Ten tips for improving your car’s fuel economy

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Ten tips for improving your car's fuel economy

Before we dive into ten tips for improving your car’s fuel economy, take a moment to understand why improving your car’s fuel economy is important. Fuel economy refers to the number of miles your vehicle can travel per gallon of fuel. Better fuel economy means you can go further with less gas, ultimately saving money and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

One of the first studies to determine fuel economy in the United States was the Mobil Economy Run, an event held every year from 1936 (except World War II) to 1968. It was designed to provide real-world fuel economy numbers during a coast-to-coast test on real roads and under normal traffic and weather conditions. Mobil Oil Corporation sponsored it, and the United States Auto Club (USAC) sanctioned and operated the race.

In more recent studies, the average fuel economy for new passenger cars in the United States improved from 17 mpg (13.8 L/100 km) in 1978 to more than 22 mpg (10.7 L/100 km) in 1982. Fuel economy of 25.4 miles per US gallon (9.3 L/100 km) for the 2020 model year in the United States. 2019 model-year cars (e.g., EVs) classified as “moderate” by the US EPA ranged from 12 to 56 mpg (20 to 4.2 L/100 km). However, due to environmental concerns over CO2 emissions, new EU regulations are being introduced to reduce the average emissions of cars sold from 2012 to 130 g/km CO2, equivalent to 4.5 L/100 km (52 ​​mpgUS, 63 mpg-imp) for the diesel car and 5.0 L/100 km (47 mpgUS, 56 mpg-imp) for the petrol (petrol) car.

The fuel economy of an automobile relates to the distance traveled by a vehicle and the amount of fuel consumed. Consumption can be expressed in terms of the volume of fuel to travel a distance, or the distance traveled per unit volume of fuel consumed.

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Fuel Struggles? 10 Hacks to Speed Up Your Gas Mileage!

We’ll give you ten expert tips that can significantly improve your car’s fuel economy. From simple maintenance tasks to driving habits and smart technology solutions, we’ve got you covered. By the end of this article, you will be equipped with the knowledge and know-how to optimize your car’s fuel efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint.

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1. Regular Vehicle Maintenance

Correct and regular maintenance is the basis of good fuel consumption. Check your car’s engine, tires, and exhaust system regularly. Replace air filters, spark plugs, and fuel filters as recommended by the manufacturer. A well-maintained engine runs more efficiently, resulting in lower fuel consumption. One of the common mistakes that car owners make is to skip a regular service in the belief that it will save them money.

The general approach is to fix the car only after it breaks down. However, maintaining your vehicle and replacing its parts at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer is vital to keeping the car healthy. Only a healthy car will perform optimally and have good fuel consumption. A poorly maintained engine cannot give you good economy.

Certain consumables, such as the air and oil filter along with engine oil, need to be replaced regularly. The air filter prevents dust from entering the engine and thanks to our dusty conditions, it gets clogged after a few thousand kilometers. A clogged air filter will cause the engine to produce less power, forcing you to step on the gas more.

Engine oil lubricates various moving parts and ends up accumulating dirt. It also loses viscosity at high operating temperatures, and its regular replacement will put more strain on the engine. A well-maintained vehicle uses much less fuel than a poorly maintained vehicle.

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2. Check Tire Pressure Regularly

Underinflated tires create more rolling resistance, making your engine work harder and reducing fuel consumption. Check your tire pressure at least once a month and inflate it to the recommended level in the vehicle manual or on the driver’s door frame.

Vehicle owners underestimate the importance of tires and their role in achieving good fuel economy. Tires are the only contact surface between the vehicle and the ground. Most of the engine’s power is used to roll the tires because they create rolling resistance.

Low tire pressure increases drag, and the engine works harder, which in turn increases fuel consumption. That’s why it’s important to keep your tires inflated to either the recommended or higher air pressure. Check the tire pressure once a week and before a long drive. Information on the correct tire pressure of the vehicle is usually displayed on the driver’s side door. Have the wheels been balanced and aligned at the recommended intervals?

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3. Lighten the Load

Remove unnecessary items from the trunk and interior of your car. Carrying excess weight can reduce fuel consumption. According to the US Department of Energy, every extra 100 pounds can reduce fuel efficiency by up to 2%.

The more weight your car has, the more fuel it will need to start, so it pays to be clear about any unnecessary weight. This is especially true for the trunk, especially if it is full of clutter. Empty it and keep only the things you need.

If your vehicle also has removable roof bars, remove them, as this will also increase fuel economy as more drag is created. If you want to take it a step further, you can think about driving with less fuel in your car and refueling more regularly—for example, always keeping the tank between a quarter and half full.

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4. Combine Trips and Plan Efficient Routes

Consolidate your errands and combine trips whenever possible. Short drives with more cold starts use more fuel. Planning efficient routes can help you avoid heavy traffic and unnecessary idling, further reducing fuel consumption.

If you only make small trips, if they can be done by walking or cycling, you should try to adopt these methods instead. This is because short drives don’t allow the car to come up to temperature, and they not only waste fuel but generally don’t do the engine very well for a long time.

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5. Drive Smoothly and Avoid Aggressive Driving

Avoid sudden acceleration, sudden braking, and aggressive driving behavior. Smooth acceleration and gentle braking can significantly improve fuel economy. Use cruise control on highways to maintain a consistent speed and save fuel.

Aggressive driving, such as excessive acceleration, braking, and speeding, can significantly reduce your car’s mileage. When you accelerate aggressively, you burn more fuel to reach your desired speed, and when you brake hard, you waste the energy you’ve already used to reach that speed. Likewise, when you drive at high speeds, you encounter more air resistance, increasing your car’s aerodynamic drag and fuel consumption.

Therefore, it is essential to practice fuel-efficient driving habits such as smooth acceleration, maintaining a constant speed, and anticipating traffic flow. By avoiding aggressive driving, you can reduce your car’s fuel consumption by up to 30%, saving you money and reducing your carbon footprint.

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6. Observe the Speed Limit

Driving at high speed significantly reduces fuel consumption. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fuel economy typically drops above 50 mph. Follow the speed limit to optimize your car’s fuel consumption.

The speed you drive can have a significant effect on fuel consumption. The faster you go, the more wind resistance your vehicle will face, requiring more power to maintain speed and reduce fuel consumption. According to the US Department of Energy, fuel consumption drops significantly at speeds above 80 km/h.

To optimize fuel consumption, it is recommended to drive at a constant speed within the limit for your vehicle, usually between 80 and 90 km/h. In stop-start traffic, it is recommended to accelerate gradually and smoothly and avoid sudden stops and starts.

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7. Use the Right Motor Oil

Using the manufacturer’s recommended engine oil can increase engine performance and reduce fuel consumption. Look for motor oils with an “Energy Conserving” label, as they are specially formulated to improve fuel efficiency.

Adulterated fuel not only reduces fuel efficiency but also damages the engine. Always check the fuel quality before refueling the vehicle. Today, you can check the volume and density of the fuel sold at any pump without charging. It is also convenient to refuel at the large fuel pump in town that is owned by the company. When traveling on the highway, avoid refueling at small and dodgy-looking gas stations.

A vehicle’s fuel consumption depends on several factors. Some of them, like traffic jams and road conditions, will never be under your control. Improving your driving style and keeping your car in good shape will help you achieve better fuel economy, regardless of the conditions. Getting more miles out of every liter of fuel isn’t hard and can be fun. Follow our step-by-step guide.

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8. Keep Windows Closed at High Speeds

Driving with the windows open at high speed creates aerodynamic drag and reduces fuel consumption. Use air conditioning instead, as it is more economical at highway speeds. When it gets warm, it’s very tempting to open the window to let more air into the car and cool you down.

However, if you do this while driving, it can hurt fuel consumption, especially at higher speeds. This is because it creates more drag, which means the car has to work harder to get up to speed and therefore uses more fuel in the process.

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9. Consider using cruise control

Cruise control is a great tool to have while driving. It allows the driver to adjust the speed and release the foot from the gas pedal. Honda even offers adaptive cruise control with Low-Speed ​​​​Follow in its Honda Sensing Suite, which is now standard across the Honda fleet. Adaptive cruise control senses changes in traffic speed and adapts as needed. However, when this technology is packed into your vehicle, does it also save you gas? Cruise control saves you gas.

A study by Natural Resources Canada found that setting cruise control to 80 km/h uses 20 percent less fuel than cycling from 75 to 85 km/h every 18 seconds. Letting the vehicle’s computer hold the speed is better than just using your foot to do it. This helps keep the car at a constant set speed, helps the engine run at similar revs, and doesn’t force the need for sudden extra power, which would result in more fuel consumption.

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10. Change to higher gears earlier

It’s a good idea to shift to a higher gear sooner. You don’t want the vehicle to be slow (e.g., don’t shift into sixth gear at 20mph), but if you shift 1000 rpm earlier than normal, you’ll notice a significant difference in fuel economy versus time.

So it’s tempting to hit the red line on your car’s speedometer, so consider changing before you do. Even if you have a car with an automatic transmission, it will usually allow you to shift manually using the paddle shifter or, in some cases, even the paddles on the steering wheel.


  • According to the US Department of Energy, following proper maintenance and driving habits can reduce fuel consumption by up to 25% for most vehicles.
  • The average American driver spends about $1,400 a year on gas. By implementing fuel-saving practices, drivers can save up to $350 a year.
  • Proper tire inflation can reduce fuel consumption by approximately 3%. However, almost 1 in 4 cars on the road have at least one significantly underinflated tire.
  • Hard acceleration, braking, and speeding can reduce fuel consumption by up to 40% on highways and 10% in urban areas.
  • Driving with the windows open at high speed can reduce fuel consumption by up to 10%, while using air conditioning will only reduce it by 1-2%.
  • Hybrid vehicles can achieve up to 50% lower fuel consumption in city driving conditions compared to conventional petrol cars.
  • A poorly tuned engine can reduce fuel consumption by up to 20%, while a clogged air filter can reduce it by 10%.
  • Intermittent driving and frequent idling in congested areas can reduce fuel consumption by 10–40%.
  • The EPA estimates that for every gallon of gasoline burned, approximately 19.6 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) are released into the atmosphere.
  • Compact and subcompact cars generally get better fuel economy than larger vehicles, with some hybrids getting over 50 miles per gallon.
  • Fuel consumption usually drops significantly above 50 mph. For every 5 mph over 50 mph, drivers can expect to pay an additional 20 cents per gallon for gas.
  • Using the right engine oil can reduce fuel consumption by 1-2%. Look for oils labeled “Energy Conserving” to optimize efficiency.
  • A European Commission study found that drivers trained in eco-driving techniques achieved fuel savings of up to 15%.
  • Idling for more than 30 seconds consumes more fuel than restarting the engine.
  • Removing excess weight from a car can improve fuel economy by 1-2% for every 100 pounds removed.

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FAQ of fuel economy

How much can I save by improving my car’s fuel economy?

The amount of money you can save depends on several factors, including your driving habits, the condition of your vehicle, and the fuel prices in your area. On average, improving your car’s fuel economy by 10% can save you anywhere from $100 to $300 annually.

Does fuel economy affect the environment?

Yes, fuel economy directly impacts the environment. Improving your car’s fuel efficiency reduces greenhouse gas emissions and decreases your carbon footprint, contributing to a healthier planet.

Can using premium fuel improve fuel economy?

In most cases, using premium fuel does not significantly improve fuel economy unless your car’s engine specifically requires it. Check your owner’s manual to determine the recommended fuel type for optimal performance.

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Is coasting in neutral a fuel-efficient technique?

No, coasting in neutral is not a recommended practice. Modern fuel-injected cars automatically cut off fuel flow when coasting in gear, saving fuel. Coasting in neutral can be dangerous and lead to reduced control over the vehicle.

Do aftermarket fuel additives improve fuel economy?

While some aftermarket fuel additives claim to improve fuel economy, their actual effectiveness varies. The best way to enhance fuel efficiency is to follow proper vehicle maintenance and driving habits.

Can the fuel economy improve in the winter?

Fuel economy tends to decrease in winter due to colder temperatures and increased use of car heaters. However, regular maintenance and adopting fuel-efficient driving habits can still help you achieve better mileage.


By implementing these ten tips, you can significantly improve your car’s fuel economy and reduce fuel costs. Regular maintenance, smooth driving habits, and the use of fuel-saving technologies all play a vital role in maximizing your car’s fuel economy. Remember that every small change you make contributes to a greener and more sustainable future. By incorporating these tips into your daily driving routine, you can make a positive impact on both your wallet and the planet.

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