Drive smoothly (up to 33%)
Aggressive driving wastes fuel—especially while driving at highway speeds. So accelerate smoothly, brake softer and earlier, and stay in one lane while it’s safe to do so. Not only do these driving techniques save fuel, they can also prolong the life of your brakes and tires.
Slow down (up to 25%)
Speeding wastes lots of fuel. Your fuel mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 mph. That equates to paying an additional 26 cents per gallon for every 5 mph above 50 that you drive.
Only use A/C on the highway (up to 15%)
Your fuel economy drops when you use the air conditioner at low speeds—by up to 15%. So if it isn’t too hot, turn off the A/C around town, and roll down your windows instead. However, at 55 mph or higher, using the A/C is preferable to open windows for two reasons: Your vehicle has much lower wind resistance with the windows closed. And because the engine makes more power at higher revs, it’s able to run accessories like the A/C compressor more efficiently.
Remove the rooftop carrier (up to 5%)
Your vehicle was designed for good aerodynamics—but attaching a huge carrier or bike to the roof adds more wind resistance. So if you spend lots of time on the highway or are planning a long trip, try to transport extra items inside the vehicle, or attached to the rear. Washing and waxing your vehicle can actually lower wind resistance too.
Remove excess weight (up to 4% for every 100 pounds)
Carrying around an extra 100 pounds in your trunk or back seat can reduce your mileage by up to 4%. To travel as light as possible, keep only the most important items (like an emergency kit, jumper cables, a small toolset, and a small jack) in the vehicle.
Keep the convertible top up (up to 4%)
As much fun as your convertible is, you should put the top up during highway trips. You’ll have less wind resistance, less turbulence, and a better hairdo.
Keep the windows and sunroof closed (up to 4%)
Take advantage of mild weather by leaving the A/C off, using vent air, and keeping the windows and sunroof closed. You will have less drag, and better fuel economy.
Use cruise control
Activating your cruise helps you save fuel in two ways: It keeps you from mindlessly driving at faster—and less fuel-efficient—speeds. And it maintains a constant speed, and won’t use additional fuel while accelerating.
Note that many modern vehicles will let you monitor your miles per gallon while you’re driving. Try to set your cruise control at your vehicle’s most fuel-efficient speed, as long as it’s at or below the legal limit.
Stay in gear when stopping
While shifting into Neutral and coasting to a stop sounds like it would save fuel, the opposite is true: Many modern fuel-injected vehicles go into a “fuel cutoff” mode when the engine senses that the vehicle is in gear, the rpm is above idle, and the throttle is closed. Shifting to Neutral may cancel that mode, so keep it in gear.
Turn off the engine while waiting
If your non-hybrid vehicle is safely parked, and will be stopped for more than a couple of minutes, turn off the engine. This is even more effective if your vehicle is powered by a large 6- or 8-cylinder engine, as they typically will waste more fuel at idle than smaller engines.
Your engine is more efficient when it’s warmed up. Many short trips that start with a cool engine will use more fuel than a single, longer trip. So when you have to drive for errands, get as many accomplished as you can in one trip to maximize your fuel economy.