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Fuel Saving Tips

Avoid Accelerating Uphill

If possible, avoid accelerating uphill. Choose instead to climb the hill at a steady pace, and then accelerate downhill, after you’ve crested. Acceleration costs fuel. Accelerating uphill exacerbates that.

posted by SteveMak on June 13, 2016

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

Learn a Repeat Route

If you take the same route repeatedly, learn where you can save some fuel. It costs you to accelerate. It costs you to drive steady state rather than coast. For example, if you get onto a highway and get off one stop later, you burn more fuel accelerating to 60 MPH rather than accelerating up to only 50 mph or 45 and cruising that short distance. Let off the throttle sooner, coasting, and bleed off speed as you climb an off ramp rather than cruising longer and then using your brakes. Each of these makes a small difference, but those small differences can add up over an entire trip.

posted by SteveMak on June 13, 2016

this tip works for 95% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't shift an automatic into neutral while driving

Some say you should shift into neutral when coming to a stop while using an automatic transmission, but this is actually counterproductive. In fact, because of the fact that the vehicle can run off of its own rotational momentum in gear while coasting (thereby completely shutting off fuel temporarily), shifting into neutral will actually reduce your gas mileage because more fuel must be used to keep the engine running. Also, it puts unnecessary wear and tear on the mechanical components in addition to being illegal in at least a dozen states. See the Engineering Explained video for all the details:

posted by PA2013 on June 2, 2016

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.

AC vs Windows Down

In their first kick at this MythBusters came up with this result: However, there were some issues with their process, so they revisited the issue: which resulted in this statement, "The flaw in the original test was that the point where the drag becomes powerful enough to inhibit a car’s performance with windows down was inside their 45 to 55 mph margin. Going less than 50 mph, it is more efficient to leave your windows down, but going faster more efficient to use your A/C."

posted by canbeamer on May 31, 2016

this tip works for 95% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't coast in neutral

Someone has suggested coasting in neutral, you lose engine braking and on a modern car use more fuel. Most cars with fuel injection cut the supply of fuel when the engine is on the over run - you will use more idling in neutral.

posted by huwy on May 23, 2016

this tip works for 64% of voting Fuelly members.

Better air flow in center lane of three lane highway

If you regularly drive on a 3-lane highway (or perhaps more lanes), due to movement of traffic the airflow is better and more consistent if you drive in the center lane(s). You'll notice an increase in fuel economy.

posted by Sniper977 on May 18, 2016

this tip works for 10% of voting Fuelly members.

Lower your wind resistance.

Modern cars have folding outside mirrors. When my car is unladen and I can see out my windows, folding the right (passenger) outside mirror flat to the car both reduces frontal area and wind burble / drag.

posted by Littlecars on May 17, 2016

this tip works for 6% of voting Fuelly members.

Spend as little time uphill as possible

Steeper uphill coming up, it may be in your best interest to just scramble up it as fast as you legally can - because in addition to the usual rolling resistance and air resistance, going uphill means you are also encountering a constant gravity resistance - which drags you down at the same rate for a given grade regardless of what speed you're at. Of course, take care not to overstress the engine, and if you're going a very high speed the increased aerodynamic drag might exceed any fuel savings on avoiding gravitational drag.

posted by lice on May 13, 2016

this tip works for 17% of voting Fuelly members.

I use cruise control even at lower speeds

Setting the cruise control on my Cruze 2016 saves fuel by removing the pedal movement from the equation. I use it even at lower speeds, such as 35mph in the city when traffic in front is predictable. I check each fill-up mpg as well as "life of car" mpg. I use the cruise control all the time on the interstate.

posted by bh33415 on May 6, 2016

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

Shifting to neutral while driving a car is illegal in most states

I drove a Saab Sonnett III years ago. It had "freewheel" where you could set the car to coast instead of using engine braking power. My dealer told me then that Saab would be removing this feature as the federal government had regulations that prohibit vehicles from coasting while driving. New cars with regenerative braking, you must leave the car in gear while braking. While care is stopped, you can put the car in neutral, such as at a train. Also set the parking brake.

posted by bh33415 on May 6, 2016

this tip works for 9% of voting Fuelly members.

Parallel parking / Leave ample space ahead of you so... can simply startup, turn the steering wheel hard, and drive forward and away. This tactic prevents wasting gas, wear on the car, AND saves you time by NOT having to back up to pull out.

posted by ChewChewTrain on May 4, 2016

this tip works for 48% of voting Fuelly members.

Put yourself in the right state of mind

Plan out your routes and ETAs to arrive confidently on time. Drive the speed limit in the city. It will give yourself enough time to react to bad drivers/cyclists/pedestrians, potholes (very important for lowered cars, low-profile tires), and reduce excess body roll in corners. All of this, in turn, will keep your adrenaline levels lower and hopefully keep you relaxed, despite city congestion.

posted by Larphraulen on May 1, 2016

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

10% Ethanol gas (Gasohol), Know your vehicle

Due to government mandate, a large percentage of the gas in the US contains up to 10% ethanol, which is very detrimental to fuel systems and engines not designed for it (Small engines, older vehicles). In my Geo 10% ethanol equals roughly 10% lower MPG vs real gas. My Tundra on the other hand (Flexfuel) has an almost un-noticeable difference between gas and gasohol(the fact that it's usually used for pulling/hauling may disguise the difference). In the Tundra E85 gets 20-30% less mpg and, per the owners manual, causes shorter oil change intervals. So for it to be viable it needs to be at least 30% cheaper than gas/gasohol.

posted by lksmith on April 29, 2016

this tip works for 59% of voting Fuelly members.

RPM - keep them under 2500

To save GAS you have to drive smoothly and keep revs down. Don't exceed 2000/2500 RPM. In a manual this means to use 1st gear just to get the car moving, then just shift gears to get to 5th or 6th as smooth as possible without exceeding 2000 rpm.

posted by RB1958 on April 29, 2016

this tip works for 55% of voting Fuelly members.

When Engine Off Coasting, look behind you as much... ahead, so you can move over a lane for fast approaching car behind you and thereby not get shot. (later part of this advice for USA consumption)

posted by ChewChewTrain on April 24, 2016

this tip works for 17% of voting Fuelly members.

Save som Gas

While looking at getting new tires, look for lower rolling resistance tires, they could save you lots in the long run! Tiger

posted by Tiger on April 22, 2016

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

Stop for fuel? Fill the tank!

Filling the tank only part way to save 30 or 50 pounds on a 2,000 to 3,000 pound vehicle is missing the mark. If you've found a station, stopped to fuel, waited your turn, etc. - Fill it up! Driving as though your tank only holds 5 or 6 gallons means unnecessary fuel stops and therefore fuel wasting, not only by the extra stops but by planning your day around a partially empty tank! Condensation in a partial tank is an issue as well. Stopped to fuel? - Fill it up! The weight is negligible and you'll save fuel, hassle and worry by using all of your fuel tank.

posted by Littlecars on April 8, 2016

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

A/C compressor runs on "Defrost"

Colorado is cool and also dry. The A/C compressor runs in "Defrost" mode to dry humid air, which we do not have. I pull the plug on the compressor, or the A/C relay (depending on the vehicle) for most of the year. No need to lose engine power AND fuel economy just to run the defroster in a dry climate!

posted by Littlecars on April 8, 2016

this tip works for 19% of voting Fuelly members.

Manual Transmission Coasting: in gear or in neutral?

Coasting up to a stoplight, do leave the car in gear. No fuel is burned and the engine helps you stop or slow smoothly. However, here in Colorado, I know my coasting stretches. There is one stretch after Wilkerson Pass that I can coast in neutral for 10, yes ten miles! Foolish to leave the car in gear when you can ghost along mile after mile for almost free! Never coast with the engine off, as power steering and brakes shut down. Nor do I neutral coast in traffic. If you choose to coast and save fuel, coast in gear to lights and in traffic, coast in neutral on lonely empty roads where you can coast for several miles.

posted by Littlecars on April 8, 2016

this tip works for 52% of voting Fuelly members.

Keep right, be polite, save fuel.

I keep right and invite others to pass me by doing so. While I always drive the speed limit with traffic behind me, some would go faster. By keeping right, I invite passing, reduce ire and drive on the smoothest part of the road! The unworn road allows easier rolling - ask any bicyclist using leg power to get around (me).

posted by Littlecars on April 8, 2016

this tip works for 87% of voting Fuelly members.

Know How Your Cruise Control Works & Selectively Disengage

My cruise control puts on the brakes when it exceeds the set speed by more than 2 MPH or so. That reduces fuel economy! When I'm hypermiling, I'll set the cruise to 50 MPH. When I go downhill, my instantaneous fuel consumption meter shows "0 L/100 km" -- That's when I disengage cruise control and let my car gain speed, up to the legal speed limit (I rarely overspeed under these conditions). When my car slows to almost 50 MPH as it levels out or starts the next incline, I re-engage the cruise control. This is one technique I've used to attain a remarkable 51.8 MPG in a 3.0 liter V6 diesel SUV (actual Fuelly fuel economy over 528 miles).

posted by SteveMak on April 7, 2016

this tip works for 74% of voting Fuelly members.

auto stop fuel nozzle

When filling up the tank stop the fuel through the nozzle as soon as you hear the first click because if you ignore it and carry on topping up the fuel left over in the pipe returns automatically to the petrol station tanks although you have already been charged for it.

posted by Kellyvp on April 6, 2016

this tip works for 18% of voting Fuelly members.


If you've taken a physics course, you likely understand many things involved with driving. If you haven't ever taken physics, perhaps you should take a course or read a book/article on it. Physics is immensely important in regards to driving a car. Tire traction in different elements, engine providing acceleration or deceleration, all the moving parts, steering, braking, potential and kinetic energy. Our vehicles are truly amazing with all the physics they demonstrate on a daily basis. The more you know, the better off your odds of attaining the best MPG!

posted by falas on April 5, 2016

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

Furthest shopping destination first

Driving to the furthest shopping destination on your list warms the engine to its optimum operating temperature to maximize your fuel economy as you make the shorter trips on your way back home.

posted by PressFit on April 5, 2016

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.

Skip drive-throughs

It is better for your car and your own well-being to just park the car and walk into any store offering a drive-through.

posted by PressFit on April 5, 2016

this tip works for 98% of voting Fuelly members.

Do not coast in neutral

Modern vehicles today, even older ones, will shut off fuel injectors after a few seconds of coasting. Using the vehicle speed to rotate the engine. If you shift to neutral, fuel will be spent to keep the engine idling.

posted by austinfranck on April 2, 2016

this tip works for 72% of voting Fuelly members.

Roof Racks

Are you going on a vacation? No? Remove that roof rack and the bars. Don't need it, don't use it? Remove it. Save up to 2 L/100 by doing so. My Jetta TDI was doing 5.5 avg without and 7.5 with the roof rack. Mind you different size of boxes will change your L/100 losses.

posted by GongShow556 on March 30, 2016

this tip works for 98% of voting Fuelly members.

Before Starting Your Engine, Look for Other Cars

Why start your engine, if on coming traffic keeps you pinned in your parking space? WRONG: Start engine, look for clear traffic, pull out. RIGHT: Look for clear traffic, start engine, GO! - Doug in California

posted by ChewChewTrain on March 30, 2016

this tip works for 44% of voting Fuelly members.

Speaking of weight loss...

Check your trunk and check our backseats. Remove anything you don't need on the road or need during an emergency. Best part is, you're decluttering and clean up as well. Sometimes, you'd be surprised at what you'll find.

posted by manixpc on March 29, 2016

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.

Chill out...

When the light turns green take it easy and just accelerate nice and slow. You're not in a race with anyone if you gun it, it burns through gas way faster normal.. You don't have to be the first person on the line. This helps me save gas all the time, & if you apply this to your driving habits it will save your gas too! Hope this helps..

posted by NOMPGMAN on March 23, 2016

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.