31 Gas Saving Tips

Our Tips for Increasing your Gas Mileage & Living a Greener Life

Just about everyone can do something to improve their gas economy.  It doesn’t matter where you live, what type of car you drive, or your personal driving habits.  We can all improve on the way we drive.  After all, increasing your gas mileage is a win-win situation.  You will save money, do less harm to the environment and probably improve the life of you car, and maybe your health.  Here are our tips for improving fuel efficiency.

  1. Attend a driving clinic – There are driving classes and workshops available at car dealers and community centers.  If you are driving a hybrid these clinics will teach you how to get the most out of you fuel efficient car.  Many of these classes are also open to drivers of non-hybrid cars.
  2. Avoid excessive idling – There is no longer any need to warm up your car for 5 or 10 minutes.  Ever since the catalytic converter, idling has become just a waste of gas.  On a cold day your engine only needs 30 seconds.  (Take a look at Idling Your Car is Just a bad Habit.)
  3. Cruise Control – You can save a significant amount of gas when you use cruise control on flat highway driving.  Click it off when you are driving downhill on mountainous roads.
  4. Roll to stop – Anticipate your stops and roll to a near stop. If you can avoid coming to a complete stop, you will also save gas.
  5. Drive on smooth roads whenever possible – A percentage of energy is expended on your tires’ rolling resistance which occurs in different ways.  Uneven and gravel roads demand more energy then smooth pavement.  If you have a choice, choose the road less forsaken.
  6. Take breaks to avoid aggressive driving – Aggressive driving burns extra gas and puts wear and tear on your car.  If you are getting frustrated, go for a walk or get a bite to eat and calm down
  7. Avoid rush hour – Rush hour driving involves lots of braking and idling and that burns extra fuel. Save gas by scheduling around rush hour.
  8. Avoid congested roads whenever possible – Just like rush hour, congested traffic usually requires extra gas (and extra patience).  Use your GPS or traffic radio to find alternative routes.
  9. Avoid driving in bus lanes  - Some municipalities make it illegal to drive in the bus lane.  The constant stops reduce your fuel efficiency.  Save gas and avoid the bus lane.
  10. Plan ahead and combine small trips - If you can plan your errands and small trips a few days in advance youll save gas and time.
  11. Car Pool - You will not only increase your gas mileage, you will also reduce traffic congestion. 
  12. Don’t drive when you can walk - Many of us have become very dependent on our cars.  If you can get to your destination by walking, get some exercise.  My rule of thumb is, if I can walk it in 5 or 10 minutes, I don’t drive.
  13. Clean off your car of snow and ice – Defrosters run on energy and the extra snow on your roof and hood adds drag to your car and increases fuel consumption.  (Snow on the roof and hood is often a traffic violation.)
  14. Park in a garage whenever possible - Your car will heat up faster if it is sheltered from the cold and snow and that saves gas.
  15. If you have a choice of cars, choose the car that has been warmed up. - If you are in a multi-car household, when given a choice choose the car that has been warmed up.  (Also consider choosing the more fuel efficient car.)
  16. Only idle cold engine for 30 seconds - Remember you only need to idle your car for 30 seconds on cold days.  Extra idling can add extra wear and tear to your engine as well as use extra gas.
  17. If possible wait for roads to be plowed or packed down by other cars. - This prevents increased rolling resistance and you will increase your gas mileage.
  18. Use snow tires in snowy locations-remove in the spring
  19. Park in the shade. - Keep your car out of the sun so it’s easier to cool off. 
  20. Keep windows down and the air conditioning off in slow, around-the-town driving. - Air conditioning adds to the fuel demand, so practice driving with the windows down in hot weather.  When driving on the highway, you will use about the same amount of gas with the windows and sun roof down due to drag as you use with the windows up and the air conditioner on.
  21. Look for Cross wind barriers - Winds coming from the side create drag. Look for highways with trees, houses or other barriers that cut down on side winds.
  22. Drive in groups - Staying with groups on the highway can help you save gas by benefitting from the mutual pull.
  23. Do not do drafting - Drafting is the practice of driving closely to large trucks and benefitting from the natural pull they create.  This is dangerous and often illegal.  It might save gas, but it’s unsafe.
  24. Avoid Parallel parking - If you have a choice between parallel parking and straight on parking, choose the parking lot.  (If you parallel park like me, this one is obvious.)
  25. Turn off the engine -  I know I mentioned idling before, but it deserves a special mention when it comes to parking.  Idling burns gas and goes nowhere.  If you are hot or cold, go inside.
  26. Tire selection – When replacing tires, choose tires that are similar to those originally on your car.  They usually are best suited for the style of your car and increase your gas mileage.
  27. Tire inflation and maintenance - Check your tire pressure and balance. 
  28. Types of oil - Synthetic oils tend to last longer and leave less gunk behind.  Use heavier weight oils in the summer and lighter ones in the winter as a rule.  Check your manufacturer’s recommendations.
  29. Clean the interior - Unnecessary weight in your car decreases fuel efficiency.  Don’t use your car as an extra closet.
  30. Remove luggage racks and bike racks when not in use - Same reason as 29.
  31. Tune ups - Keeping your car tuned up and replacing worn parts will increase gas mileage and the life of your car. 


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