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Fuel Saving Tips

Use That GPS

I've found that lots of times even if I know the location of where I am going, if I'll put the address into my GPS it will find a route that I didn't know about, sometimes saving several miles of driving. My GPS will pay for itself in gas savings alone in probably under 1 year.

posted by FordMan on May 12, 2009

this tip works for 63% of voting Fuelly members.

Combine Trips

Combine trips when possible. Go to the store on your way home from work. Get gas when you pick the kids up from school. A vehicle is most efficient when fully warmed up.

posted by bowtieguy on May 11, 2009

this tip works for 98% of voting Fuelly members.

Try Brands of Gas

I've noticed that I get better gas mileage when I fuel up with one type of gas over another. Experiment by fueling up at different gas stations.

posted by modglila on May 1, 2009

this tip works for 52% of voting Fuelly members.

Automatic Transmission RPM Management

(1) Learn Where Your Ride Switches Gears--Accelerating smoothly but steadily to the gear change will drop your RPM & consume less fuel. For ex: my car switches from 1st to 2nd gears on a cold engine at about 2200rpm; so unless I accelerate, my engine revs high for extended periods. Better to keep steady accelerator pressure & force the shift early, but don't gun the engine. (2) Feel Free to Coast--Even an automatic, despite not dropping to near-zero RPM like a manual with its clutch engaged, uses less fuel if you lay off the gas pedal. So on slight downhill slopes (even a 15 or 20% grade, in my experience), you can essentially maintain, or even gain, speed by coasting, without the higher RPM of actual acceleration. (3) Avoid 'Jack-Rabbit' Acceleration--This has been mentioned before (see Matthowie's Tip of July 2008, below), but it bears repeating. It's best to apply the gas with steadily increasing pressure, rather than to 'punch it'. (4) Prevent Downshifts When Possible--On inclines, auto transmissions will often downshift to maintain speed or accelerate up the hill. With some experimentation, you can determine the low RPM where your engine shifts down a gear. And, by increasing gas pedal pressure, you can inhibit the downshift 'impulse' of your ride. Again, this works best on mild slopes & won't be applicable on steeper ones. [deletable note to moderators: if this is too long for a Tips entry, pls post in the Forums..?..thx]

posted by cee on April 30, 2009

this tip works for 67% of voting Fuelly members.

Tweak the Cruise

A 1-2mph change in cruise control setting can make a 200-400 difference in RPM (and thus fuel consumption). Set your cruise at a decent speed...then watch the RPM gauge as you click the cruise speed setting down a notch at a time. You should see a noticeable drop in RPM...then leave it there. 64mph vs 66mph gave me 2mpg hwy.

posted by captain777 on April 21, 2009

this tip works for 54% of voting Fuelly members.

Dangerous advice tip

Over inflating tyres will save you fuel as it gives less rolling resistance however the trade off is SAFETY. Although tyre walls state max pressures that has nothing to do with what your car requires e.g. a vehicle that weighs more needs more pressure to get the shape of the tyre right so you get maximum tyre contact with the road. Over inflating tyres is ill advised and potentially dangerous as the tyre takes on a more rounded shape wearing the centre of the tread down because that is all that is in contact with the road. Consequently when braking hard you are not using all of your tyre's surface. Conversely under inflating tyres causes the tyre to "collapse upwards" in the middle so the tyre wears on the outer edges only. Manufacturers give recommended tyre pressure ratings for very good reason so please don't make your own decision about such things. Fuelly please would you consider removing this "tip" for safety reasons.

posted by TheDivvy on April 4, 2009

this tip works for 73% of voting Fuelly members.

Drive by wire

In most modern cars, the throttle is drive by wire, which means, if you keep soft on the gas pedal, the vehicle should shift up earlier. This will keep fuel consumption low by keeping to lower RPMs.

posted by cloud9ine on March 31, 2009

this tip works for 50% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't Coast

When rolling up to a stop line release the gas and roll up to a natural stop with minimal braking. On modern injection engines the car will literaly not use any fuel once off the gas. Someone suggested putting the car in neutral and coasting, the vehicles would than have to use fuel to keep the engine idleing.

posted by timmy on March 29, 2009

this tip works for 74% of voting Fuelly members.

Cruise Control to save break wear?

I use cruise control at every opportunity. When you see traffic slowed or stopped in front of you press cancel instead of hitting the brake. You'll be amazed at how often you don't have to touch the brake pedal to slow or even stop the car, especially on hills. This really works well when leaving the highway on exit ramps. Touch cancel and you begin to decelerate. I can often take the ramp, yield and merge without ever touching the brake pedal. Try it, perfect it and you'll not only be amazed at the gasoline you are saving put you won't need expensive brakes as often. I just got rid of a 2000 Passat w/ 140,000 miles and never replaced the brakes.

posted by ronbo2004 on March 20, 2009

this tip works for 62% of voting Fuelly members.

Get rid of the junk in the trunk

Clean up the trunk. Less weight means less fuel consumption.

posted by HeAvYfUeL on March 18, 2009

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.

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 92% 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 26% 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 22% 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 8% 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 47% 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 94% 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 85% 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 38% 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 93% 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 95% 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 83% 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.