FUEL-EFFICIENT DRIVING TIPS
Drive smoothly (up to 33%)
Aggressive driving wastes fuel—especially while driving at highway
speeds. So accelerate smoothly, brake softer and earlier, and stay in
one lane while it’s safe to do so. Not only do these driving techniques
save fuel, they can also prolong the life of your brakes and tires.
Slow down (up to 25%)
Speeding wastes lots of fuel. Your fuel mileage usually decreases
rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. That equates to paying an additional 26
cents per gallon for every 5 mph above 50 that you drive.
Only use A/C on the highway (up to 15%)
Your fuel economy drops when you use the air conditioner at low
speeds—by up to 15%. So if it isn’t too hot, turn off the A/C around
town, and roll down your windows instead. However, at 55 mph or higher,
using the A/C is preferable to open windows for two reasons: Your
vehicle has much lower wind resistance with the windows closed. And
because the engine makes more power at higher revs, it’s able to run
accessories like the A/C compressor more efficiently.
Remove the rooftop carrier (up to 5%)
Your vehicle was designed for good aerodynamics—but attaching a huge
carrier or bike to the roof adds more wind resistance. So if you spend
lots of time on the highway or are planning a long trip, try to
transport extra items inside the vehicle, or attached to the rear.
Washing and waxing your vehicle can actually lower wind resistance too.
Remove excess weight (up to 4% for every 100 pounds)
Carrying around an extra 100 pounds in your trunk or back seat can
reduce your mileage by up to 4%. To travel as light as possible, keep
only the most important items (like an emergency kit, jumper cables, a
small toolset, and a small jack) in the vehicle.
Keep the convertible top up (up to 4%)
As much fun as your convertible is, you should put the top up during
highway trips. You’ll have less wind resistance, less turbulence, and a
Keep the windows and sunroof closed (up to 4%)
Take advantage of mild weather by leaving the A/C off, using vent air,
and keeping the windows and sunroof closed. You will have less drag, and
better fuel economy.
Use cruise control
Activating your cruise helps you save fuel in two ways: It keeps you
from mindlessly driving at faster—and less fuel-efficient—speeds. And it
maintains a constant speed, and won’t use additional fuel while
Note that many modern vehicles will let you monitor your miles per
gallon while you’re driving. Try to set your cruise control at your
vehicle’s most fuel-efficient speed, as long as it’s at or below the
Stay in gear when stopping
While shifting into Neutral and coasting to a stop sounds like it would
save fuel, the opposite is true: Many modern fuel-injected vehicles go
into a “fuel cutoff” mode when the engine senses that the vehicle is in
gear, the rpm is above idle, and the throttle is closed. Shifting to
Neutral may cancel that mode, so keep it in gear.
Turn off the engine while waiting
If your non-hybrid vehicle is safely parked, and will be stopped for
more than a couple of minutes, turn off the engine. This is even more
effective if your vehicle is powered by a large 6- or 8-cylinder engine,
as they typically will waste more fuel at idle than smaller engines.
Your engine is more efficient when it’s warmed up. Many short trips that
start with a cool engine will use more fuel than a single, longer trip.
So when you have to drive for errands, get as many accomplished as you
can in one trip to maximize your fuel economy.