Reducing Fuel Consumption – Keeping More Money, In Your Pocket

Don’t Let Your Fuel Level Drop Below An Eighth Of A Tank
Don’t Let Your Fuel Level Drop Below An Eighth Of A Tank

Reducing fuel consumption, is a big concern today, because of the constant increase, in the price of fuel.

However, proactive steps can be taken, by paying attention to your driving habits and following, a vehicle’s maintenance schedule.

But, the fastest and most important way, in reducing fuel consumption, is to follow proper vehicle maintenance.

In other words, you can take several common-sense steps, in reducing fuel consumption.

Fuel efficient driving, can save you hundreds of dollars in fuel each year. And, also prevent unnecessary wear on your vehicle.

Reducing Fuel Consumption
Reducing Fuel Consumption

You’re concerned about the price of fuel or want to lower, the impact of your driving on the environment. Fortunately,  you don’t have to, scrap your car for a hybrid.

Did you know that a engine can burn, up to 30 % more fuel, if proper maintenance is not performed? So, if you implement a lot of these subsequent tips, these percentages quickly go down.

The following factors, can help in reducing, the fuel consumption of your vehicle:

  • Acceleration
  • Driving speed
  • The age and condition of your vehicle
  • Temperature
  • Maintenance schedule
  • Weather conditions
  • Traffic and road conditions
  • Drivetrain, and the powered accessories (like air conditioning)

Basic Tips For, Reducing Fuel Consumption:

Proper Tires Inflation

So, you can improve your fuel mileage, by 0.6% on average up to 3% in some cases. Just by keeping your tires, inflated to the proper pressure. Because, under inflated tires, lower fuel mileage.

Reducing Fuel Consumption
Checking Tire Pressure

Usually, by about 0.2%, for every 1 psi drop in the average pressure of all tires. Also, properly inflated tires, are safer and last longer as well. Furthermore, it is always important to be road safety and take care of your car.

Air Conditioning

So, air conditioning, can increase a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 20%. Open the windows, when you’re driving in the city. And, use the flow-through ventilation system, with the windows up on the highway. If you do use air conditioning, use the re-circulate option. Because, it will lower the impact.

At The Pump

At the pump, keep the hose in the tank, until after the pump shuts off. And, make sure you allow, all the fuel to pour out of the nozzle. Consequently, as much as a quarter of a cup of fuel, can pour from the hose. It’s yours, you paid for it.

Fuel Or Gas Cap

So, you may not be getting the mileage you expect. Because, there isn’t as much fuel in your tank, as you think. 147 million gallons of fuel were lost last year, due to evaporation. Why did it evaporate?

Reducing Fuel Consumption
Checking Gas Cap

The fuel cap was not on tight. So, just make sure it is tight and it will enable you, to keep the fuel you paid for.

Cruise Control

When appropriate, use your cruise control. Consequently, reducing fuel consumption, up to 6 % on the highway. Every time you step on the gas pedal to accelerate, your vehicle it uses more fuel. Since cruise control keeps your foot off the gas pedal, you won’t be using as much fuel. As a result, you will be saving money on fuel, because your miles per gallon will be higher.

Battery Cables

Corroded battery cables, cause the alternator to work harder, using more fuel. Have them cleaned, as a matter of course with each engine check up.

Idle Time

Don’t let the vehicle idle for more than a minute. Idling, consumes half a gallon to one gallon of fuel per hour and pumps, needless (CO2) into the atmosphere. The modern engine will consume less fuel, turning off and re-starting, than idling for extended periods. We are already being faced with no idle zones. Also, to effectively warm an engine, drive it, don’t rev it. Engines only work hard under load and will warm up much quicker. So, simply start the engine, wait for 20 seconds, (this builds the oil pressure,) and drive away.

Air Filter

Change the air filter, at least the set number of times, as shown in the owner’s manual. More, if you drive in dusty conditions.

Reducing Fuel Consumption
Dirty Car Air Filter

Regular Maintenance

Have a regular engine check up. Since the advent of computer controlled fuel injection, there is no such thing as an old fashioned “tune up”. At worst, you may be expected to replace spark plugs, oxygen sensors, the air and fuel filters.

Oxygen (O2) Sensor

If your car was built since the mid-1980s, chances are, it has an oxygen (O2) sensor in its exhaust system. It should be replaced, just as you would spark plugs, following the manufacturer’s recommendations.

(O2) Oxygen Sensor Comparison
(O2) Oxygen Sensor Comparison

This little device, trims the fuel delivery and has, a large effect on, reducing fuel consumption.

Using The Correct Gear

Driving in the highest gear possible, without laboring the engine, is also a good way of, reducing fuel consumption. Driving at 60 km/h, a vehicle will use 25 % more fuel, in third gear, than it would in fifth. Travelling at fast rates in low gears, can consume up to 45 %, more fuel than is needed. If you have an onboard trip computer, you probably have an, “Instant fuel economy” setting. Watch this gauge and keep the, liters per 100 kilometers, as low as you can.

Carrying Extra Weight

Think carefully about, what you need in your vehicle. If you do not need something, do not pack it. Remove roof racks, if not needed, as they create wind drag. The lighter the load, the lower the fuel consumption and emissions. Also, an extra 100 pounds in the trunk, reduces a typical car’s fuel economy, by 1 to 2 %. As a result, carrying excess weight wastes fuel.

The Right Octane Fuel

Choose the right octane fuel for your car. Check the owner’s manual to find out, what octane your engine needs. Octane ratings, measure the fuel’s ability to resist engine knock. But, the higher the octane, the higher the price. Consequently, only about 6 % of cars sold, need premium fuel. Still, premium fuel accounts for about, 10 % of all fuel sold. Resist the urge, to buy higher octane fuel, for “premium” performance.

Planning Trips

Combining errands into one trip, saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start, can use twice as much fuel. For example, a longer multipurpose trip, covering the same distance, when the engine is warm. Finally, trip planning, ensures that travelling is done, when the engine, is warmed up and efficient.

Correct Engine Oil

You can improve your fuel mileage, by one to two %, by using the manufacturer’s recommended grade, of engine oil. For example, using 10W-30, in an engine designed for 5W-30, can lower your fuel mileage, by one to two %.

Correct Engine Oil
Correct Engine Oil

Thicker oil, is harder to pump. This adds to, parasitic horsepower loses. As a result, not reducing fuel consumption.

Avoid “revving” The Engine

Avoid “revving” the engine, especially just before, you switch the engine off. Because, this wastes fuel and washes oil down, from inside the cylinder walls. Consequently, this is a really bad thing for the next startup, as the cylinder walls, will be dry.

Drive At A Constant Speed

Drive at a steady speed. Because, slowing down or speeding up, wastes fuel. Also, avoid following too close. Not only is it unsafe, but it affects your economy, if the other driver slows down unexpectedly.

Left Foot On The Brake Pedal

Do not rest your left foot, on the brake pedal while driving. Consequently, the slightest pressure puts “mechanical drag” on components, wearing them down prematurely. This “dragging” also demands, added fuel usage, to overcome the drag.

Rough Roads

Avoid rough roads whenever possible. Because, dirt or gravel, can rob you of, up to 30 % of your fuel mileage. Every time the wheels bounce up and down, forward motion energy, is removed from the vehicle. The best way to describe this is to, experience driving on a “washboard” road.

Rough Roads
Rough Roads

Not only is it very uncomfortable, the vehicle will actually slow down, from the transfer of energy. As a result, this causes the driver to, apply more throttle, wasting fuel. As a result, not reducing fuel consumption.

Inspect Suspension And Chassis Parts

Inspect suspension and chassis parts, for misalignment. Bent wheels, axles, worn shocks, and broken springs, can add to drivetrain drag. Above all, the unsafe condition they create.

Correct Tires

(SUV) owners, should consider changing, from an aggressive patterned off road tread, to a fuel efficient highway tread.

Fuel Additives

Don’t fear fuel additives. Look for those that contain, polybutene amine (PBA), which can clean out deposits from carburetors, fuel injectors, and intake valves.

Fuel Additives
Fuel Additives

They also may be able, to restore your engine’s overall performance and help, lower your carbon footprint. But, don’t overdo it. Consequently, using too much of a particular fuel additive, can actually cause damage. As a result, not reducing fuel consumption.

Synthetic Engine Oil

If you haven’t already, upgrade to synthetic engine oil. Finally, check your owner’s manual for recommendations, specific to your vehicle.

Traffic Jams

Avoid traffic jams. Even with all of today’s modern navigation systems, getting stuck in traffic, happens to all of us eventually. But, if you can plan a route that avoids congestion, even if you’re driving a few more miles. Then, you may be better off. That’s because, a stationary vehicle requires, a lot of energy from the engine.

Fuel Filter

Change your fuel filter. One filter that will have a, direct impact on your gas mileage, is your fuel filter. Manufacturers recommend changing your fuel filter, every 10,000 to 15,000 miles. Even a tiny grain of dirt, can clog injectors, leading to, erratic performance and lousy fuel mileage.


So, there are many different ways, of reducing fuel consumption. Some are small changes in driving habits, others involve, simple maintenance repair tips. Some of these methods, improve your mileage by only a few percentage points, others by more. Finally, when you add them all up, it becomes a large increase.

Thank You !