Tips To Help Improve Your Car’s Fuel Economy

fueleconomyThe US Department of Energy has a website that offers some great tips to improve your fuel economy and save money on gasoline.

Drive More Efficiently

• Aggressive driving (speeding and rapid acceleration/braking) can lower your gas mileage by as much as 33% at highway speeds and 5% around town. Driver feedback devices can help you drive more efficiently, improving fuel economy by up to 10%.

• Observe the speed limit. Each 5 MPH you drive over 60 MPH can reduce your fuel economy by 7%. For a personalized estimate of the effect of speeding on your fuel economy, visit

• Avoid idling. Idling gets 0 miles per gallon and costs as much as $0.04 per minute.

• Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.

• Using the air conditioner is more fuel efficient on the highway than opening the windows.

• Park in the shade so your car doesn’t get as hot.

• Leave the windows open when you first start driving to clear hot air out of the cabin.

Keep Your Car in Shape

• Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune can improve your gas mileage by about 4%.

• Keeping tires inflated to the recommended pressure and using the recommended grade of motor oil can improve fuel economy by up to 5%. The manufacturer’s recommended tire pressure can be found on the tire information placard and/or vehicle certification label located on the vehicle door edge, doorpost, glove-box door, or inside the trunk lid.

• Keep your tires aligned and balanced.

• Replacing a clogged air filter can improve gas mileage on older cars with carbureted engines.

Plan and Combine Trips

• A warmed-up engine is more fuelefficient than a cold one. Many short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one multipurpose trip covering the same distance. Note: Letting your car idle to warm up doesn’t help your fuel economy; it actually uses more fuel and creates more pollution.

Other Solutions

• Avoid carrying unneeded items. An extra 100 pounds can decrease fuel economy by 1%–2%.

• Avoid carrying cargo on your roof. A large, blunt roof-top cargo box, for example, can reduce fuel economy by 2%–8% in city driving, 6%–17% on the highway, and 10%–25% at Interstate speeds (65 mph to 75 mph). Rear-mount cargo boxes or trays reduce fuel economy by much less—1%–2% in city driving and 1%–5% on the highway.

• Use the “economy mode” feature if your vehicle has one.

For more tips on improving fuel economy, such as cold-weather tips, hot-weather tips, and tips for hybrids, plug-in hybrids, and all-electric vehicles, visit