1. Avoid Idling.
Running the engine, while the car is standing still gets you zero miles per gallon. That is as low as it can go.
Big engines waste fuel fester while idling than small engines. Idling at traffic lights and waiting at drive in windows waste your money.
Starting your car and waiting until it warms up to clear the windows on winter mornings, wastes gasoline. It is less expensive to use a portable electric space heater, inside your car, to melt the ice on the windshield. Don’t forget to unplug the extension cord before driving away.
2. Tune-ups and clean fuel systems save you money.
You can save about 4 cents on every dollars worth of fuel just by keeping your engine tuned and clean. Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. Clean fuel injectors are important.
Myth buster: Dirty air filters on cars that have modern computer controlled fuel injection do not reduce your miles per gallon. The computer corrects the air fuel ratio based on the reduced airflow through the dirty filter. For more information see
You do loose power because a dirty air filter reduces the maximum amount of fuel air mixture that can get into the engine. A dirty air filter might actually save gas because when you floor the accelerator pedal, the car won’t use as much gas as a clean air filter would let you.
Keeping a dirty air filter on your car is like having a governor that limits your engine’s power. I do not recommend it.
3. Keep your tires up to pressure.
You can save about 3 cents on every dollars worth of fuel by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1-psi drop.
Properly inflated tires are safer because you give the best steering control and good traction. Tires with the wrong pressure can blow out. You also save money because tires with the right pressure last longer before needing replacement.
The right tire pressure for your vehicle can be found on a sticker on the edge of driver's side door where the door latch is.
Do not use the maximum pressure printed on the tire's sidewall. The pressure on the tire is a maximum pressure safety rating, not the right operating pressure for your vehicle.
4. Use the right oil
You can improve your gas mileage by about 2 cents per dollars worth of fuel 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 or 2 percent.
Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by one percent, or so. Look for motor oil that has an American Petroleum Institute (API) label that says, "Energy Conserving."
5. Lose 100 Pounds
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle. Get the junk out of your trunk. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your miles per gallon by up to 2 percent.
6. Don’t Drive 5 Over
In some States, there is an unwritten rule that it is OK to drive five miles an hour faster than the speed limit. If you drive over 60 mph, understand that you are throwing money away. Most vehicles reach peak fuel economy at speeds below 60.
Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.24 per gallon for gas.
The science is not that simple, but it is true that the aerodynamic drag increases rapidly above 60 mph.
Observing the speed limit is also safer. Avoiding an accident saves your money big time.
7. Smooth Driving Saves You Money
Jerky stops and starts waste money on fuel. The less you use the gas pedal the less fuel you use. The same is true with the brake pedal.
The difference can be as much as 30 to 40%. The way you drive is the biggest factor when comes to saving money on your fuel bill.
Accelerating slowly and stopping gradually save fuel and wear and tear on your car. It is good to have power available, when you need it to get out of the path of danger, but flooring the gas pedal costs you money.
You can reduce the amount of braking you do by leaving plenty of room between you and the vehicle ahead. Plan ahead by looking as far up the road as you can.
Don’t rush up to a red light. Coasting toward a red light may give it time to turn green so you don’t need to brake.
Drive like you don’t have any brakes and you will save on fuel.