Introduction: Save Gas! Change the Way You Drive.

Picture of Save Gas!  Change the Way You Drive.

What better way to be eco friendly than to change your gas mileage? Seriously think about it. The less gas you use the less our mother earth has to be drilled, poked, and prodded for that precious black sludge.

Petroleum accounts for 40% of the worlds' energy consumption... OUCH

This instructable will show you various techniques you can use DAILY to reduce your gasoline or diesel consumption.

Contrary to popular belief the aftermarket products that claim to save you gas mileage actually do nothing. Sometimes they can even have a negative effect.

Before we begin I would like to state that I am an automotive technician. I have to test drive vehicles on a daily basis. By implementing these techniques you can improve your gas mileage. Getting reprimanded for consuming too much of a customers gas is not fun! So lets get started.

Step 1: Products to Stay Away From!

Picture of Products to Stay Away From!

Lets start with a few products out there that you should stay away from. I'll stick with the main three.

ALL of these products have been proven to be ineffective.

1. Magnetic Ionic Save. A magnet clipped to the fuel line to reduce CO emissions.
Here at the shop we have a 5 gas analyzer and I had some spare change. I decided to test this product on my down time.
Tests showed that there was no change in CO emissions when this product was installed.
Fuel consumption was measured in ML over a 2 minute period at 2000 RPM. Once again NO CHANGE.

2. Torpedo type intake devices. These devices are simply tin or steel and claim to improve fuel combustion.
I would have personally tested this but on three different occasions we found them jammed in throttle bodies. NOT RECOMMENDED. High dollar fix for a low dollar product.

3. Gas Additives.
JUNK. Even the dealership that I worked at sold this stuff. I would refuse to put it in the tank. Clogs fuel filters and stays at the bottom of the tank.

Step 2: Driving Techniques

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Here are some techniques that I have used or still use.

1. Carpooling! The best way to save gas. If your buddy works at the same place at the same time hitch a ride! Maybe it's your turn to drive!
Consumption Reduction = 50%

2. Drafting! This technique is dangerous if you push too close. Drafting is a technique used in racing. It reduces the aerodynamic drag on your car by sitting in a pocket of air behind another vehicle. This technique works best behind semi trucks. You do not have to get very close at all. Just enough for you to barely see the semi's side mirrors.
Consumption Reduction = Varies but is significant

3. Lay off the throttle! Don't show off and bounce off of your rev limiter. This is a HUGE waste of gas. Not to mention how much damage it does to the engine internals.
Consumption Reduction = 20%-25% (YES IT'S TRUE)

4. Lose some weight! Are you carrying around LOADS of unnecessary stuff in your trunk? Time to do some spring cleaning. Get rid of it! This creates a lot less strain on the engine.
Consumption Reduction = Slightly Noticeable

Step 3: Techniques Continued...

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5. Don't Idle! I know that remote start comes in handy during 40 degree winters, but your car consumes a lot of gas while it's idling. Don't let it sit in the driveway for twenty minutes to warm up if you're only going down the road to Walgreens for some toilet paper. Also, this tip is great for heavy traffic jams. Plus this drastically reduces CO emissions being release into the atmosphere.

6. Let it Idle! This can be dangerous! Oh yes I did just contradict myself! Stopping and starting a car consumes more gas than it would for you to let it idle for a minute or two. It takes a lot of gas to get it going. If you're just running into the store to pick up gum then let it idle. DO THIS AT YOUR OWN RISK OR IF YOU HAVE A REMOTE START. Using a remote start you can allow your car to idle locked up without the key in the ignition.

7. Keep your car warm! If you have access to a heated garage this can help you in the winter time. Your car consumes more gas under cold start up conditions. You could also buy an engine block heater!
TECH TALK: Your engine needs to be warm for it to be as efficient as possible. Warmth is needed for the O2 sensors to start what is called closed loop operation. This is when your cars computer can begin to adjust air/fuel ratios.

8. Stay in your lane! Studies have shown that lane changing does not significantly reduce your travel time. Simple and easy...

Step 4: More Techniques!!!

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9. Don't drive AGGRESSIVELY! Seriously CALM down! Aggressive driving reduces your gas mileage by 33% highway and 5% in town!

10. Cruise! Typically your cruise control can save you gas. I don't know anyone that can drive smoother than a car with the cruise control on. **EDIT** Do not use your cruise on hilly roads.

11. Tune er' up! A proper tune-up will drastically improve your gas mileage as well as maintain a reliable vehicle.

12. Inflation! Proper tire inflation is key to maintaining proper gas mileage. Over-inflated and under-inflated tires have less surface area on the road. This also saves you $400-$500 every year or two on a new set of tires!
Consumption Reduction = 3.5%

Step 5: That's It!

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Hope you enjoyed this tutorial!

By implementing all or some of these techniques you will save gas!
Saving gas not only helps your wallet stay fat, but also the environment.

CO2 emissions from U.S. cars & trucks totaled 314 million metric tons in 2002. That's as much as would be released from burning all the coal in a train 50,000 miles long -- enough to circle around the world, twice.

Help out the atmosphere and enjoy yourself while doing it! :)

Thanks for reading!



Dakota Joel98 (author)2014-08-02

I have to lose weight? Not be aggressive when driving? and you want me to not rev the engine!?... Well ok if it helps I will work on my driving to save gas... (sniffle)

Ps I like the Idea of drafting behind a semi though.

didgitalpunk (author)2011-09-24

i just wanted to know if it was actually possible to reuse the co2 after being filtered? for example, you take a compressor with you,a gas filter and a reuseable co2 tank . could you hook up your exaust pipe to your ompressor and refill your co2 tank?

fwater (author)2009-09-11

Step 5 states "your car consumes a lot of gas while it's idling". An automotive tech would know better. Idling consumes a tiny amount of gas. No automotive engineer would ever design an engine to be shut off and turned back on constantly in traffic, even if it was more than 30 seconds. Wear caused by rapid heat cycling can be high. Again, idling consumes very little gas.

gr33ko (author)fwater2009-09-12

Are you an automotive tech? Have you ever run a fuel volume test? Step 5 is completely true ESPECIALLY when the engine is still running cold. During cold engine startup (exhaust temps under 600 F) the O2 sensors are still in OPEN LOOP. This causes an excess dump of fuel because the ECU/ECM does not know how much fuel to add. It is simply "enough" fuel to start the vehicle. After the O2 sensors achieve CLOSED LOOP then it knows how much fuel to add. Before closed loop the fuel system is working purely off of a fuel map. By the way I am a technician with credentials to prove it.

fwater (author)gr33ko2009-09-12

Spare me the explainations, I know what open vs. closed loop is, I'm not going to take open loop running into account because no matter what you do, that's what happens at cold start. After the engine has gone into closed loop, does an idleing engine consume a large amount of gas? If it does, cruising under load or accelerating consumes less? Are you an automotive tech? Have you ever been in a Turkish prison? I'm afraid that I will have to see those credentials. I got mine from the bottom of a box of cereal.

gr33ko (author)fwater2009-09-13

Idleing does consume a lot of gas if you allow it to idle for a while. That's what the point of the idleing statement was. Don't let it run if you're going to leave it a while. Here's my credentials.

fwater (author)gr33ko2009-09-13

Wow. Thank you for actually posting your credentials. Please don't be offended if I state that I was hardly serious about wanting proof. I can gather that you know a thing or two without photographic evidence. How hard would it be to find an accurate fuel consumption rate on a common car (10 years or less old, 100K miles or less, 4 cylinder) at idle? I would like to see some comparisons to consumption rates at medium throttle and cruise. Of course, now we've gone beyond the scope of a siple suggestion on a DIY website. You are knowledgeable and experienced, and though I disaggree, I concede. I'm taking my toys and going home. Yours too. I'm taking your toys.

gr33ko (author)fwater2009-09-14

For the sake of being nice I will tell you that most of the vehicles I have worked on were imports (85% roughly). If thats any consolation.

Joenavy85 (author)gr33ko2010-05-08

getting the fuel consumption rate is easy, get a ScanGaugeII. I use one in my 05 jeep liberty to monitor mileage and fuel consumption, when i start my engine while it's still hot the peak consumption during start up in never even double the idle consumption, and that's for only about 2 seconds of the start up, so if you're going to be sitting waiting for a train to pass, you might as well shut off the engine. Like a lot of these instructables say, changing the way you drive will make the biggest difference, according to the EPA testing, my jeep should get 17 mpg in the and 21 on the highway, and most people know those are usually a little on the high side. after changing the way i drive i routinely get 17 mpg in the city (my commute to work, i usually get to work about the time the engine is up to temp) and 24-26 on the highway that's a 14-20%(roughly) increase on the highway.

M15011 (author)2010-04-20

Cruise control set @ the speed limit & not driving aggresively are the best for efficiency based on my experience & remember "slower traffic keep right"

M15011 (author)2010-04-20

I've tried drafting several times @ 60-65 MPH on a route I drove on for a little over a 6 months before I tried drafting & have to admit drafting does work. I had some1 in the vehicle with me & they say they felt the a difference in the ride comfort between 30 feet & 50 feet.
I also tried a cold air intake & my rpm @ 65 MPH dropped by 200.
Because I deduct my gas consumption on my taxes I could tell.
All this took place over the span of 1 year 3 months.
I'll even give you the route.
Light traffic on highway 101 to 80 to 880 total 48 miles round trip.
Heater was the only thing running in the mornings to defrost the windshield.
Heavy traffic was a factor only about 10 days out of that whole time.
I know seems unbelievable if you know the area but thats my story.
Mileage went from 13 mpg to 16 average just by getting my cold air intake.

CameronSS (author)2009-04-04
I disagree in two places.

  • Since when does it take more gas to start a car? If it's running properly, it shouldn't take any more gas than an extra couple seconds of idling. On the other hand, most modern cars idle at 1500 rpm, which is way too fast and sucks gas.
  • One place that the cruise control will NOT save you gas is in hilly areas. The cruise does not have the ability to speed up while going downhill and let it slow down while going back up. Drive manually and pretend you're a semi in these areas.

Other than that, nice job!
vince 09 (author)CameronSS2009-05-20

who told you that cars idle at 1500 rpm. a normal automatic usually idles at around 700 rpm and manual at 500 rpm

CameronSS (author)vince 092009-05-20

Have you ever looked at a tachometer?

my truck does not have one

 my Yugo koral 45 alsodoesn't have tachometer

vince 09 (author)CameronSS2009-05-20

like Prometheus said it is only at 1500 for like a couple seconds right when you start it, and I am building truck number 2 from the ground up so I would kinda know where a car would idle.

realmenpray (author)CameronSS2009-05-29

I know it sounds off but do youre home work and read up on starting a gas engine. It's just like turning on an electric light or starting an electric motor or starting anything at all. The very most power you will use is at the start. Try pushing a car, the very most effort you will give will be at the START and on a flat ground once the car is rolling it will almost keep going. What this means is, and what is trying to be said is if you run into a store for 2 minutes you will eat less gas than if you shut off your car and strart it back up the same with a light and electric motor. Would you like me to hit the brakes every 2 feet as you push my car into the gas station and you have to get it rolling again?? Try it!!

gr33ko (author)CameronSS2009-04-04

Your car will consume more gas on colder starts. This is a proven fact. Even in warm weather initial starts. If the engine is not warm it the CPU is in open loop operation. When it warms up (600+ degrees F) it is in closed loop operation. Closed loop is when your CPU computes air fuel ratios. Open loop is a continuous dump of fuel. A predetermined amount to keep it running.

As for the cruise control you are right. Hilly areas will not improve gas mileage. That is why I said "typically".

Prometheus (author)gr33ko2009-04-08

To clarify for the rest of you: "open loop" is the ECM's )computer's) "default" values for engine operation. In Open-loop-operation, the engine is cold and the ECM simply maintains engine operation and disregards prior driving habits. When an engine is cold, it does not operate at peak efficiency. People have a habit of getting the car into motion before the starter-motor has come to a complete-stop due to a complete lack of respect for technology and a sense of entitlement to instant-gratification, so this mode is a precisely-tuned set of values to maintain a base-level of driveability while the engine is still cold. The oxygen-sensor is not capable of operation in this mode, so it's input is useless. "Closed-Loop" operation is when the engine is warmed to operating temperature, and the oxygen-sensor is within an operating temperature as well. At this point, "block-learn" is employed to maximize efficiency due to previously-recorded driving habits over the past 20-50 or so starts that have achieved a "closed-loop status". This is yet another reason why short-trip-driving can destroy a car in less than 150k miles, partly because the computer never learns anything about the driver. Gr33ko, well-intentioned project, despite missing a few details. You know your game sufficiently, and i can certify that as an ex-racer and lifetime automotive-engineer, you are making a useful effort to teach those who learned less than they should have in Driver's-Ed...I dispute any use of cruise-control as a means to save gas, but you may have a point as some people drive so badly that it can be a necessity.

gr33ko (author)Prometheus2009-04-08

Once again thank you!~

CameronSS (author)gr33ko2009-04-04

By typically I mean pretty much all the time.

May want to rephrase that, then.

gr33ko (author)CameronSS2009-04-04

Done and done! :)

Prometheus (author)CameronSS2009-04-08

By default, 1500 rpm is not "way too fast" for a cold-start on a low-displacement engine. The reason the idle speed is so high initially is to do the following: 1) Peak the oil pressure to immediately lubricate the upper parts of the cylinder-head and maintain a minimal oil pressure while driving on a cold engine. 2) To speed the heating of the catalytic-converter and the exhaust manifold, to reduce carbon-fouling and to expedite an operational temperature. 3) De-foul the plugs and cylinder head as soon as possible for optimal reliability and to minimize abrasion due to carbon-fouling of a cold cylinder 4) Minimize stalling due to a cold engine being driven prematurely. 1500 RPM is often the first-stage of an open-loop cycle, then it drops to 1250, and then 1100, and then to closed-loop idle when the conditions of that mode have been met. This is not "way too high", these are values set in the ECM that are necessary for a predicted driving routine from the start. If you think a 1500rpm cold-idle sucks gas, imagine how bad your mileage is when you attempt to drive like normal on a cold engine. Idle really draws very little fuel by comparison to cold-engine driving. "Open-loop enrichment" is certainly much more than "closed-loop" operation, but at idle there is far less fuel burned to keep the engine running than used to drive on it. Those who drive automatics and are smart enough to know that a warm engine does better than a cold one, they warm up their cars by holding the brake as they idle in "D" or "R", because the engine is loaded and the transmission will warm the engine as well simply by being in "gear"... BTW, "kick-up" for automatics when placed into a driving gear is 1800rpm when cold and at no-load, when the wheels are off the ground.....just so you know....warm "kick-up" is about 1400 rpm no-load.

gr33ko (author)Prometheus2009-04-08

Good info Prometheus! Thanks~!

RickO5 (author)2009-09-11

One note on fuel additives: A fuel additive that I imagine wouldl boost gas mileage in certain cars? Octane booster. Assuming you're in a car that will operate differently using different types of gas (some Mercedes, Nissans, and Cadillac will to name a few) the car will change its valve timing and ignition timing, as well as amount of fuel injected and in some cases boost pressure in relation to type of gas you have. If will optimize up until it sense "knock", at which time it will dial back. Now, Im not sure how octane boosters effect the rest of your engine, Ive never used them myself. Just something to consider.

gr33ko (author)RickO52009-09-12

If your car requires 89 octane thats all that you should use. Higher octane is purely detonation protection.

RickO5 (author)gr33ko2009-09-12

Usually. If you have a car that adjusts itself to make use of the extra compression it can safely achieve without knocking, higher octane gas could help, I dont know for sure, Ive just seen in some cars manuals that it is advertised to.

It makes sense though, higher compression = higher efficiency. Higher octane = higher possible efficiency.

But yeah, I put 87 octane in mine, regardless.

fwater (author)2009-09-11

"Aggressive driving reduces your gas mileage by 33% highway and 5% in town!" Where on Earth are you coming up with those numbers? "Tune er' up!" Modern spark plugs usually last up to and often in excess of 100,000 miles. Exception- when the engine is short shifted in an attempt to save mileage (doesn't work, low volumetric efficiency at low RPM vs medium RPM), plugs will last magnatudes less time. It's not just the author, but people all over are falling for this feelgood nonsense. These suggestions and thier accompanying statistics are pulled out of thin air. Pardon my tone, but they are repaeted all over the internet and the news without question. Lose weight from the car, stay out of the thottle. Done.

gr33ko (author)fwater2009-09-12

"Lose weight from the car, stay out of the thottle" So you agree? With the staying off of the throttle?

fwater (author)gr33ko2009-09-12

I do.

fwater (author)2009-09-11

The drafting effect occurs at speeds in excess of 80 miles an hour with cars, and requires distances between vehicles of less than 3 feet. The effect behind a semi is chaotic high an low pressure turbulence, making for a fun jostle, but no draft effect. The benefit is not significant, but in fact none at all. Lightenning a car is, however, an effective way to increase mileage, not just slightly noticeable as the author states. Removing random items from the trunk may be only a slight improvement, but how about removing the spare and jack? Unsprung weight (rims, brake discs) offer good benefits as well. Take cues from the race crowd.

RickO5 (author)fwater2009-09-11

Very false. Drafting -can-, depending on your vehicles design the vehicle you are following, make a huge different. Aerodynamic drag becomes a significant factor at more that about ~45mph, also depending on the car. Depending on the vehicles involved, the drafting effect may be enough to pull your car along without the use of you engine. On a couple of occasions Ive managed this for a few miles, both were ~10 feet behind large tractor trailers, on level to slight downhill grade, at speeds of about 55mph. On the other hand, the jostle you mention can be dangerous. It can your vehicle less stable, and its a sign that your vehicle is in an area of turbulence unlikely to produce a drafting effect. Take cues from the race crowd? They all draft.

RickO5 (author)RickO52009-09-11

Straight off wikipedia: "For example, hypermilers using this technique can achieve 75 mpg or more. Some sources say that the most common tailgating does not save gasoline even at freeway speeds because one is likely to accelerate and brake so frequently that any aerodynamic savings are lost through the brakes. On the show Mythbusters, drafting behind an 18-wheeler truck was tested and results showed that traveling 100 feet (30 m) behind the truck increased overall mpg efficiency by 11%. Traveling 10 feet (3.0 m) behind the truck produced a 39% gain in efficiency."

fwater (author)RickO52009-09-11

Please pardon my skepticism regarding wikipedia. A matter of opinion now, I suppose. We don't aggree on what are facts or possible facts. On my part, I will aggree to disaggree.

CaptInsane (author)2009-09-09

I'm not sure if this is nation-wide or not, but in some places it's illegal to draft

theatre_tech_guru (author)2009-06-09

i love the pictures

zwei2 (author)2009-04-16

how about 42 mpg? does anyone ride a stock car that does something like that? I'm doing this on my day average.

Prometheus (author)2009-04-09

Excuse me, I prefer to limit my skills to vehicles worth keeping and built to last, not to sell. I'm sorry that your devotion to one of the worst automakers on the planet runs so deep, I sure hope that palsy vehicle which took a good name and made it bad doesn't kill you due to it's numerous defects in workmanship and engineering. If you had a WWII jeep, that'd be a different story, I might actually commend you for having one of the few (and I mean few) examples where americans built something right. Try actually working on these cars before you devote yourself to them, your eyes might open to what's wrong with many of them.

And as far as K&N filters go, it was an example to the point.....or does your literary skill not extend that far? Oh, right, you are one of these people that say "America is the best country in the world", but likely haven't even left your state, much less the continental US....

And "grow up!" Confederate flags were made for burning, not waving, Cletus...

JacobAziza (author)2009-04-08

Step 6 is mistaken. This is a very common myth. This used to be true for large engines with carburetors. Computer controlled, fuel injected, and smaller engines use very little extra fuel to start. If you are going to be stopped for 30 seconds or more (depending on the vehicle) it is better to shut it than to idle

Oroka (author)2009-04-04

Here is a suggestion. Drive a standard transmission car. You can choose when the car changes gear... which allows you to drive at lower RPM. I get into 5th gear while doing 60kph, and I only do 1500RPM... that is near idle! Also, with a standard, you can use your clutch to coast. This is good on hills, but even in town, when approaching a stop... rather than driving then breaking. Really, breaking is a waste of gas... every time you use the breaks, you are undoing momentum created from the engine burning gas. The more you can avoid breaking, the less acceleration you have to produce later... thus saving gas. And from a driving stand point, you can drop to a lower gear to get more power for passing rather than waiting for the car to pick up speed in a automatic. I did read a study that found that standards get 10-20% better fuel economy vs automatics, but that is not always the case with a standard, it all comes down to driving technique. My mom does 3000rpm where I would be doing 1500rpm... nearly the same car, and she wonders why she has to fill up more than I do.

Prometheus (author)Oroka2009-04-08

Actually, it would be better for you to take it out of gear instead of holding the clutch, as this will wear on your throwout bearing, but yes that exact principle is far wiser. Using the engine to brake has additional benefits: Engine-braking cleans under the piston rings and sort-of "re-seats" them in the cylinder. Clean rings mean good compression means less lost power due to "blow-by". Furthermore, it pushes sludge out from the backside of transmission gears and other parts, keeping internals cleaner overall. Proper shifting can go a long way toward your fuel mileage.

Prometheus (author)Prometheus2009-04-08

Don't use neutral if you drive an automatic, unless you really need to. Automatics rely on engine speed to generate the pressure to hold the clutches that keep it in gear. Excessive coasting in an automatic transmission can do more harm than good. Do not use engine-braking with an automatic unless it is absolutely necessary. The only reason that lower gears are available is to prevent "threshold-shifting" on an uphill when pulling a load. This means repeated shifting between gears due to a confusion of your throttle-position and engine demand. Use gears other than "D" ONLY when you experience excessive shifting between gears, as every shift is wear on the transmission. This is the ONLY reason these selections are available, do not use them otherwise, unless in an emergency such as the loss of brakes. The shifter selection is to cease up-shifting at the selected gear only, and not intended for use as a retarder except in mild-to-severe emergency situations.

You chose an automatic because you chose not to drive a manual, now you pay the price by relying on your brakes to slow or stop you. Remember you made the choice NOT to learn how to drive with precision and skill, now YOU hold your fate in your brakes alone.You chose Neanderthal-simplicity over skillful-safety and control. You sacrificed efficiency and control instead of choosing to gain a valuable skill, so when your brakes fade and cease to be effective as a result, remember that you made that choice once you are released from the emergency-room. Remember that the foot-operated parking brake did not save you because a hand-brake might have with the superior control it offered.

The safest measure in collision-safety is avoiding one in the first place. Detroit has yet to figure that out in the past 40 years whereas the rest of the world knew that 20 years earlier. Get smart!

gr33ko (author)Oroka2009-04-04

Manual vehicles do get better gas mileage.

Prometheus (author)2009-04-08

Shifting properly has everything to do with it. I drove a 1991 nissan sentra 2door with a 2.0L engine, with 600lbs of papers on board, and still got 40+mpg on a route that had every variance of driving that you can think of, and on top of that, I gained 22hp and 30 ft-lbs of torque. As a former amateur-GT racer, I know a little about shifting, but I don't expect everyone to know it....Otherwise, here is how I did it: Clean air filter. Regular dusting of it and religious replacement regimen @ 6000 miles or less. Regular use of a fuel-system cleaner: Whether you have EFI or are naturally-aspirated (carburetor), a clean fuel system is an efficient one, and also a reliable and trouble-free one. Use a fuel system cleaner at least every 15,000 miles, or you can use it at every oil change. Add the cleaner during a fill-up....Add the cleaner first, then fuel-up, to help mix it into the fuel. A perfectly running fuel system is a prerequisite to an ideal tune. You can safely use a "fuel-injector cleaner" in a carburated engine without worry, but don't hesitate to use an aerosol cleaner to clean the carburetor's venturis of carbon Catalytic-converter semi-bypass. My cat rusted out on the back, and with Nissans of that type, the cat is welded in. I rejoined the sections by folding heavy sheet-metal in a cone over it, allowing some leakage to release some backpressure of the muffler. Proper oil gradient: At 200K miles, I began introducing 40W oil in changes, because at that mileage, engine tolerances are, shall I say, much larger gaps than new. Using 30W at that mileage actually increases friction because the oil cushion is compromised. Heavier oil restores that cushion by maintaining a lack of contact between moving parts. Proper oil quality: You do not save any money using generic motor oil at all. Power is lost and wear is increased because these lower-quality oils are not robust enough. I used Castrol, and if you drove the car on Castrol, and then switched to a "discount motor oil", you could very easily feel the difference. The money you spend for better oil is money you save because the engine will last longer. After 200K of hard driving, you should at least be using a 50/50 ratio of 30 and 40W. @300k miles, 40W at the least. @400k, 50W oil is a minimum. If you make it to 500K, and were wise enough to replace your engine seals at least twice by now, a cocktail of 3.5 parts 50W and .5 parts 80W gear oil is a must. A tablespoon of pure mineral oil on every change is a tasteful addition. Pathological oil changes: 3000 miles is the expected change for hard-driving, but use your senses. If the oil smells burnt, change it even if it hasn't been 3k miles. Put a salvaged speaker magnet on your oil filter to trap metallic particulate, just make sure it's a very strong magnet and will not be knocked off by interference with anything else (japanese car owners need not worry about this, generally). If a larger filter will fit your car, use it instead. I can't stand those oil filters that are half the size of a soda can. Odds are another car uses a larger filter, but the threads and gasket still fit the same dimensions. If you have room, use the larger one. Check wheel alignment regularly. Bad wheel alignment can sap as much gas as under-inflated tires, if not more, and will prematurely wear your tires as well. For some, the issue of decreased maneuverability is also an issue. If your car seems to "wander" at highway speed, you should check your alignment, you may have a "toe-out" condition. If it seems too "skittish" at speed, you may have a "toe-in" condition. Proper tires: Most people buy tires for price/features. The mistake is buying tires with an increased rolling resistance. Tires with a "center ridge" have a higher rolling resistance than tires without one. Proper maintenance: Change plugs, plug wires, PCV valves, Oxygen sensors, catalytic converters, and anything else on the manufacturer's recommended regimen, and maintain the engine in good tune. This above all will save fuel mileage because the ECM (computer) can make the most of it's energy-conversion process without the interference of a faulty component. Performance modifications: You may think the K&M; filter and the Dynomax muffler are only for the alleged "street-racer", but the fact remains that an engine that breathes better, works better. You may be surprised to know that many get the same or even improved mileage, because the engine is more efficient. If the engine is choking from intake drag, or huffing from exhaust lag, it decreases performance and efficiency. I've seen these mods from the poser street-racer-wannabes actually improve not just performance, but actual efficiency of the engine, because it breathes better. This will affect your emissions, but in most cases, you will pass anyway, sometimes with improved results. I used to have a 510, which I had tuned the carburetor to rival that of a Prius's emissions today....Of course I cheated and retuned it back for power once passing emissions lol...The point is that it can be done. On that same Datsun 510, the cat was choked from old age, so I "punched it", and after tuning, actually improved my emissions because the engine burned more cleanly and didn't rely on the cat to clean up unburnt fuel. Not all of these may apply to you, but at least one of them will make an improvement if they differ from your normal habits. Being a gearhead, or at least knowing one, helps a great deal.

Trans_Am (author)2009-04-04

1500 rpm idle? Since when? My high idle in the dead of winter is only 1100(ish). I drive a '96 Chereokee. Cruise definitely sucks the gas on hills, since it stomps the gas pedal to keep the car at the same speed up hills.

Prometheus (author)Trans_Am2009-04-08

Maybe they were referring to *quality* cars that don't require a V8 simply to get moving lol...

JakeTobak (author)2009-04-04

Thanks to you guide I reduced my gas consumption by 110%!

j626no (author)JakeTobak2009-04-04

so you produce gas now? lol

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More by gr33ko:Save Gas!  Change the way you drive.Clean 4 Port NES USB 2.0 HUB on the cheapPCB Wall-E for FREE!
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