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Fuel-Saving Tips to Improve Your MPG (Increased Fuel Efficiency)

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  • 5 min read

Last Updated on: 7th September 2023, 12:45 am

Improving your driving style and following these fuel-saving tips can improve your MPG and save you money on fuel. It will also help reduce impact on the environment as well.

Read on below to see the best fuel saving tips and methods to increase your vehicle’s fuel efficiency, MPG and range.

1. Roll (in gear)

Allow the vehicle to roll up to a roundabout, junction, etc.

Stay in gear and reduce gears as you slow down, this not only saves fuel but is also much safer, for the last 700 yards rather than accelerating all the way and then braking.

Predict the road ahead and roll up to roundabouts to avoid braking and stopping (two of the worst fuel wasters).


2. Reduce Throttle & Use Higher Gears

Drive at lower throttle and stay in a higher gear, keeping the rpms between 1,200 and 2,500 is usually the most efficient.

Extra Fuel Saving Tip: The most efficient rpm band and gear depends massively on the car, a rule of thumb is to find the rpm at which peak torque output begins and stick around that, for example, the 2.5L Ford Focus ST225 peak torque is from 1,600 rpm to 4,000 rpm, sticking between 1,600 and 2,500 rpm is usually ideal.

3. Drive at Slower Speeds

Driving at 75 mph consumes much more gasoline than driving at 65 mph. At 75 mph, a distance of 50 miles takes 39.6 minutes, whereas at 65 mph, it takes 46.2 minutes.

The most effective speed for attaining the highest fuel efficiency in an automobile is 55-65 miles per hour.

Any quicker, though, and the fuel economy plummets. Driving at 85 mph, for example, consumes 40% more fuel than driving at 70 mph.

4. Open Windows Instead of Air-Con (at low speeds)

If it’s hot outside, open a window instead of turning on the air conditioner; if it’s very hot, open another window and turn on the blowers.

Air con systems may use 5-15% more fuel than without using it, especially at low speeds.

However, at higher speeds (over 45 mph) open windows become less efficient than AC and may use an extra 20% fuel, switching to the AC is better at 45 mph.

Tip: Opening 2 windows slightly can help facilitate air flow and may reduce drag (improving fuel economy) compared to opening 1 window all the way. Switch to AC once you’re driving at over 45 mph.

5. Avoid Electrical Items

Avoid utilising items that deplete the battery since this causes additional strain on the alternator, which necessitates more fuel usage.

The window heater, blowers, heaters, and headlights are the major drains. Even the little things like sidelights, displays, speakers, etc all use fuel over time.

When not using the display switch it off, consider not using sidelights during a bright day unless you’re parking, manoeuvring or if it’s raining, dark, etc.

6. Tyre Pressures

Make sure your tyres are at the proper pressure. Maintaining the correct tyre pressure will help to extend the life of your tyres, improve vehicle safety and maintain fuel efficiency.

Car tyre pressure is measured by calculating the amount of air that has been pumped into the inner lining of your tyre in pounds per square inch (PSI) or bar, sometimes kPa is used.

The manufacturer of your vehicle will specify the suitable pressure for your tyres, typically tyre pressure is between 30 and 35 PSI of pressure.

7. Maintain Constant Speed

Maintaining a consistent speed uses less fuel than slowing down and speeding back up again, if you have a speed limiter (which is not the same as cruise control) stick it to between 50 and 65 mph.

If not, attempt to find the position of the throttle which keeps you at your desired speed.

8. Remove Weight

Weight will reduce fuel economy, reducing any weight from your vehicle will improve it’s fuel efficient, using less fuel to get moving.

Removing excess weight such as the parcel shelf or boot/trunk lining, loose items in the back seats, filling up to half a tank of fuel at a time are all ways to remove excess weight and improve economy.

9. Maintain Your Vehicle

Change the spark plugs, oil, and filters as needed, inspect the bearings, and make sure the brakes aren’t dragging.

Add some fuel treatment liquid to help further boost fuel economy.

10. Avoid Idling

Don’t let your car warm up by idling, start the car and drive off within 30 seconds of start-up. This will help your car get to optimum operating temperature much faster and also reduces fuel usage.

Extra Tips

  • Longer journeys are more efficient than shorter ones.
  • Fill up your car to half a tank instead of a full tank.
  • Fill up your car during other journeys to reduce fuel wastage.
  • Always remember to fully disengage the handbrake before setting off.
  • If you will be idling for more than 20 seconds, switch off the engine (remember you can drain the battery by doing this while running electrical accessories at the same time).
  • Increasing the tyre pressures by 1-2 psi during cold weather and the winter can improve fuel economy.
  • Use low rolling resistance tyres.
  • Remove roof rails and racks, bike racks, etc.
  • Switch out your larger/longer ariel for a shorter stubbier ariel.
  • After filling ups your car, wait 4-5 seconds before removing the nozzle to allow excess fuel to drain into the fuel tank (usually this is around 250ml of fuel).
  • Consider removing mud flaps as these may also increase drag and reduce fuel economy.
  • Get your wheels aligned to enhance fuel efficiency.
  • Andy Lewin

    Andy Lewin is a senior mechanic, ASE qualified master technician, and an experienced automotive engineer. He's passionate about serving the automotive community with the highest-quality and trustworthy information on all things automotive. He loves to write about car repairs, maintenance, car modifications and tuning, faults, and much more.

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