Stop braking… as much. A moving car consumes less fuel than an accelerating one. In heavy traffic it’s smart to leave plenty of distance between you and the car ahead. Settle into a speed that allows you to coast along slowly, because constantly braking and accelerating again – even at low speeds – reduces your gas mileage by 10% to 20%.
Aggressive driving? It’s unsafe and guzzles gas! Weaving in and out of lanes increases your braking and accelerating. (See #2.)
Easy turns. If you need to slow down before turning a corner or bend, brake before turning. Coast into the turn and you’ll benefit from the car’s momentum as you accelerate afterwards.
Stop flooring it. Jack rabbit starts eat up more fuel, too.
Avoid stops. No, we’re not suggesting rolling through STOP signs and red lights. Travel a route that’s short and requires the fewest stops. Remember how accelerating uses more fuel? (See #2.)
Move forward. Avoid driving in reverse as much as possible.
Turn right. Waiting to turn left requires idling.
Turn off. Sure, it’s exhausting to get out of the car and walk in to a building for your morning coffee, but it consumes less fuel than if you idle in the drive-through line for more than 30 seconds (especially with the A/C running). The same applies for the school pick-up lane, ATM withdrawals, traffic jams, etc.
Buy regular. Some car manuals suggest otherwise. But if your car has no fuel specification, buy the cheaper stuff; it won’t make a difference in the way your car runs.
Wake up! Hit the gas station early in the day when the air is cool. Gas is measured by volume, and cooler gas is the densest; you’ll get the most fuel for your buck in the morning.
Don’t top off. Trying to squeeze that very last drop of gasoline into the tank after the pump has shut off just leads to spillage and evaporation.
Upside down? Yes! Turn the fuel pump nozzle upside down before removing it from your tank. You’ve paid for the fuel that remains in the nozzle; so use it!
Tighten up. The gas cap keeps fuel from evaporating out of your fuel tank and, still, 17% of vehicles on the road have loose or broken gas caps!
Pay cash. Many truck stops and highway travel centers charge a little bit more per gallon when you pay with a charge card.
Travel light. Leaving odds and ends in the trunk, in the backseat and on the floor adds weight to your vehicle. Lighter vehicles consume less gas. Emergency supplies and the spare tire are important, but all that other stuff can go. Remove bike and ski racks when they’re not being used.
Pump up. Under-inflated tires don’t roll properly.
Get in line. Aligned tires are more fuel-efficient than tires that pull every which way. Driving on unbalanced or misaligned tires creates drag.
Heavy metal. Steel-belted radial tires increase fuel efficiency by 10%!
LRR. Look for tires rated for “low rolling resistance.” They could improve fuel efficiency by 7%.
O/D. Use it during highway driving.
Cruise control. Use it on smooth highway drives, but not bumpy, winding roads or short trips.
Replace the spark plugs.
Clean air. Change the air filter regularly, but not necessarily every time someone tells you to.
Maintain the proper oil level. It reduces friction and that reduces fuel consumption.
De-ice. In wintertime, remove icicles from your car frame. Snow and ice are heavy additions to your vehicle.
No A/C. It’s unanimous that air conditioning use reduces fuel economy up to 20%
Get polished. A shiny clean and waxed car creates less wind resistance!
Park inside. Or in the shade. The warm sunlight heats up your car and causes fuel evaporation.
Roll up the windows/Roll down the windows. There seem to be equal arguments for both, so we encourage you to do your own testing and decide what works best for you!
So here is every tip for saving fuel that’s out there — the simple ones that can be put to use today without a lot of expense. So, barring those obvious (and expensive) “buy a hybrid car” and “convert an old diesel to bio-diesel” suggestions, these are the things drivers and environmentalists agree will save drivers some money and save the world some pollution.
Top 30 Gas-Saving Tips for Drivers
- Slow down. The faster we drive the more fuel we consume. Slowing to 20 mpg would defeat the purpose of driving, of course. Lead foots, though, should keep their speed in check. Driving 75 mph consumes 20% more fuel than driving 65 mph.
If any great tips were missed, please leave a comment! Every little bit counts when it comes to saving fuel… and money.
Amy H. Smith writes for Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge located in St. James New York on the North Shore of Long Island.
When you’re ready for those new tires, oil change or spark plugs, please visit the service department at Smith Haven Chrysler Jeep Dodge in St. James, NY. We’ll be glad to tune up your vehicle for better gas savings.