Fuel Economy & How to Save Money on Gas | ACDelco

Use these fuel economy tips from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to help you conserve gas as you drive – and even before you get on the road. Doing so can help improve your fuel economy and save your family money.



Go the Speed Limit & Use Cruise Control

While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. You can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 50 mph is like paying an additional 21 cents per gallon* for gas. Observing the speed limit is also safer. Additionally, using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.

Drive Sensibly

Aggressive driving (speeding and rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.

Avoid Idling and Rush-Hour Traffic

Idling can use a quarter to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, depending on engine size and air conditioner (AC) use. Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. It only takes a few seconds worth of fuel to restart your vehicle. Turning your engine on and off excessively, however, may increase starter wear.

Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned

Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your fuel efficiency by as much as 40 percent. Find an ACDelco Professional Service Center near you that sells quality ACDelco parts. The technicians there can check to see whether your engine is properly tuned.

Adjust Your Commute

Stagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours. Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle. Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it. Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other commuters. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes, which are typically less congested, further improving your fuel economy. Consider using public transit if it is available and convenient for you. The American Public Transportation Association has links to information about public transportation in your state.

Combine 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 as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel.

Remove Junk From the Trunk

Added weight in your vehicle affects fuel economy, so take unnecessary items out of your trunk. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your mpg by up to 2 percent. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle’s weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.

Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil

You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent 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 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says “Energy Conserving” on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.

Keep Tires Properly Inflated

You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure.** Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer.

Avoid Rooftop Carriers

Hauling cargo on your roof increases aerodynamic drag (wind resistance) and lowers fuel economy. A large, blunt rooftop cargo box, for example, can reduce fuel economy by about 2-8 percent in city driving, 6-17 percent on the highway and 10-25 percent at interstate speeds (65-75 mph). Rear-mount cargo boxes or trays reduce fuel economy by much less – only 1-2 percent in city driving and 1-5 percent on the highway. If you need to use an external cargo container, removing it when it’s not in use will save fuel and money.*

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