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Fuel Saving Tips

Don't orbit the parking lot...

Always take the first available parking space that you find on entering the parking lot. That way you will keep the distance driven, and fuel used, to a minimum.

posted by Roymondo on September 25, 2009

this tip works for 88% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't pay for dirty gas!

If you see a fuel tanker at your gas station, you shouldn't buy gas from that station for a few hours, maybe even a few days. Why ? When the underground tanks are filled, it stirs in A LOT of the debris that was settled at the bottom of the tank, and water that was floating on top of the gas. Even a few hours after the refueling is done, all the debris has still not completely settled back down, and the water has not finished floating back up, which means it does get sucked into the pumps and ends up in your tank. Yes, there is water floating on top of the gas in the underground tank. I worked in a gas station for a long time and tested for presence of water every week (using a paste applied to the dip stick). There is always between 1 and 5 cm of water on top of the gas. When it gets too high, a special truck comes and pumps it out. This water comes from mostly from condensation, but a little rainwater slowly seeps in too. And yes, there is debris settled at the bottom of the tank. One of our underground tank had to be changed and was dug out. We found about 3 inches of mud at the bottom of the tank. Two things you do not want in YOUR tank are debris and water. Go pump elsewhere if you see the tanker truck.

posted by Alex007 on September 4, 2009

this tip works for 56% of voting Fuelly members.

Empty the Junk from the Trunk

The less weight in your car, the better the gas mileage. Do a little spring cleaning and remove everything from the trunk of your car (and everywhere else) that doesn't need to be there.

posted by cpatch on September 2, 2009

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

Do many of these tips really save you money?

Many of these tips are not really "tips". It appears to me that a lot of these people do not know what they are doing and how cars are suppose to run. Doing something bad to the car to make ur mpg better now can mean big bucks later in the year when the car breaks down because of what you were doing to save mpg. Lets take this into consideration, the tip that says use a smaller vehicle such as a motorcycle. I did that.. if i used my car i would have paid 100 extra bucks maximum for gas but with my bike, there is insurance, there is taxes for plates, there is maintenance, there are tons of things that i never considered so me getting that bike for 15 mpg extra compared to my car sent me 700-800 bucks deeper in the hole and thats not even adding the price of the motorcycle. I say "thanks but no thanks"

posted by Triple88a on August 28, 2009

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

Avoid backing out

When parking in a parking lot, look for a space where you can pull through so you'll be able to start up and pull away without backing up. It's not only safer, but it's more fuel efficient compared to the 20+ second maneuvering it usually takes when backing out of a space.

posted by perrysan on August 26, 2009

this tip works for 69% of voting Fuelly members.

Never exceed speed limit

Sounds like common sense but every MPH extra above speed limit causes the engine to work harder. The time saved by going faster is not worth the price paid in losing MPG. I used to go 5mph above the limit but just by reducing 5mph I noticed a jump in MPG. There are others who take it to a more extreme level suggesting 55mph top speed on the highway - check out the science & math behind this idea at

posted by dk on August 22, 2009

this tip works for 39% of voting Fuelly members.

Analyze your route

Analyze your daily travelling route. Sometime take a slightly longer route but less traffic lights stop is more fuel efficient than taking a shorter route but more traffic lights stop.

posted by terranwoo on August 21, 2009

this tip works for 93% of voting Fuelly members.

Look after your turbo

With forced induction cars it's best to turn the engine on before your cabin checks & putting your seatbelt on & it should be the last thing you do before getting out of the car. While you'll use a little more fuel short term it will make sure the turbo/supercharger remains in good condition & keeps the engine healthy, a healthy engine runs better, uses less fuel & requires less maintenance. This is the reversed for non-forced induction cars where you want to turn the engine on/off just before you pull away/after you stop.

posted by techathy on August 16, 2009

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

Drive to the engine & ECUs strengths

In a car with a small rev-happy engine it may be more fuel efficient to accelerate briskly in a lower gear than change up earlier. This enables the ECU to get into a more fuel efficient state quicker. This will depend a lot on how intelligent & active your engines ECU is & how it is mapped. This works because small engines have low torque levels, keeping the car in a high gear for the road speed then puts a high load on the engine, this requires a lot of air & fuel. If you let the engine rev on in a lower gear the engine load is lower requiring the same or a little more fuel per second to accelerate to the cruising speed, but you achieve your cruising speed more quickly. This enables the engine to get into its more efficient cruising state of operation quicker using less fuel over all.

posted by techathy on August 16, 2009

this tip works for 93% of voting Fuelly members.

Use gadgets to monitor fuel consumption

Install a gadget to monitor instantaneous fuel consumption, such as this one: (I have no relationship or interest in this company, I just found it online, and it appeals to my inner gadget geek.)

posted by elizilla on August 4, 2009

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

50/50 Rule (part II)

50/50 Rule (part II) 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. Actually, to enhace this tip, at over 50 mph, keep the windows up AND the A/C off, (if you can weather it). Oh yeah, and keep the speed below 60 mph (sub-2.5K rpm). Combined, you should realize a +5 mpg.

posted by TMACK on August 1, 2009

this tip works for 53% of voting Fuelly members.

..MPH is crucial on highways..

..after 9mo of experimentation while involved with Fuelly, the greatest increase in MPG i've found is by cruising my 2k2 Subaru Outback mini-wagon at 55mph on freeways.. ..when i started, i typically drove 65-70mph..gradually i toned that down, step by step over the months, until now i'm rolling at 55mph whenever possible on the highways..granted, my commute is pre-rush hour (both ways), so i don't have traffic bearing down on me as much as most might (although i still get it).. ..but i've gone from 25mpg when i started on Fuelly, to a new record of 28.2mpg with this last fill-up (a 12.8% increase from the 25mpg level)..the only other significant change i've done has been switching to Premium fuel (my car is recommended Premium but can take Regular)..i keep her well maintained at scheduled intervals, avoid jack-rabbiting, etc. ..i think the adage that 'every 5mph you slow down results in a 5% increase in fuel efficiency' (or whatever it is) is true..if you can drop from 70mph to 60mph (or 65 to 55), you should see about a 10% increase in MPG.. ..notes: most of my driving is highway commute & i have to be at work by 6:30a..i certainly don't recommend becoming a highway 'obstacle' just to drive slower (like, i doubt i'll drop the speed down to 50mph due to hazard concerns), but when & where you can, it seems to make sense to reduce your commute MPH.. out!>> --c. owner of T'Pol.

posted by cee on July 31, 2009

this tip works for 78% of voting Fuelly members.


I coast all the time no dangerous hills here. Its worth an extra 50-75 per tank.

posted by mittzlepick on July 30, 2009

this tip works for 31% of voting Fuelly members.

Coast using clutch

I am really pleased with my manual transmission because I can simply depress the clutch to coast. The clutch goes in to gradually slow down (red light far ahead), to let the engine 'relax' as I drive downhill (wheee!) or to maintain a good distance from the cars ahead which might be slowing down due to traffic.

posted by MarkShort1958 on July 27, 2009

this tip works for 8% of voting Fuelly members.

Long Trip First

When making a trip with multiple stops, such as running errands, start by making the longest leg of your trip first. This helps to get the engine up to its operating temperature before you turn it off for your first stop. Your engine will run more efficiently, put out lower emissions and start easier once it's up to operating temperature.

posted by alanfasick on July 21, 2009

this tip works for 95% of voting Fuelly members.

Law of Conservation of Energy

The Law of Conservation of Energy: Energy can neither be created nor destroyed. Remember this as you drive. When on the highway, use the brakes as little as possible since brakes essentially translate gas into heat (via brakes) as opposed to momentum (coasting). Same applies for acceleration: Use only the necessary amount of energy for acceleration as the quicker you accelerate, the more energy (gas) is wasted trying to propel the vehicle quickly. As you drive, constantly figure ways to make the most use of the potential energy stored in your fuel tank!

posted by SmilodonCondor on July 16, 2009

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.

Lust not the lugger...

To those of you with manual transmissions, lower RPMs are not always best. RPMs should be kept low, but not too low that you are "lugging" your engine (operating your engine at a lower range than it is designed to operate -- lethargic engine performance, rough sound and jerking are all signs -- depending on your car, avoid below 1,100 rpms while in motion). When you lug your engine, you'll potentially use more gas to make the same power, and you'll stress out your engine, ultimately shortening life. Keep the RPMs relatively low, but when they're low, don't give the engine much throttle!

posted by SmilodonCondor on July 16, 2009

this tip works for 100% of voting Fuelly members.

Tailgates up!

Not only is it illegal to drive a pickup truck with the tailgate down in most areas, but when Mythbusters did a gas mileage test between identical trucks- one with tailgate up & one down, the truck with the tailgate up got better mileage. Why? Because the raised tailgate creates a circulating area of low pressure over the truck bed, while leaving the tailgate down sucks the air rushing over the cab straight down onto the bed, pushig it downwards and effectively making it act as though it weighs more than it really does.

posted by DingoBoi on July 16, 2009

this tip works for 80% of voting Fuelly members.

Manual transmission

Today's automatic transmissions are better than they used to be but still not as efficient as manuals. Besides that, the price of a manual equipped car is usually less (I saved nearly $1000 on my Civic) and they are more fun to drive.

posted by Cookie on July 12, 2009

this tip works for 87% of voting Fuelly members.

Practice carpooling

Forget MPG and use MPPG!! Share your car with your work's friends. Consider the fuel economy by 'Miles * carried People Per Gallon' not only by MPG. A car is more efficient when there is 5 peoples on board! Stop driving alone if possible.

posted by domcars0 on July 9, 2009

this tip works for 69% of voting Fuelly members.

Here's a new one... !!!

I'm sure that no one has thought about this, and maybe I'm crazy for suggesting it, but I believe that a waxed car actually uses a little less gas than an otherwise-clean but unwaxed one! Why? Well, I keep thinking wind resistance, which is a major factor at highway speeds, so much so that most people suggest driving at 55 instead of 65 will use less gas because of less wind resistance. Well, using that logic, wouldn't it follow that a waxed car actually offers less wind resistance than an unwaxed one? Put a cloth on a newly-waxed car's hood and watch it slide off. Try the same thing with an unwaxed car - it stays put! What does everyone think? Am I crazy? Or am I the next Einstein??? Be kind to us animals in your critiques and comments please! :)

posted by ymiheere on July 6, 2009

this tip works for 30% of voting Fuelly members.

Synthetic oil usage

Synthetic oils can give you a 3-5 % increase in Gas mileage. Also you can put more miles on a synthetic oil change in between changes. Some manufactures recommend 10-15,000 oil change intervals with synthetic oil.

posted by 98KO4 on June 29, 2009

this tip works for 68% of voting Fuelly members.

Monitor the fuel economy

Many cars have trip computers that will display the real-time mpg or L/100km. Monitor this and try to maximize it as you drive. I, for one, tend to drive about 80 mph on 2-4 lane (empty) highways but when watching my instantaneous fuel economy and seeing in real time how this activity affects my bank account, I tend to drive far more conservatively.

posted by mrcqm on June 24, 2009

this tip works for 95% of voting Fuelly members.

Plan your driving

In order to save fuel, plan your driving, especially in cities. Be proactive, basically: try to avoid the brakes. How? Adjust your speed so you don't need to make a complete stop at red lights or have to brake before or during a turn.

posted by DG1 on June 19, 2009

this tip works for 85% of voting Fuelly members.

The right vehicle for each task

If you have a large vehicle for hauling passengers and/or cargo, consider getting a smaller one such as a scooter for going places where you just need to transport yourself and some small items. A scooter can get 100mpg, which will go along way toward paying for it in the long run (more quickly than a new hybrid). Plus it's a more fun way to go places.

posted by tverbeek on June 11, 2009

this tip works for 81% of voting Fuelly members.

Pump Fuel Cool and Slow

Pump gas in the morning when the ground tanks are cold. Fluids expand with heat, and a gallon of cold gas contains more fuel than a gallon of warm gas. The pump measures volume, so you'll be charged the same regardless. On a fuel pump nozzle, there are usually three settings: slow, medium, and fast. Fuel up your tank at the slowest possible rate the pump will allow. Pumping at slower rates reduces vapor pressure that gets recycled back into the ground tanks. Similarly, it's better to fill up at the beginning of your drive when the car is still cool.

posted by cbronson on June 9, 2009

this tip works for 28% of voting Fuelly members.

To Coast in Neutral or Not...

Coasting to a stop in neutral with a modern manual (and in some instances automatic) transmission might not actually save you as much gas as keeping it in gear. Many modern engine management systems sense deceleration and negative load while the car is in gear and cut off fuel from the injectors, allowing the turning drive shaft to keep the engine going. Shifting into neutral while decelerating means the system has to keep the engine running with gas.

posted by Zahnarzt on June 6, 2009

this tip works for 84% of voting Fuelly members.

Use Cruise Wisely

Cruise control is a great feature for maintaining speed and avoiding unnecessary acceleration. However, it's best to drive up to your intended cruise speed yourself -- avoid the "accel" button. Most cars will try to accelerate more rapidly than they need to, and we all know that wastes fuel. Don't mistake "cruise control" for "acceleration control!!"

posted by Scotticus on May 13, 2009

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

Straight and Narrow

On highway trips, try to hold your wheel as straight as possible; that is, avoid using more of your lane than you need. Turning wheels results in friction, and friction results in resistance which must be overcome by, you guessed it, expending fuel.

posted by Scotticus on May 13, 2009

this tip works for 26% of voting Fuelly members.

Avoid Braking

Fuel is consumed to make your car go. It follows that brakes convert the energy you've invested into forward motion to useless heat. Especially in manual transmissions, learn to use neutral to "smooth out" your turns and time your approach to stop lights -- the worst thing you can do is convert all of your precious investment to a full stop!

posted by Scotticus on May 13, 2009

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.