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Fuel Saving Tips


Drive-thru idling

While stopped in the drive thru (whether there is a line or not), I always shut my engine off and engage the parking brake until I need to move again. I've found this increases my mileage quite considerably, especially when the line moves more slowly than I expect it to.

posted by Hawkraptor on November 15, 2015

this tip works for 68% of voting Fuelly members.


If you have a squeal when you turn the wheel you may be wasting fuel

A worn power steering pump can cost plenty fuel consumption. Same for any accessories that are dragging or brakes that are seized up, these things are especially common on vehicles that were stored.

posted by MTA4171 on November 15, 2015

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.


Manual Transmissions - Use relaxed shifts

When shifting, do so at a lazy pace so that there is a slight pause before re-engaging the clutch - there are two main benefits: longer pause between shifts allows the engine speed to slow down and rev-match the next gear, which will reduce wear on the clutch. The other benefit is the pause means less time on the accelerator and making use of the momentum you've already built similar to "pulse and glide". This effect may not work with all cars, especially ones with performance flywheels, as lighter flywheels increase engine response, making the rev-matching much quicker compared to the heaver, but smoother running flywheels of normal cars.

posted by jerm1027 on November 13, 2015

this tip works for 52% of voting Fuelly members.


Coasting in Neutral

If you own a modern common rail diesel engine such as a VW TDI, coasting in neutral uses more fuel that coasting in gear. The engine managment system shuts off all fuel to the injectors when coasting in gear since the drivetrain keeps the engine turning. This also provides braking effort to slow down the vehicle, in this case the engine becomes an air compressor. Once the engine speed decreases below a certain RPM (~1000rpm), fuel is then reapplied to keep the engine running as the transmission is disengaged.

posted by Scratchy101 on November 7, 2015

this tip works for 82% of voting Fuelly members.


Keep calm & carry on

Getting hot under the collar because of other peoples actions on the road will only make you drive more aggressively. This wastes fuel, reduces your rational decision making & increases the risk level you're willing to take. Most likely you'll not gain any time either, so keep in chilled in the drivers seat.

posted by techathy on November 4, 2015

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.


F150 achievement- 2.7 Ecoboost.

Reviews and drivers show disappointing 15-19 mpg F150s with 2.7 V6 EB. But my new reg cab XL @ only 4167 lbs, 3.31 rear axle; light foot; low RPM; slow on hwy (65 mph), no idling, can achieve mpg above 20 mixed. Ecodiesel and little Duramax will do better, but F150s with 2.7 start @ $27K MSRP; diesel mid-size and 1/2-ton start @ $34K MSRP.

posted by gregsfc on October 31, 2015

this tip works for 19% of voting Fuelly members.


Old Cars W/ manual overdrive, beware!

I've noticed, particularly in cold weather, shifting my '96 Oldsmobile Ciera into overdrive (4th) causes the engine to cool down to the point where it is not at operating temperature. This plays havoc with my consumption, so I only allow it to shift up to 3rd, which helps immensely.

posted by bigdamnhero on October 30, 2015

this tip works for 28% of voting Fuelly members.


See a Red Light, Foot Off The Gas

See a red light in the distance, take your foot off the gas. Your momentum will get your car towards the light without using gas. If your lucky, the light might turn green and your off driving without having to sit at the light.

posted by OttaCee on October 29, 2015

this tip works for 99% of voting Fuelly members.


Go for least amount of fuel used instead of lowest MPG (or L/100km)

Everybody wants to get low fuel consumption figures for bragging rights but consider that the really important factor is how much fuel you end up using to get to your final destination. Especially true for daily commutes. Consider route A: 40km at 5.0l/100km Consider route B: 35km at 5.5l/100km Naturally route A seems better and gives us a better looking Fuelly sig but route A uses 2.0 liters of gas vs route B using 1.925 liters. It also puts less wear-and-tear on your car and makes the warranty last longer. Other things to consider.

posted by dborn on October 28, 2015

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.


Learn your car's engine

Cruise & accelerate at the optimal rpm for your car's engine. How do you work out what's optimal? On a quiet road accelerate from chugging rpm to the red line at 50-60% throttle. The point at which the engine is most responsive, that's where you cruise. The fastest acceleration is where you accelerate/climb steep inclines.

posted by techathy on October 25, 2015

this tip works for 20% of voting Fuelly members.


Consider Total Cost of Ownership with Tires, not just Tire Pressure!

Many will suggest simply over inflating tires for best mileage. Overinflated tires wear the center before the edges, which can lead to premature replacement. Tires are expensive and may lead to a higher total cost of ownership than the saved gas alone. When tires need to be replaced, choose the rubber compound wisely. Tires that claim "high mileage" use a harder compound that can increase fuel efficiency and cost of use, but will have less traction in winter as well. Choose the tire for the application, not just the cheapest tire or by brand!

posted by miles0smiles on October 23, 2015

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.


Get to know your cruise control

Late model cars have cruise control systems designed for optimal acceleration, without jerky movements that increase engine and transmission wear. Try it for yourself: As soon as safely possible after a stop, find when the "resume" function will engage. This is as early as 10kph in many new cars. Many such systems are optimized for ideal fuel consumption as well. Recent engine control systems find optimal acceleration automatically. And the faster your car gets up to speed in that manner, the sooner it can get into high-mileage cruise mode!

posted by miles0smiles on October 23, 2015

this tip works for 42% of voting Fuelly members.


Fuelly Fuel Saving Tips

Pay attention to the voting percentages on all these tips and avoid the tips with low ratings. It amazes me how much bad advice and mis-information is actually in here. Fuelly.com is a great site but they don't police the tips area very well or delete bad info listed here.

posted by NovaResource on October 17, 2015

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.


Managing approaching downhill

For CVT transmissions (no true neutral). Some downhill grades will cause your engine to brake the car, if you have to let off the gas completely, reducing your efficiency. If you are approaching such a hill and no traffic is behind you, slow down nearer the top and use minimal pedal (just before braking) to allow your car to retain momentum down the hill.

posted by Waldguy on October 12, 2015

this tip works for 64% of voting Fuelly members.


Ride an Electric Bicycle (E-Bike) for short errands.

If you get an ebike or convert a bike to an ebike you can use it for short errands and maybe to travel to work all while also getting some exercise. You can peddle for a while and use the electric motor to keep from over heating. I ride mine to the post office and to the store to buy a few groceries. Short trips kill gas milage so the ebike is perfect to get the best gas milage in your vehicle. It cost next to nothing to charge the battery so you save money on gas, excise ware and tare on your car or truck Get out and enjoy the ride.

posted by NorCalExplorer on September 21, 2015

this tip works for 38% of voting Fuelly members.


Ethanol is not always bad

Ethanol is a mixture of Gasoline and Alcohol. Usually it's called E10, E20 and E85, meaning 10%, 20% or 85% ethanol. If your car or motorcycle engine is designed to run on Ethanol, it's perfectly fine and the mileage will be nearly the same. There is maybe 1-2% decrease in milleage for E10-E20. Another thing to consider is that Ethanol releases less polutants and has a slightly higher combustion rate, which provides more power to the engine. If your car was not designed to run on Ethanol, you will sufer performance and may damage your engine and ruber cables.

posted by frederico on September 20, 2015

this tip works for 8% of voting Fuelly members.


Buy a moped for daily city commute

I have experience with cars, motorcycle, and bicycle in a city - everyday commuting to work and back to home. lastly, i choose a underbone moped ( chinese "analog" of Honda Innova / Wave with 100 cc engine). Fuel cons is bit less than 2 litres per 100 km ( 4 times!!! less than a car, and 3 times less than 600cc motorcycle!). travel to work time is only a tad more, than on "big" motorcycle. no rush, no weighty as motorcycle - almost ideal transport for single or with one passenger and rucksack. best thing.

posted by drago76 on September 19, 2015

this tip works for 38% of voting Fuelly members.


Drafting Saves Fuel! But be careful...

I took a 1,300 km trip from Calgary AB to Winnipeg MB and did a test on my 2014 Volkswagen Tiguan. On the first leg, I set the cruise to 115 km/h and no drafting behind anyone. Halfway through, I filled up and achieved 8.0 l/100km(29.4mpg). After filling up, I was lucky enough to find a fully loaded semi doing exactly 115 as well. I stayed behind him all the way until Winnipeg staying back around 15-20 feet(too close in my opinion but it was for a purpose :) ). I filled up and achieved a whopping 6.7 l/100km(35mpg).

posted by buyingconstant7 on September 10, 2015

this tip works for 46% of voting Fuelly members.


Red light at bottom of hill? Pull over at the top.

In my area, there are a couple of signal lights planted at the bottom of two hills and the road then flattens out. Don't roll up and stop dead at the red light. While still on the down grade, when you spot a distant red light, I suggest pull off to the side of the road or, if that's not possible, ultra slow down. When the light changes, you can use gravity to continue to roll through the new green light or pop the clutch to restart the engine.

posted by ChewChewTrain on September 8, 2015

this tip works for 22% of voting Fuelly members.


Other cars entering freeway / How to judge if you will collide or not

Driving in the far right freeway lane puts us in conflict with cars entering the freeway. Here's how to know if you're going to collide. The sailing term is called "ranging". You compare the nose of the vehicle to that of a non-moving background, like a freeway wall. If the nose of that car remains static to the background you are on a collision course. In this case, you should slow down. If the nose of that car is visually "eating" the background, they will merge ahead of you. If the nose of that car is visually "giving up" the background, they will merge behind you. Doug in Oakland, California USA

posted by ChewChewTrain on September 7, 2015

this tip works for 65% of voting Fuelly members.


Using Neutral when Coasting in Modern-Day Vehicles

For years I have understood that using neutral burns fuel to keep the car idling while rolling, and coasting in gear uses no fuel because there is complete fuel cut. I however began using the neutral method again and due to less engine friction I am able to coast much further and many times pick up speed when I would normally be slowing down, which equates to better fuel economy. My actual results when filling up are proof that using neutral does actually work better in most situations. My in-dash fuel econ reading will stay at 99.9(max) while coasting in gear OR neutral, and when in neutral it only decreases once under 10mph.

posted by RieBauer17 on September 6, 2015

this tip works for 43% of voting Fuelly members.


Gas Station Pumps / Get consistent MPG scores

Have you noticed some gas pumps are overly sensitive to shutting off before your tank is full? Make a mental note of the bad pumps at your favorite gas station so your MPG scores remain consistent. Doug - Oakland, CA

posted by ChewChewTrain on September 1, 2015

this tip works for 47% of voting Fuelly members.


straighten the road

When conditions allow on mountainous roads, steer a straight line, even if it temporarily crosses the center line. This will reduce friction, reduce the route distance and smooth the ride for your passengers.

posted by PressFit on August 31, 2015

this tip works for 33% of voting Fuelly members.


Highest gear not necessarily "economy" gear

Hi! I was always lead to believe getting in the highest gear as soon as possible was best for economy. My Scangauge shows that often staying in 4th or 5th in my 6 speed car gives better Mpg - despite the eco indicator telling me to upshift!

posted by benlovesgoddess on August 30, 2015

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.


Drive safely, not stupidly

Do not ever turn off your car when you are driving. You go from being an active, able to avoid driver, to a rock with momentum. Saving an extra ounce of fuel is not worth causing an accident because you couldn't accelerate or brake fast enough.

posted by dirtyJ on August 30, 2015

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.


Timing Belt Change, 2005 Lexus LS430, 90Kmi and 10 years

Suggested is 90K miles, 10 years. I was right at that, 10 years 86K miles. When it was replaced, which included a lot of other things, like water pump etc. The original pump had a small leak. To quote the excellent mechanic "if you went one more year, coulda been big trouble". $1200 spent. Felt good. There is an after market brand that makes the original equipment named "Aisin", don't use anything but this company replacement equipment, belt, water pump, sensors, etc.

posted by Higgler on August 29, 2015

this tip works for 12% of voting Fuelly members.


Avoid the Drive-Thru

Unless you drive a hybrid the Drive-Thru can be a huge waste of fuel. With a long lineup of vehicles it will take the same amount of time and save money to park and walk in, it's also an opportunity to stretch out your legs and back.

posted by ryguy on August 29, 2015

this tip works for 97% of voting Fuelly members.


Being Considerate When Driving Long Distances

If a car has appears behind you that wasn't there before it means they're driving faster than you and want to pass. When you go through a small township you'll have to slow down so pull over for about 10 seconds and let that car pass. They'll be very grateful. Ever been stuck behind an RV? If you don't let people pass then you are that RV! If you catch a car not going your speed - flash your lights a couple of times. Isn't flashing your lights too aggressive? No, dangerously tail gating someone and honking is aggressive. Unless there is another way to communicate with the car in front of you I suggest a quick couple of flashes.

posted by Nutsaur on August 29, 2015

this tip works for 55% of voting Fuelly members.


Accelerate at high RPMs and Cruise at low RPMs

Try to accelerate at or near your peak torque (this is the most efficient zone for the engine) and once you get to your desired speed shift up into a higher gear to bring the RPM to around 1500. Try experimenting to see if it makes a difference. your fuel consumption will be slighter higher while accelerating but the time you spend accellerating will be reduced which brings the average fuel consumption down. I used to accelerate at 1500-2000rpm, I decided to try accelerating at 2-3000rpm and my fuel consumption has improved by about 10%-20% over my last two fuel ups!

posted by Mikes1992 on August 27, 2015

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.


Consider the effect of speed/lack of.

It's no secret that higher wind resistance upon your vehicle hurts your fuel economy. However, what many people may not realize, and test have proven this, is that aerodynamic drag increases exponentially as headwind/vehicle speed or both increase. For most vehicles, the optimal speed for maximizing fuel economy is between 40-50mph. As you go faster than that, the aerodynamic drag increases at an increasing rate to your speed. Popular Mechanics ran a test of a Toyota Camry once. At 45, it achieved 35mpg. At 55, it was about 30, and at 65, closer to 25mpg.

posted by jldude on August 23, 2015

this tip works for 89% of voting Fuelly members.