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Fuel Saving Tips

Save $$$ with Better MPG and with Paying Less for Fuel

Saving $$$ is nice reward for challenging ourselves with hacking the MPG game. Another way to save $$$ is by paying less for gas. You might want to try a phone app called "Gas Buddy", which shows you prevailing gas prices in your area. Doug in Oakland, California

posted by ChewChewTrain on July 26, 2015

this tip works for 74% of voting Fuelly members.

Medium Thick Commute Traffic / Your Best MPG?

Recently, I got some surprising MPG results. "That's odd," I thought, "because my hypermiling techniques haven't changed." So WTF? I recalled I had been making more freeway trips in slower moving commute traffic. Slower commute traffic is your "excuse" to drive 40 or 45mph-ish, where your air resistance is much less. During non-commute hours, when others are driving 70mph, if I were to be traveling at 40mph, other drivers would use my car for target practice. So, the lesson is that light commute traffic can be your best MPG friend, because it gives you the cover to drive at slower freeway speeds. Doug in Oakland, California

posted by ChewChewTrain on July 26, 2015

this tip works for 83% of voting Fuelly members.

How to save on petrol prices.

Instead of driving your own car use someone else's :)

posted by Drive2Fast on July 22, 2015

this tip works for 25% of voting Fuelly members.

Coasting does help

When coasting, kick your manual (not auto) into neutral, well in advance of slow traffic. You'll maintain speed and use little fuel. If you may be stopping, downshift, and you'll save slightly more fuel (as your injectors turn off), but slow down quicker. Occasionally I have to commute 70 miles. I climb 2 hills and see as much as 1 MPG trip improvement, per the scangauge, by coasting. It also gains momentum for the next hill. (They are steep hills, for a freeway.) It is counter-intuitive, but the gauge doesn't lie. Oh, and after driving it 130K, the Neon still has its original brakes.

posted by mperry on July 20, 2015

this tip works for 63% of voting Fuelly members.

Don't top off at the pump

When you fill up, wait for the pump to click and then stop. I used to top off without realizing that almost 100% of that fuel is wasted either directly back through the pump to avoid spillage, or in your car itself because it is "over full" I saw a 3mpg improvement when I stopped topping off, all because I was paying for gas that never made it into my engine!

posted by jimbobbeng on July 15, 2015

this tip works for 68% of voting Fuelly members.

Clear the Clutter

I try to keep only the essentials in my car. Hauling extra weight means higher fuel costs.

posted by PressFit on July 13, 2015

this tip works for 98% of voting Fuelly members.

driving style

For cars with manual transmissions, shift sooner and drive slower. which often means just driving the speed limit. It's obvious, not much fun, but saves fuel. When I use the highest possible gear that doesn't lug the engine, I can get 12% better fuel economy.

posted by tstad9i on July 12, 2015

this tip works for 94% of voting Fuelly members.

Traffic Signals / Be Familiar with Patterns and Timing

Most of us repeat patterns of driving, such as going to work. For example, from my experience I know when I turn the corner at one signal the next light will surely be red. In that case, if traffic behind me allows, I simply crawl around the corner slowly enough to roll through the next signal as it turns green. Improve your MPG by becoming aware of your signal timings.

posted by ChewChewTrain on July 12, 2015

this tip works for 99% of voting Fuelly members.

Freeway Game / Whoever displays up their brake lights loses!

In stop and go freeway traffic, have you ever noticed the car ahead of you riding the bumper of the car ahead of them so closely that they are constantly displaying their brake lights? THEY'RE AN IDIOT!

posted by ChewChewTrain on July 12, 2015

this tip works for 96% of voting Fuelly members.

GONE WITH THE WIND (cute, eh?)

On a Oakland to Los Angeles trip, my return north was 10mpg LESS! My driving style was the same in both directions. WTF - I recently repeated the "bad leg" of my LA trip and got the same 54-ish MPG in BOTH directions. So why? - If you sail, you know the wind normally comes up around noon and dies after sunset. - This time I traveled north at night INSTEAD of day. - During the day there must be a southerly wind blowing along California's Highway 5. - With "local knowledge", as sailors call it, drive accordingly. Drive with a tail wind and return when conditions are favorable. - As sailors say, "May you always have the wind at your back!"

posted by ChewChewTrain on July 12, 2015

this tip works for 90% of voting Fuelly members.

Turn off the A/C when accelerating

Accelerating uses a lot of energy and fuel. If stopped at lights, or a junction, try turning off the air conditioning for a few moments until you have accelerated back up to cruising speed. The air con will only put the engine under extra load whilst accelerating back up to speed. You can also try switching the air con off when going up hills.

posted by Draigflag on July 12, 2015

this tip works for 66% of voting Fuelly members.

Good mileage

Drive as if the highway patrol was following you, or as if you were taking your driving test. It will improve your mileage.

posted by PierreM on June 30, 2015

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

Freeway / Help Truckers Pass Easier

On the freeway when trucks pull out to pass on my left, if there's no traffic behind them, I will key off my car. This does two good things. It gives me a chance to spike my MPG with a Pulse and Glide moment and, because I slow down, it helps the trucker pass easier, as they will normally pull back into my lane ahead of me. Doug Oakland, California USA

posted by ChewChewTrain on June 30, 2015

this tip works for 5% of voting Fuelly members.

Lower your Aero Drag by going a Tiny Bit Slower

I figure 53mph is close enough to 55mph that other drivers will simply believe I'm trying to go 55mph but that my odometer is slightly off. Doug Oakland, California USA

posted by ChewChewTrain on June 30, 2015

this tip works for 26% of voting Fuelly members.

Think of high MPG as a Game

Saving $$$ at the pump is nice, but that's NOT my primary motivation. Are you a competitive person, like me? If so, treat each tankful of gas like the "start of another game" as another chance to beat your all-time MPG record. Doug Oakland, California USA

posted by ChewChewTrain on June 30, 2015

this tip works for 86% of voting Fuelly members.

How I got 54.65mpg on the Freeway

I recently got 54.59mpg on my trip from Oakland to Los Angeles, a 373 mile trip, with my 1989 Civic hatchback. Here's how I did it. Have you noticed freeway cars travel like packs of animals? There's often a huge blank space between these groups. When my car is in that void, to lower my car's aero drag, I use that time to slow down from 53mph to as slow as 45mph. When I see traffic approaching behind me, I'll speed back up to 53mph. This keeps me from getting shot. :) After the pack of cars passes, I'll go back to 45-48mph. Doug Oakland, California USA

posted by ChewChewTrain on June 30, 2015

this tip works for 18% of voting Fuelly members.

New air filters don't change MPG

Contrary to popular belief, especially what you'll hear from the companies and stores trying to sell filters (hint hint), changing your air filter will NOT improve your mpg, nor will it extend the life of your engine (BTW, dirty filters filter better). It will remove a slight restriction to peak horsepower but not save gas, so feel free to put that money elsewhere.

posted by Hexadecimus on June 29, 2015

this tip works for 31% of voting Fuelly members.

Switch your engine off at traffic lights

If you know the timing of the traffic lights and/or you know you're going to be stopped longer then 10 seconds switch your engine off. (this works best if you have a modern fuel injected car, carbs tend to be very wasteful when starting). If you have a manual transmission put it into first gear so you can just press the clutch start and go

posted by Mikes1992 on June 27, 2015

this tip works for 39% of voting Fuelly members.

Hot tire pressure vs. cold tire pressure

Be aware that recommended tire air pressures are for a cold tire. If you have driven the car for a few miles or more, you need to add 4 PSI to each tire when checking pressure. The tire pressure will go down by itself as the tire cools and go back up by itself as the tire heats up again. Filling a warm or hot tire to the recommended cold tire pressure will be an under-inflated tire and reduce gas mileage.

posted by battruck on June 26, 2015

this tip works for 99% of voting Fuelly members.

Drive at real speed limit not optimistic speedo indication

Speedo optimism is usually around 10%. Because of this you may be travelling at 27mph in a 30 in 3rd or 36mph in a 40 in 4th. If you speed up to account for the 10% speedo exaggeration you could in fact be easily in 4th and 5th gear respectively and use 15-20% less fuel. Use your average speed readout, which you reset at cruise control at 30mph (indicated). The average speed gives the real speed. For my car, cruise at 30 is actually a real speed of 27.2mph. For cruise at 40, the actual speed is 37mph. By speeding up and shifting up to compensate for this, about 20% better fuel economy can be achieved.

posted by Charles1989 on June 22, 2015

this tip works for 13% of voting Fuelly members.

Date your filters

Use a permanent marker and write a date on all your filters when you replace them. It also prevents unscrupulous service people from showing you a dirty filter which is not yours.

posted by pgm944 on June 21, 2015

this tip works for 92% of voting Fuelly members.

Air Conditioning vs windows down

Studies have shown that driving with the windows down instead of using the air conditioning saves fuel. But, only when driving below 30mph. Above 30mph, the open windows cause much more drag and using your a/c then becomes more efficient.

posted by wearelove on June 20, 2015

this tip works for 84% of voting Fuelly members.

Cheapest Pump Price may not be the Best Fuel to Buy

Using the fuel which is cheapest at the pump may not be the cheapest fuel to use. I did an experiment filling up several times and logging the MPG at all the different outlets close to home. The outlet with the cheapest pump price was actually the most expensive returning a much lower MPG figure resulting in a significant increase in cost per mile.

posted by storeman on June 20, 2015

this tip works for 77% of voting Fuelly members.

Be nice to your clutch

On the occasions you are stopped at a traffic light, put the car into neutral. The engine will have no extra load so is using the least amount of fuel but by not tiding the clutch you are not wearing it out so increasing the life of the clutch so the clutch will last a lot longer saving even more money. Of course this is irrelevant for cars with Stop-Start technology.

posted by storeman on June 20, 2015

this tip works for 71% of voting Fuelly members.

Hidden Savings

I've read lots of tips suggesting that when approaching a red light or junction coasting in gear is better than shifting into neutral to increase MPG. This is quite correct on modern cars as the vehicles momentum keeps the engine turning and uses the engine as a brake. What they all fail to mention is that you are also increasing the life of your brake pads / shoes and discs / drums (Yes some new cars still have drum brakes on the rear). The end result is savings in fuel costs and an additional saving by reducing the frequency for replacing brake components.

posted by storeman on June 20, 2015

this tip works for 91% of voting Fuelly members.

Shifting to Neutral

... during traffic light stops or when standing for long time in traffic, saves on the wear of the automatic transmission clutches, and on level ground on having to hold the foot on the brake pedal against idle creeping forward.

posted by ZoltanGZ on June 17, 2015

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.

Fuel additives for diesels

Diesel injectors are very delicate parts. They run at very high pressure and have tiny fuel passages that can get clogged decreasing efficiency. Using a cleaning additive occasionally can clean the injectors and prevent costly repairs (if they get clogged so much that they stop working). Warning: only use cleaning additives if you always used them since the car was new and you changed the diesel filter regularly. Otherwise you may free some gunk from the filter or fuel tank and clog your injectors.

posted by Cinon on June 14, 2015

this tip works for 79% of voting Fuelly members.

Use a mixture of neutral coasting and in gear coasting

I've seen allot of tips saying never to coast in neutral. I find it's best to use a mixture of neutral coasting and coasting in gear If you're going down hill and you're having to use your brakes then shift into gear, if you're not stay in neutral. If you're going to stop or you have to slow down for a corner and you'd have to brake stay in gear and use fuel cut off mode Coasting is more efficient so if you can it's best plan ahead so you can coast down to your desired speed. Different situations benifit from different methods and cut off mode is much more efficient in high gears then in low gears so plan, use it early in high gears

posted by Mikes1992 on June 12, 2015

this tip works for 58% of voting Fuelly members.

Tyre pressure

Some tips have suggested inflating tyres to the maximum pressure indicated on the side of the tyre. This is not a good idea for the following reasons: - A very uncomfortable ride on rough roads. - Cornering and braking grip is reduced - Wear is concentrated on the centre of the tyre tread and tyres will need to be replaced early negating any fuel savings. Use the manufacturers weight/pressure placard as a guide and add a few psi (say 4 psi) to the recommendation and you should achieve a good balance between economy and safety.

posted by Gerrycan on June 10, 2015

this tip works for 80% of voting Fuelly members.

Better gas mileage when going downhill.

You get better gas mileage when going downhill, so I put big tires on the back and little tires on the front so that it is ALWAYS going downhill.

posted by battruck on June 10, 2015

this tip works for 16% of voting Fuelly members.