With gas and diesel prices up and continuing to climb, it’s worth paying
attention to what you drive, when you drive, where you drive, and how
Here are ten tips for saving fuel:
- Drive less. The best way to save fuel is not to burn it. Consolidate
trips, car pool when possible, and drive during off-peak hours to
- Drive slower, perhaps the speed limit for a change. At freeway
speeds, aerodynamics play a measurable role in fuel economy.
Driving in the 60- to 65-mile-per-hour range instead of 75-plusmile-per-hour range will likely increase your fuel mileage by 2 or
more miles per gallon.
- Keep the engine in tune. What does that mean with today’s
electronically fuel-injected engines? Not much, other than making
sure the engine is running as it should. Spark plugs, air filters, and
oxygen sensors are the primary components that influence fuel
economy. Install a new air filter once per year—or more frequently
if you live near or drive on dirt or dusty roads—and have the engine
scoped on an engine analyzer every 30,000 to 50,000 miles to make
sure it’s running properly.
- Properly inflate your tires. Pressures at or above 30 to 35 psi are a
good choice for most passenger cars. At higher inflation pressures,
the tire’s rolling resistance decreases. It takes less power to roll the
tires down the road. That saves you fuel.
- Keep tires and wheels properly aligned. Not only will this help
tires last longer, but properly aligned tires offer less rolling
resistance, thus, slightly better fuel mileage.
- Keep the front of vehicle clean and free of debris, especially in
the grille opening. Keeping the air conditioning condenser and
radiator free of bugs, leaves, and debris allows the engine to coolmore efficiently and the air conditioning to work less to keep
occupants cool—both of which will save fuel.
- Accelerate modestly. It takes fuel to make power, so the harder you
accelerate, the more fuel the engine burns. At freeway speed,
accelerate gently to avoid transmission downshifts if possible.
Again, lower engine rpm generally means less fuel consumption.
- Coast as much and as often as you can. Anticipate stop signs,
traffic lights, and slowdowns. Why keep accelerating toward a stop?
Lifting off the throttle and coasting toward the stop or slowdown
obviously saves fuel.
- Brake gently and as little as possible—within reason, of course.
You still need to stop before the intersection. Applying your brakes
converts energy from fuel you’ve already burned when accelerating
the vehicle back into heat. Don’t waste what you’ve already spent;
coast as much as possible and brake as little as possible.
- Eyes up! Look as far ahead as possible to maintain good situational
awareness. The farther ahead you look, the more time and distance
you have to adjust the speed and direction of your vehicle. Good
situational awareness is the key to safe driving, and it also saves
fuel by helping you anticipate the need to slow or stop early,
allowing you to do so gently and progressively