Adopt Good Driving Habits
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Anticipate traffic situations and maintain
adequate spacing between vehicles to avoid unnecessary braking and acceleration. When you do accelerate, do so smoothly at a moderate rate. Sensible driving is also safer, so you may save more than gas money.
Driver feedback devices can help you drive more efficiently, leading to behavioral changes that can improve fuel economy by up to 10%.
Remove Excess Weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 kilogram in your vehicle could reduce your fuel economy by around 1%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle.
Keep Your Car in Shape
Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4%. However, results vary based on the type of repair and how well it is done.
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3% for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. The proper tire pressure for your vehicle is usually found on a sticker in the driver’s side door jamb or the glove box, as well as in your owner’s manual. Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire’s sidewall.
Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil
You can improve your gas mileage by 1%–2% by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1%–2%. Using 5W- 30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1%–1.5%.
Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains frictionreducing additives.
Replacing a Clogged Air Filter on Modern Cars Improves Performance but Not Fuel Economy
Replacing a clogged air filter on vehicles with fuel-injected, computer-controlled gasoline engines—such as those manufactured from the early 1980s to the present—or diesel engines does not improve fuel economy, but it can improve acceleration. Replacing a clogged air filter on an older vehicle with a carbureted engine can improve both fuel economy and acceleration by a few percent under normal replacement conditions.
Other Ways to Save Fuel
Combining trips can reduce the distance you drive, and it allows you to travel more miles when your engine is warm. Your engine runs more efficiently when it is warmed up.
• Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours so that you spend less time in stop-and-go traffic.
• Drive your most fuel efficient vehicle often.
• Participate in carpools and ride-share programs.
• Walk or cycle short distances when possible.
• Use public transit if it is available and convenient for you.
• Buy a more fuel efficient vehicle.