can without slowing down too much.. especially going down hills. The less time you spend with your foot on the gas pedal, the less gas you will use

posted by jlink on June 15, 2010

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

Drive at best time

during the wee hours in the very early morning or at the break of dawn is when air is cool and oxygen level at it's highest level. plan trips to commute around these time so that your car inhales more fresh oxygen than driving a longhaul trip smack in the middle of the hot afternoon where oxygen becomes scarce

posted by trowachin on June 15, 2010

this tip works for 26% of voting Fuelly members.

..sweat it out! (a little bit)..

..we're sweat-averse in the USofA, but that's nature's cooling system for long as you don't have a (pun intended) hot date to impress, why worry about a slightly damp shirt..especially if you're just driving home from work or whatnot.. ..i'm not advocating risking heat stroke or anything, but seriously, at temps up to the low 90s (F) it's not uncomfortable at all to drive with the windows down (off the highway, of course)..i live in TEXus, so i know what hot can be, and it ain't bad even at 90 or 92.. ..after rolling up my windows to get on the highway, i even wait to activate the AC until i've gotten up to highway speeds, to reduce engine strain as much as possible..since that only takes 10 or 15sec at slow/steady acceleration, it's nothing much..then, once i'm at cruising speed i'll hit the AC..<30sec later all is cool in the world (or in the cabin at least).. ..these are 'every little bit helps' types of strategies, but give it a shot or two..might take some getting used to, but it's really no (or very little) sweat off yer back (pun intended, again)..

posted by cee on May 29, 2010

this tip works for 42% of voting Fuelly members.

..keep the Sun out..

..use car shades & window screens (or tint) to help keep cabin temps lower when your car is parked..finding trees or overhangs or garages to park under help too.. ..this makes it easier for you to cool things down when you get inside your vehicle after extended parking (at work or whatnot)..which means less demand on your AC..

posted by cee on May 29, 2010

this tip works for 77% of voting Fuelly members.

Over-inflating your tires

Although you can over-inflate your tires to help increase your MPG, you do so at a risk of loosing traction; even if you remain below the maximum displayed on the wheel walls. Don't sacrifice safety to save a few pennies; follow the manufacturer recommendations.

posted by PeterM on May 20, 2010

this tip works for 76% of voting Fuelly members.