Car Care

11 Ways to Maximize Fuel Economy (and Beat High Gas Prices)

fuel empty

Want to make sure that your vehicle is getting the best possible mileage per gallon? At FIXD, we have a team of engineers and mechanics dedicated to helping you get the most out of your car (and your wallet). Keep reading to discover 11 tried-and-true tips, plus some new innovations to help maximize your fuel efficiency and save!

1. Avoid Idling

Idling can use up a quarter to half a gallon of gas every hour. It only takes about 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart a car. If you find yourself stuck in traffic and believe that you will not be moving for more than a minute, turning your car off before proceeding will save more gas than you might think.

2. Observe the Speed Limit

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, every 5mph you drive over 50mph is comparable to paying an extra $0.15/gallon for gas. Reducing your highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase your fuel economy by 7 to 14 percent!

3. Avoid Sudden Acceleration & Braking

A good habit to improve fuel economy is to take ~5 seconds to reach 15mph from a stop. Sudden acceleration and/or braking can decrease your fuel economy as much as 40%. You can save up to $.86 per gallon by eliminating this.

4. Check/Upgrade Your Tires

Regularly check your tire pressure and make sure it’s within the optimal range for maximum fuel efficiency. Most tires have these readings on the side of them.

Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear, and Michelin make fuel-saving tires that are designed to create less friction with the road, thereby reducing effort required by the engine and optimizing fuel efficiency. They’re worth checking out, although they may impact tread life and driving in wet conditions.

5. Shut Off the A/C (Unless You’re on the Highway)

When driving speeds under 40mph, enjoy the warm weather, open your windows, and turn off your A/C. This could increase your fuel economy up to 25%.

When driving speeds over 55mph (i.e. Highway, Interstate, etc.) roll your windows up and use the air conditioning. The drag from open windows when driving faster can decrease the overall fuel economy.

6. Use Cruise Control

When you’re driving on the interstate, use cruise control to make sure that there isn’t too much fluctuation on the gas and brakes. Maintaining a constant speed will increase your overall fuel efficiency.

7. Keep Things Light

Excess weight from bike racks, cargo racks, and more can decrease fuel economy by up to 25% on the interstate. Plus, any excess weight (>100lbs) can decrease the fuel economy by 1%. So remove any excess weight and cargo containers when not in use to save fuel and cash.

8. Take Care of Your Car

Neglecting routine maintenance, like changing your oil, can decrease your car’s fuel economy. Buy quality parts to avoid future problems and make sure you know what type of oil to buy (synthetic vs. conventional) to keep your car running as efficiently as possible. 

Last but not least, use the FIXD Sensor to easily stay on top of routine service and maintenance with handy automated alerts!

9. Trade for a New Model

You don’t have to buy a Tesla to save on fuel. According to Consumer Reports, many automakers are developing innovative upgrades to the traditional internal combustion engine to improve fuel efficiency.

Examples include cylinder deactivation, which shuts off multiple engine cylinders while cruising or coasting to reduce fuel consumption. There’s also smaller turbocharged engines, which use forced air to boost horsepower more efficiently than a bulky engine that consumes a lot of fuel for power. Audi, BMW, Ford F-150, Honda, and Volkswagon use this technology.

10. Start/Stop Technology

Ever been sitting at a stop light and heard the car next to you shut off for no reason? No, their brand new BMW isn’t having engine problems. This is a feature on many newer vehicles designed to boost fuel efficiency.

If your car is equipped with this technology, the engine will automatically shut off when you come to a stop (rather than idling), then restart when your foot releases the brake to step on the gas. While it may seem unsettling at first, this is a great way to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. So it’s a win-win for your wallet and the environment!

11. Change Your Air Filter

By replacing your engine air filter, you can increase gas mileage by 10% and boost acceleration by as much as 11% – for under $20. Plus, it’s something most drivers can do themselves! Click here to learn how to replace your air filter today.

FIXD Research Team

At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

FIXD Research Team
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.

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  1. Hi, this is Joe, if I put stp on the gas tank will it help?

    1. Fuel injector cleaner, sure, also couldn’t hurt use some dry gas , one out of three tanks, in winter to remove water

  2. Those are common tips that I learned when starting to drive!

    1. Honestly though, 20 plus years ago many mechs would tell you that you’d
      waste more gas stop/starting at the light then letting it run. Maybe this was true for carburated vehicles…………

    2. If start stop is too often, you may save fuel but it may wear down the engine

  3. Thank you for the ideas but they were age old fixes. I need new innovative suggestions.

  4. sorry old enough to know thanks anyway.

  5. Not in the least.

    1. Thanks for the Reminding tips must of us know but few of us remember to do it. GOD BLESS you & give you + wisdom so you can shared.

      1. You’re so welcome, Candida!

  6. @JS I do it does a great job on rough idling. I used to do every time I did an oil change. Now since Covid and I don’t drive as much I will do it when needed.

  7. The AC suggestion is no longer relevant for modern cars. ‘Get an engine upgrade’ isn’t even a thing, nor is adding start/stop technology. You may as well change these to ‘buy a new car’.

  8. I, I use some of these, except, when I go to pick up kids at school and it’s cold out. I do leave the car on for the heat, I go early so I get a good spot. Usually 20 minutes or so.
    I have another problem, had ABS brakes replaced about 2 years ago, had an oil change last month, tires rotated. I have this palpating problem when I brake. Scary with winter coming and icy roads. My book said take it in and have it retorked to GMC specs. I take it to a reliable place, always busy. but don’t know if they do to the GMC Specs. I was hopeful, but still notice some pulsating. Do you think I should take it to a GMC dealer for retorking, see if anything else might be causing the problem?

  9. That stop and start feature would drive me crazy ! Because never knowing if it will start or if your having a problem with your car ?
    Plus how long does the starter last ?
    Yes I’m old school.

  10. Most of them we know, but reading them once in a while is still important !
    JAG + MT ?

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