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Fuel Saving Tips

The Coasting Game

I know not every one likes to drive the back roads because the MPH are slower.But if you live around alot of back roads with hills it can gain you better fuel milage. You Ask How; simple. Plan your trip using the roads with the hills going to and use flat roads coming back (Note this work better if you have an manul transmission). When you get to the road with the hill take the car and put it in Neutral and coast as far as the car will go. Now keep in mind the speed limit and the cars behind you. ( Note if the the speed limit is 35MPH I will coast 5MPH under the limit as far as the car will go then Put it in the gear that will not spike the RPMs up).

posted by ilovatto on December 6, 2008

this tip works for 18% of voting Fuelly members.

Leave Early

Leave early for your trip or commute, general rule is 1 minute per mile of travel. What this will do, is to remove the urgency to get through that light that is turning red anyway, and remove the pressure of being late. This will save fuel because you will naturally drive more "mellow", and thus drive more efficiently. There is an added benefit from this, reducing commuter stress and road rage. On a long trip, this will give you time for a nice lunch, or longer rest at a stop you may like.

posted by Dragon64Leo on December 4, 2008

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

Proper Accelleration

Many suggest wimpy 'egg on the pedal' acceleration as best for mileage but it ain't so. Internal combustion engines do the most work for the quantity of fuel burned at the top of their torque curve. So push the pedal firmly allowing the engine to get up the curve. If you have an instant MPG indication in your car it will read a horribly low number but that's OK for those few seconds it takes to get up to speed. In this way you will also: 1) Get into higher gears more quickly, especially overdrive, where your mileage is best. 2) Get traffic moving behind you thus letting more cars through a light and saving others fuel as well. You know you are pushing the pedal too hard though if you spin your tires or see the tachometer near the red line!

posted by DrFranken on December 1, 2008

this tip works for 85% of voting Fuelly members.

..Auto Trans--Learn Yer Ride.. takes some careful monitoring and/or practice, but you can learn the "sweet spots" where your veh switches gears (to lower RPM)..once you get an idea of your ride's "feel", then accelerate steadily (but not heavily) to that sweet spot & let the engine shift & work less as quickly (again, not using lead-foot but steady acceleration) as possible.. here's to high-MPG!>> --c.

posted by cee on November 22, 2008

this tip works for 63% of voting Fuelly members.

Cruise as much as possible!

When going on highways, even though speeding at 70 or 80 may not give the best mpg as 65, it will when you let go of the gas pedal to recieve maximum mpg and longer cruising time before hitting the gas again. Therefore when going at 65...lightly accelerate until hitting 70 then let go of the gas for cruising instead of having the foot on the pedal all the time. Then repeat the technique again when it hits 65 again.

posted by Khoifishh on November 18, 2008

this tip works for 12% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't Look Back!

Consider parking at a store in the double parking slots. This works only when both slots are available. Enter as you normally would into the chosen space, but continue on to the other side so the front of the car is facing the parking lane. This eliminates two times of accelerating (once to back up, and once to start up again forward), by simply being able to pull out forward. Sure, you might have to park farther out, but I usually do that anyway to avoid unwanted door dings, and I get a little more physical activity in my day. Hope this helps!

posted by cemnei on November 13, 2008

this tip works for 85% of voting Fuelly members.

Get Ready to Drive Before Starting the Engine

Before I start my cars engines, I make sure I am ready to drive. I adjust the seat if necessary, make sure any items I have with me are secure, fasten my seat belt, adjust the mirror, adjust the tilt steering, put on my sun glasses if necessary and do anything else that needs doing. It may only take 20 or 30 seconds to do these things but it you start the engine first, that means 20 or 30 seconds of letting the engine wastefully idle.

posted by spacetime on November 9, 2008

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

Regular tuneups for older cars

Older cars can benefit from a conversion from points to electronic ignition. Simply switching to a Pertronix unit will save the hassle of adjusting and lubing the distributor cam and only takes about 15 minutes to do. Spark plugs on older cars can get pretty cruddy and should be changed out every year or so.

posted by TorkLugnutz on November 8, 2008

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.

..Automatic Transmission Suggs..

..ok, coasting is best with a manual transmission, but it also can be effective with auto-trans vehicles..however, putting an automatic into neutral at a prolonged stop actually ups the RPM the engine runs at, for most vehicles.. ..i've found watching my RPMs, instead of my actual MPH, is a better way to try to adjust my automatic mini-wagon for better fuel efficiency.. ..i mean, sometimes i'll be barely pressing the accelerator (or even just trying to coast) & the automatic transmission shifts to a lower gear/higher RPM.. makes sense to use the gas to make sure your engine doesn't downshift, i usually happens on slight inclines..accelerating a bit there keeps my Outback from dropping a gear & upping the RPM from around 1500 to 2500.. ..results may vary, so get to know the idiosyncrasies of your own ride.. l8r, fellow-fuellyers!>> --c.

posted by cee on November 2, 2008

this tip works for 21% of voting Fuelly members.

..Road Mgt..

..i know it's sorta counter-intuitive, since folks here are trying to maximize their OWN fuel economy, but since we're paying much more attention to the road than the average Joe/Jane, this sorta makes sense to me.. ..rather than driving the freeways at 50-55mph & becoming an "obstacle" to other drivers, be aware of your surroundings & gradually increase speeds when you see someone charging up on you..or increase speed to start with (i like to use this on pickups, SUVs, & other low-mileage types), then ease off, causing the faster moving traffic to ease their speed (without braking, optimally).. ..the idea is to prevent other drivers from doing the being a "road manager" you can help prevent other, more clueless motorists from wasting fuel..if it costs me a MPG or so but helps improve the clueless one's by the same (or more) it's a net wash/gain, no?.. ..for ex: if i see a semi coming up from behind in the distance (knowing their propensity to tailgate & try to intimidate cars to move out of their way) & i can tell he's traveling faster than me, i'll gradually increase my own speed to prevent him from having to step on the brakes..if there's plenty of passing room/lanes, it's not so much a concern, but if traffic is heavy or i'm on a narrower-type highway, it makes sense (to me) to up my speed a tad.. ..i also like to do this "road management" thing when i realize the vehicle following is willing to adapt their speed down to my own..often someone will approach more slowly & then cruise behind me for awhile (`til they get frustrated, i guess) before passing in an empty long as they don't vrrooom by, it's a success in my book.. here's to hypermiling!>> --c.

posted by cee on November 2, 2008

this tip works for 32% of voting Fuelly members.

Coast in gear on some cars

Modern fuel injected cars have a fuel cut off function if the car is coasting in gear and the engine revolutions are kept around 2000rpm or higher (this may vary, of course). If you have a trip computer with instantanious consumption function, this can be easily verified by coasting in gear at highway speeds - if the instantanious consumption goes down to zero consumption (or infinite mileage), your car has this function. This means the car uses zero fuel during in gear coasting as opposed to out of gear coasting where fuel must be supplied to the engine to keep it idling.

posted by elabuschagne on October 28, 2008

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't cruise the parking lot

I saw a tip about parking instead of using the drive-through and this is along those lines (especially in large, congested lots). All this starting and stopping isn't going to help your economy and face it, you need the exercise. If possible, park your vehicle at the first open spot and walk in. Cruising parking lots also leaves you open for to speed accidents and frustration.

posted by veryhumid on October 16, 2008

this tip works for 98% of voting Fuelly members.

Hydrogen Systems

Think twice before adding an H2O or Hydrogen system to your vehicle. On 10/4/2008 I had a Single Cell HHO System installed for a total cost of $679.95 including the $250 installation charge. My first fillup today showed a MPG of 23.8 MPG, down from my average for this vehicle of 26.3 MPG. We will see what the future holds. To date it looks like I may have wasted $679.95.

posted by 1Jal1 on October 6, 2008

this tip works for 80% of voting Fuelly members.

Plan your fuel stops ahead...

When traveling use sites like to check the fuel prices along the day's route. Plan your fuel stops ahead of time before leaving. Don't cut it too close though. I plan my fuel stops where my anticipated fuel level is between 1/2 and 1/4 tank. This way I'm traveling on the cheapest fuel possible. You can save up to 25% by knowing which exits on the highway are the cheapest.

posted by Jay2TheRescue on September 30, 2008

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

Maintain your momentum

When approaching a corner, let your momentum carry you through it - try to stay off the brakes. Braking is detrimental to getting the best mileage - and going around corners at speed is fun!

posted by tonygrieder on September 30, 2008

this tip works for 80% of voting Fuelly members.


Stick cars are gas savers, when on a hill and going down, let gravity push the car down while your car is in neutral. i do this when i back out of my driveway. or when i go down a hill on a road. Also, when leaving a stop, accelerate to the speed limit, maybe even 5mph more and then shift to neutral. Coast for sometime.

posted by DaytonaGuy on September 28, 2008

this tip works for 18% of voting Fuelly members.

Slow down earlier and coast

If you can judge the timing of a light with sufficient advanced noticed, *sometimes* it helps to brake harder earlier. I'll give an example. I have a light on my commute at the bottom of a long hill. If I keep going 55-60mph, the odds are high that I'll have to come to a complete stop at the bottom. Usually within 10-15 seconds it turns green and I'm accelerating from zero. If I see that there's a sufficient line of cars waiting for it to turn, it helps if I apply the brakes earlier. My car will slow down into the 30mph range and by the time I get near the line, the cars are moving through the light. My car just coasts through and I can accelerate from there rather than from a dead stop, preserving significant momentum. Obviously this has limited usage in stop and go traffic, but is useful for those area where stop lights are put along lesser traveled roads.

posted by sbilik on September 26, 2008

this tip works for 95% of voting Fuelly members.

Buy a Scan Gauge

A scan gauge plugs into your computer port and can tell your MPG as you drive plus many other things to improve your driving etc.. Also go synthetic for your oil,brakes,pwr steering,rear end,AC. Also Nitro-Fill your tires.

posted by stu on September 23, 2008

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.

To Save on Gas

Nitro-fill your tires.... use synthetic like Royal Purple products or Amsoil. Use a synthetic additive for the a/c. They all contribute.

posted by stu on September 23, 2008

this tip works for 11% of voting Fuelly members.

Accelerate to save gas

I saw a tip a few moments ago about accelerating and I agree with it. Its true. One full tank tried slow acceleration, the car feels sluggish and burnt more fuel. My previous car, 94 E320 was fine with that kind of acceleration, not the MDX. Next fill up I tried being little bit more aggressive on acceleration, accelerate enough to have a smooth ride instead of a sluggish feel and mileage has improved and I dont feel like I am in a Jumbo Jet dragged by a couple of ox.

posted by mdxrox on September 22, 2008

this tip works for 54% of voting Fuelly members.

Gas/ethanol blends lower mileage

Most of our gas stations are going to gasoline with 10% ethanol blends. While gasohol is supposed to reduce emissions, it also reduces your mpg. Ethanol has about 40% less energy per gallon than gasoline. So gas with 10% ethanol will give 4% less mileage than "pure" gasoline. Unless the gasohol costs 4% less ($3.36/gal gasohol vs. $3.50 gasoline) you'll save money over the gasohol blend. Pumps with gasohol are required to be labeled "Contains up to 10% ethanol". My vehicle is flex fuel than can also use E85. Using E85 (85% ethanol/15% gas) reduces my mileage by about 30%. So unless E85 is 30% cheaper than gasoline, it's not worth it to me.

posted by jgibbsjr on September 21, 2008

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.

What if can't remove the entire roof rack?

If you can't remove the entire roof rack, or if it is unfeasable (like leaving exposed holes), then try removing just the crossbars. I did that on my Dodge minivan and the highway mpg is about 1 mpg better with less wind noise.

posted by jgibbsjr on September 21, 2008

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

Parking tip

If you are safely able to do so, pull through back to back parking spots so that you are facing nose out. When you leave, you can pull out forward(slowly and carefully) without having to reverse, stop, and then accelerate forward again.

posted by jgibbsjr on September 21, 2008

this tip works for 94% of voting Fuelly members.

Cool car interior quicker

If you use the A/C a lot, like I do, here are a few tips. Before you start the car, roll the windows down. In the summer, the car cools down much quicker if you let the hot air in the car naturally blow out the windows. I leave the windows down for about thirty seconds while backing out. Your A/C compressor won't work as hard to cool the interior, saving you gas. I also turn off the A/C fan when parking. That way the engine doesn't have to work harder to start compared to starting with the A/C on.

posted by jgibbsjr on September 21, 2008

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.


This works well on manual transmissions. When you know you'll be slowing, i.e. you can see the light well ahead turn yellow, just take your foot off the gas, shift into neutral and gently coast on until you need to stop. There's no sense speeding to a stop light and wasting perfectly good momentum in the process. Odds are the light may even turn green again by the time you get to it. Similarly, when cresting a hill, so long as the road ahead is safely clear, let gravity do the work instead of your engine. When slowing while going up a hill, again, let gravity do the work.

posted by Jabber on September 19, 2008

this tip works for 55% of voting Fuelly members.


Wind resistance is one of the huge factors that causes worse gas mileage. While driving on the highway, driving behind another car can greatly reduce the amount of wind resistance on your vehicle, thus increasing your gas mileage.

posted by onlycodered on September 14, 2008

this tip works for 63% of voting Fuelly members.

Get a jump on the Holiday

Generally speaking, holidays (especially 3 or 4-day weekends) mean a higher than usual demand at the pump. Higher demand = higher prices. So don't wait until the holiday and fill up a day or two before.

posted by joeperez4 on September 14, 2008

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.

Keep RPM's low

I agree with Tikitantrum on August 8. Keep the RPM's low to get better mileage. I was getting about 24MPG until I started shifting especially early. Now, keeping the RPM's below 2000 is getting me over 26MPG! The few times I took off harder, letting R's go double that, my mileage was back below 26, further confirming to me that keeping the engine revs low really, really helps.

posted by HappyDad on September 12, 2008

this tip works for 75% of voting Fuelly members.


I found a great way to increase gas mileage after reading about hypermiling. Fact granted, those around me don't like it that I am at (or under) the speed limit, but they don 't pay my driving expenses. Hypermiling has improved my gas mileage by 30% -- instead of 2 days on a tank of gas, I am now averaging 3 days per tank. To learn about hypermiling, type the key word (hypermiling) into any Web browser I am assuming that those who are members of this Web site care about fuel efficiency. Many drivers do not realize that fast accelerations, fast breaking, tail gating and weaving in and out of traffic also lowers gas mileage. Heavy breakers, and those who are impatient will realize their mistakes -- at the gas pump. In my own driving experience, air conditioning reduces gas mileage by about 25%, which is staggering. Needless to say, I pray for cooler days, and only turn on the air as a last resort...but humid days in 90+ degree weather can make anyone wilt, so it is sometimes unavoidable. I wish you great gas mileage and safe driving to your destination!

posted by photostitch on September 6, 2008

this tip works for 70% of voting Fuelly members.

Increase MPG

Change to synthetic oil in all applications on your vehicle. Car will run cooler, increase MPG and fewer oil changes. You can extend your oil changes between 7,500 miles up to 25,000 miles depending upon the type of synthetic oil you use. I use Amsoil Synthetics. Also, put a fuel cleaner in your gas every so often to help keep the fuel system clean and remove any condensation build up in the tank or gas line. Keep tires inflated to proper psi and keep your car CLEAN. Believe it or not, a clean car will get better MPG.

posted by BizNetFuel on September 3, 2008

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.