How to improve your fuel economy: 23 top tips for better gas mileage

How to improve your fuel economy: 23 top tips for better gas mileage

Fuel prices have been hovering at record levels around the United States for the past few weeks. Now is a good time to review the best ways to improve your gas mileage and save money at the tank. I scoured dozens of websites and read hundreds of tips — these are the best of the bunch.

Save Money With Your Vehicle

Purchase a fuel-efficient car
The best way to save money on gas is to drive a fuel-efficient car. It's probably impractical to replace your current car for something that costs less to run, but if you're in the market for a new vehicle, keep fuel economy in mind. Consumer Reports has several lists of fuel-efficient vehicles:

  • A list of the most fuel-efficient cars they've tested (CR loves the Toyota Prius)
  • A list of fuel-efficient SUVs
  • A list of cars that combine fuel efficiency and performance

This calculator from fueleconomy.gov allows you to compare the cost difference between two vehicles based on their MPG.

Keep your vehicle well maintained
A car in poor running condition will use more gas than one that has been tuned up. According to this checklist at Advance Auto Parts, a dirty air filter can reduce gas mileage up to 20%. They also note that spark plugs in poor condition can reduce gas mileage up to 12%.

Be wary of gas-saving products
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission warns that most gas-saving products are bogus: “Be wary of any gas-saving claims for automotive devices or oil and gas additives. Even for the few gas-saving products that have been found to work, the savings have been small.” Consumer Reports says, “Don't waste your money.”

Keep tires properly inflated
Underinflated tires aren't just dangerous — they devour fuel economy by as much as 25%! (I know this from experience — whenever I notice a drop in MPG, my tires are usually low.) Overinflated tires aren't efficient, either. Also keep your tires balanced and in alignment.

Save Money by Thinking Ahead

Find the best prices
Use the web to research the lowest prices in your neighborhood. For example, GasBuddy.com is “a network of more than 179+ gas price information websites that help you find low gasoline prices.”

Buy gas from a wholesale club
Some Costco or Sam's Club stores offer their members discounts of up to ten cents per gallon on fuel. Our local Safeway store gives us a three-cent discount on gas after we spend a certain amount on groceries. (Though we'd have to drive 25 miles to find a place to use it!)

Alter your commute time
If possible, schedule your trips and errands for times when traffic is lighter. In an insanely detailed article, Omninerd found that commute times varied widely depending on the time the author left the house. If your company allows it, try coming in earlier or later in order to avoid rush hour.

Optimize your travel
Consolidate trips: If you know you have to buy groceries, take your clothes to the dry cleaner at the same time, and then drop little Johnny at soccer practice. Combine multiple trips into one.

Lighten your load
Carry only the bare necessities — don't haul things in your trunk. “For every extra 250 pounds your engine hauls, the car loses about one mile per gallon in fuel economy.” [via Bankrate]

Reduce drag
About half of your vehicle's energy is expended overcoming air resistance. (The other half is expended in acceleration.) Reduce your car's workload — remove anything that might cause drag: luggage racks, bike racks, ski racks, etc,

Save Money at the Pump

Buy gas on Wednesdays
“Gas prices are statistically the cheapest on Wednesdays, but this is only true over a large number of days. It won't be true every week.” Gas prices often jump before holidays, too. [via WikiHow]

Don't go out of your way to save a few pennies on gas
If it's convenient to shop at a cheaper place, do so. If not, don't. On a ten-gallon fill-up, saving five cents a gallon only nets you fifty cents. My car costs about 36 cents per mile to operate. It doesn't make sense for me to go a mile out of my way to find cheaper gas.

Buy gas during the coolest times of the day
“During these times gasoline is densest. Keep in mind – gas pumps measure volumes of gasoline, not densities of fuel concentration. You are charged according to ‘volume of measurement'.” [via HowToAdvice.com]


photo by gbleakmore

Use the right octane level for your car
Using premium gasoline in an engine designed to run on regular doesn't improve performance. Even some vehicles that call for higher octane fuels can run on regular unleaded, though with some loss of performance. (Check your owner's manual.) You can save money by using the lowest octane rated gasoline that your car will tolerate.

Don't top off your tank
Trust the auto-shutoff. Overfilling can lead to wasted gas.

Be sure your gas cap is tight
“Improperly seated gas caps allow 147 million gallons of fuel to vaporize every year in the U.S.” [via Advance Auto Parts]

Use a gas credit card
I don't like credit cards, but the best gas rewards credit cards can be a good way to save a few cents per gallon. Just be sure to pay off your balance at the end of the month!

The Nut Behind the Wheel

Drive at a constant moderate speed
Edmunds.com found that the best way to improve fuel efficiency was to accelerate slowly and to brake over a longer distance. Aside from purchasing a new vehicle, this is the single most effective step you can take to reduce your costs. According to fueleconomy.gov: “As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.”

Use cruise control
If you're like me, your driving speed tends to fluctuate. Cruise control takes the human element out of the equation and keeps driving speeds steady. It's the easy way to drive at a constant moderate pace.

Don't idle
Turn off your engine if you'll be idling for more than thirty seconds. Starting your vehicle does use a burst of fuel, but not as much as allowing the engine to idle too long.

Anticipate stop signs and lights
Plan ahead. The less you have to stop, the better your gas mileage. Make it a game to catch all of the green lights. Laugh at the other guy as he sprints from red to red.

Keep your cool
Most people claim that it makes more sense to use air conditioning on the highway and to roll down the windows in city traffic. It's commonly claimed that either method is going to reduce your fuel economy by about 10%. But according to research performed by found, there's no real difference between driving with the windows down or using the air conditioner. Consumer Reports obtained similar results:

Air conditioning uses about 1 mpg, but safety (and comfort) increase with use. Opening windows made no significant difference in our gas mileage.

Do what works for you. (But please: don't run your air conditioner with the windows open.)

Drive less!!!
Walk. Ride your bike. Take public transit. Carpool. Combine errands. It's obvious, but easy to forget: the less you drive, the less you'll spend on gas.

Additional Resources

For more information on fuel economy, check out the following sites:

What are your favorite tips and tricks for saving money on gas?

More about...Transportation

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Andrej
Andrej
13 years ago

It seems a little odd that ‘Drive Less’ is the last tip on the list. For local, in town trips the best way to save fuel is to simply walk, take the bus, or bicycle.

DirtMcGrit
DirtMcGrit
13 years ago

Buying gas during cool times (mornings) also reduces volatilization of toxic aromatic compounds that you don’t want to breath and unsaturated hydrocarbons that cause lower troposphere smog and ozone accumulation. For efficient newer model cars this is a significant source of emissions.

DirtMcGrit
DirtMcGrit
13 years ago

I think the government’s mpg vs. mph graph is a little off. Maybe they’re factoring in more stop and go traffic at the lower speeds. In a flat course at constant speed all cars I’m aware of start dropping off in efficiency above 45 mph. Examples:

http://www.drive55.org/downloads/tdiclubchart.gif

http://www.randomuseless.info/318ti/mphmpg.png

Feel free to conduct your own experiments (but if you’re a hybrid owner and haven”t passed a college physics class please file your comment with the delete key).

Keith W. Twombley
Keith W. Twombley
13 years ago

If you’re interested in saving money, avoid hybrids. There’s a few good reasons. First, They’re more expensive than a regular or diesel-burning car. The price difference between a brand new Prius and a brand new Civic (or even better a Yaris or another small car) is a few thousand dollars. You could buy a Yaris *plus* 3,000 gallons of gasoline for the price of a Prius. The other small cars (such as the Yaris) also get insanely good gas mileage. 40mpg compared to the prius’ 55mpg. That means your 3,000 gallons of free gasoline will last you almost 8 and… Read more »

J.D.
J.D.
13 years ago

@ Andrej
The fact that “drive less” is last on this list is an accident of organization. And exhaustion. I compiled the tips at random, and then re-arranged them into some semblance of order. By the time I was through with the entry, I was exhausted from a long day, and it didn’t occur to me to place it anywhere else (or to give it any other sort of emphasis).

Driving less is one of the best ways to save money on fuel.

@Dirt
Thanks for sharing those graphs.

DirtMcGrit
DirtMcGrit
13 years ago

I thought it was last so it would stay fresh in our minds.

DirtMcGrit
DirtMcGrit
13 years ago

concerning hybrids: I got one because it looks cool, I want to support my buddies in the mining industry, and the resale value will stay unreasonably high due to silly people who don’t listen to Keith Twombley. If I keep it I’m hoping the battery dies while it is still under the 8 year warranty.

Keith W. Twombley
Keith W. Twombley
13 years ago

If the warranty covers the batteries, then good news for you! Too bad cell phone and laptop warranties don’t cover those batteries too.

Tom
Tom
13 years ago

Great article! Much better researched than an article I just read on CNN about the same subject. Thanks J.D.! In addition to the “insanely detailed” article from OmniNerd about commute times that you referenced OmniNerd has some other interesting articles about how to save on fuel. Brandon Hansen wrote another “insanely detailed” article supporting your point about how it doesn’t make sense to drive a mile or two out of your way to save a couple pennies on fuel. Here’s the article: Gas Prices in Perspective http://www.omninerd.com/2006/09/15/articles/59 Matt Vea studied fuel efficiency of his 2006 Jeep Wrangler under a variety… Read more »

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

Support development of electric vehicles.

I drive a RAV4EV left over from California’s ZEV mandate – my commute is about 60-70 miles round-trip (I take care of multiple sites), and I spend about $10/week in electric to go to/from work.

Also, the car is at 31,000 miles and has only needed 1 set of brake pads and 1 set of new tires. No other maintenance.

…AND the technology works now, instead of more expensive fuel cell / hydrogen. For a commuter car, it’s been perfect for me, and would easily be great for 90% of working people.

Ryan
Ryan
13 years ago

Great article. Love the one about buying gas during the coolest times of the day…I had never heard that.

MoneyChangesThings
MoneyChangesThings
13 years ago

1. Don’t forget about carpooling. I find it not only saves gas, but it nurtures relationships if you’re going together to a meeting, social event, performance or whatever. 2.ANother method of cutting back on driving is similar to dieting: keep a mileage log. I have a simple google spread sheet for daily miles driven. This way you start to realize how the little trips add up, how far things REALLY are from your house, et al, and you teach yourself how to become more efficient at errand running. 3. I often use the internet to order products that I might… Read more »

Ross
Ross
13 years ago

I am not too sure about the “Alter your commute time” tip. I have actually improved my MPG by going to work at 7:30 and leaving at 5, the times of heaviest traffic. Most likely this is due to the fact that traffic forces me to never exceed 45 mph instead of the speed limit of 70. No matter how much I love saving money through I still hate traffic.

Dy (www.dyphan.com)
Dy (www.dyphan.com)
13 years ago

I love that last tip… DRIVE LESS. You know why gas prices are high and car makers won’t make more efficient cars? It’s because the consumer buy the cars that are already made. And demand at the pump has been unabated.

Join the club?
Join the club?
13 years ago

Be careful with the Costo, Sams, BJs, discount gasoline. Though its not horrible and it works fine, gas is not gas in every measure. For one thing, many of the cheaper fuels do not supply the same miles per gallon. I know for a fact that I got less from a tank of gas than usual when I was buying from Sams/Wal-Mart than when I buy BP or Exxon. I also had some knocking in one of my cars (though not the other) that stopped when I quit buying the lesser-priced gasoline.

Same boat
Same boat
8 years ago
Reply to  Join the club?

I had the same experience when using BJ’s gas. Now I stick with Hess.

Daisy
Daisy
13 years ago

Another reason not to buy a hybrid: They’re not more efficient for highway driving. We live 10 miles outside of the nearest town with a real grocery store, so ALL of our trips involve highway driving, and almost no stop-n-go driving. If you are an in-town driver or delivery person, the hybrid would probably save you money if you are careful and drive it efficiently. But for someone doing a great deal of longer commuting, it just doesn’t make economic sense.

M
M
13 years ago

Re: not letting your car idle.
Restarting your car uses less gas than eight seconds of idling. Shut your car off, save yourself gas, save the world some smog.

EJ
EJ
13 years ago

I tried the “alter my commute time”, and it works somewhat. If I left at 7:30am, I get to work at 8:10am. Leaving at 7:20am instead I would save ten minutes and get to work at 7:50am.

What worked better for me was trying alternate routes. A two-mile longer route got me onto a back road with three lights instead of the straight route through the suburbs. Now I leave at 7:40 and get to work at 8am. 20 minutes to go 15 miles instead of 40 minutes for 13 miles of stop and go.

Mike Panic
Mike Panic
13 years ago

I love how CR doesn’t even have VW’s line of TDI cars and SUV’s listed.

60 in 3
60 in 3
13 years ago

The last tip is the best one. Just drive less. Because using up 0 gallons of fuel is a better saving than any cheap gas station can offer.

Gal

Leo P
Leo P
13 years ago

A minor comment on paying an extra 20 cents per gallon for every 5 miles over 60mph:

I think a big factor that never seems to be considered with this tip is time. My daily commute is about 50 miles round trip and requires two gallons of gas. I’d much rather save the hour per week that I get by going 75 instead of 60, than save 3 dollars on gas. My hour is worth a lot more than three dollars.

jpalacio
jpalacio
8 years ago
Reply to  Leo P

Not to mention every vehicle’s prime mpg varies. I drive a 2007 Jeep liberty and I still get over 23 mpg driving at about 75 mph in the highway. It is not until I drive over 90 that I see my mpg’s go under the 20 mpg mark

YES
YES
8 years ago
Reply to  jpalacio

My 1989 suzuki firefly cost me $350. I drive it everywhere immaginable, from snowy mountains, rivers and oceans to hotsprings and deserts. Cross the state and cross the continent. It has over 125k miles. With no modifications, it gets 66-74 mpg consistently, seats 4 and sleeps 2 comfortably, 3x the cargo space of a not-so-smart, hauls kayaks, bikes, skis, trees and washing machines. It fits in a motorcycle parking space and can u-turn in nearly a single lane. It has the original clutch, exhaust, mint interior and windows, a lifetime stainless oil filter $140 + 3.5 qts. amsoil change every… Read more »

Jeremy
Jeremy
13 years ago

Downshift when slowing down and decelerate against the engine. This is far more efficient than letting the engine idle on the clutch while slowing down.

Of course, this requires a manual transmission, which was also missing from the list — if you’re at all concerned about saving money and gas, never buy an automatic transmission.

Richard Broberg
Richard Broberg
8 years ago
Reply to  Jeremy

Transmission repairs cost more than the gas you will save. Why not just put the car in neutral and coast to the red light. Saves gas and brakes.

I used to leave for work at 6 am. Driving on the back roads in fifth gear at 25 mph I hardly used any gas. When I was working at that company I would gas up my 1991 Honda Civic once a month in the morning on the way to work.

Alan
Alan
13 years ago

“Be wary of gas-saving products”

Be wary indeed, there are many additive products claiming the same outrageous claims; however, it’s a shame that the ones that do work get a bad name. 🙁

I found an interesting article about oil additives and fuel additives that may be worth looking into.

http://blog.sfrcorp.com/2006/09/13/do-oil-additives-really-work/

Jonathan
Jonathan
13 years ago

The Toyota Aygo (http://en.aygo.com/) has even better fuel economy than the Yaris and the Prius (4.6L/100k or 61.4mpg), is a third of the price of a Prius.

The emissions levels are higher than that of the Prius, but only by a slight margin.

The Aygo is currently available in Europe and Japan and should be available in the US in 2008.

Dustin
Dustin
13 years ago

Like paying 20 cents a gallon extra! That will definitely add some perspective. I agree with LeoP in general. However, I found that I often go 70 or more even when I’m running early for something. Why am I going so fast? No clue. I tried for a week to go 55 instead of 70 and shut off my car at red lights, didn’t use the A/C, etc. and got 36mpg instead of my normal 29 or 30. Whether it’s useful to take all of those steps regularly (I’m not going to give up A/C in Austin in June) is… Read more »

Bill the Splut
Bill the Splut
13 years ago

Drive Like A Cop is about saving your life, not your money, but it does put an end to the “windows open or AC on” debate in my mind: “Fully raised is preferable over fully lowered because it’s far better to hit your head against the raised side glass than, say, the brush guard of the SUV that T-boned you in the door.”

M4S1K
M4S1K
8 years ago
Reply to  Bill the Splut

Having had a personal experience with having a small car get t-boned by an SUV I can definitely assure you that you’re side window is non-existant at the moment of impact. One of the windows on the non-impacted side of the vehicle shattered from the sheer force of the impact.

KMull
KMull
13 years ago

I still have to disagree about turning your car off if you are going to be sitting more than 30 seconds. So every time I pull up to a long red light I should turn off my car? Sure, I might save gas. However, I lose A/C and increase the wear and tear on the starter. Bad idea.

DirtMcGrit
DirtMcGrit
13 years ago

My best 100 mile mpg average was in a traffic jam in the SF bay area. It’s certainly not something to aim for but it might make you feel a little better next time you get stuck in one. Continuously variable automatic transmissions trump manual transmissions for fuel efficiency. Hybrids are pretty efficient on highways/freeways if there are a lot of hills or the traffic is heavy and the battery gets some use. They also have much better drag coefficients than most cars. There are probably some good tips for v. cold weather somewhere out there. Short trips in v.… Read more »

brad
brad
13 years ago

@KMull: starters today are built to withstand a lot more on-and-off cycles than anyone is likely to use for the life of their car, even if they turn off their car at every red light for 10 years. Losing AC, okay, that’s a valid issue, as is losing heat in winter, although when I’m in a long line in winter and turn off my car it takes about 7 minutes before I feel cold enough to have to turn it on again. As for hybrids…I agree with the strategy of getting a smaller conventional car with good fuel economy. But… Read more »

Pearlandopal
Pearlandopal
13 years ago

@Mike Panic: That sucks. I love my Jetta TDI – 43 mpg.

Keith W. Twombley
Keith W. Twombley
13 years ago

Mikey’s list is pretty good, except for the Acetone thing. It simply doesn’t help, regardless of all the anecdotal evidence you have seen on various crackpot websites. I think even the Mythbusters did an episode where they tested fuel economy additives, and acetone actually decreased their gas mileage.

Think about it this way: If something so simple actually worked with no side-effects, gas companies would already be putting it into their gas and charging you extra for it.

giles
giles
13 years ago

“# Jeremy Says: May 30th, 2007 at 3:46 pm Downshift when slowing down and decelerate against the engine. This is far more efficient than letting the engine idle on the clutch while slowing down. Of course, this requires a manual transmission, which was also missing from the list – if you’re at all concerned about saving money and gas, never buy an automatic transmission. ” No, that’s wrong. The engine is much happier idling, and the resulting wear on the clutch and engine is far more than the wear on the break pads. Use the brakes for what they are… Read more »

Don
Don
13 years ago

I highly suggest something else, related to your noticing mileage suffering with low pressure and a personal experience of my own. Keep a gas logbook. I have a little $0.99 flip spiral notebook I keep in my center console. When I gas up I write something like “8.4 @ 251 6/4” meaning I put 8.4 gallons in on Jun 4 and the trip meter read 251. I don’t need to do the mileage calc right then so I am never tempted to fail to see what kind of mileage I was getting just because I was in a hurry. I… Read more »

MoneyChangesThings
MoneyChangesThings
13 years ago

One more tip to drive less. If you’re lucky enough to live in a city with mass transit, join FlexCar, PhillyCarShare, or whatever your local driving outfit is. These are businesses where you join and reserve a prius when you need a car and you pay by the mile. it’s much cheaper than owning/insuring/maintaining a car, and when the car isn’t sitting there, you’re much more inclined to skip the unnecessary trips.

K
K
13 years ago

Beware hidden costs at the pump. The cheapest gas in my town (and for a few miles around) is at the Arco, which uses pay stations that take debit (not credit, sometimes cash) and charge a 45 cent transaction fee for it. Saving 3 posted cents per gallon on anything less than a 15 gallon fillup is actually losing money in that scenario. (If you must do this, use cash.)

K
K
13 years ago

@moneychangesthings: My one biggest problem with Flexcar is that you must return the vehicle to exactly where you got it. You can’t really use Flexcar to do things like commute home if you need to leave early, etc., because you’ll have to reserve and pay for all the time until you drive it back to where you started. The other thing is that there are very few if any in the suburbs and are rarely near residential areas, so you are not likely to be able to use it for household errands.

Dan
Dan
13 years ago

Where you buy your gas does make a difference. A friend of mine drives a mini cooper and so far he claims that he gets the best mileage using Shell gasoline. I’m currently testing that claim for myself. Another idea I havn’t seen mentioned: Yor car uses a lot of gasoline to overcome air friction and drag. Keeping your car clean will lower the friction coefficient and improve gas mileage. If you are really into lowering air friction, check out products like Protect-All AVP-15 or Logisti-clean which are being used on cars, freight trucks, even airplanes to reduce air drag.… Read more »

Dandy
Dandy
12 years ago

GasDandy is an easy-to-use tool that tracks a vehicle’s mileage and maintenance information, providing data that can be used for both business and personal purposes. By making these figures readily available, the program also gives the consumer the opportunity to save money and to proactively identify problems that can shorten the life of their vehicle(s). Download a free trial version of GasDandy today at http://www.gasdandy.com

Taylor Campbell
Taylor Campbell
12 years ago

Hi,
Driving is something that we have to do to get to school and work…
But we could help are econmy is to not drive just to walmark or something try to save the econmy not get rid of it!!

Leadfoot
Leadfoot
12 years ago

Regarding fuel additives, I’ve been burned several times by the snake oil salesmen. Lets see…Bio Performance, FFI, Motorlatte to name a couple. There is one that hit the market earlier this year that been working consistently. It’s called Ferox Fuel tabs. The thing that is different about it is that it is a catalyst that allows more of the fuel burn. It isn’t a detergent like BFI (which screwed up my O2 sensor). I have been seen considerable mileage increases and have been able to stop using purchasing premium fuel for my sports car. For me that is nearly a… Read more »

Andrew
Andrew
12 years ago

Great post! I used some of your helpful tips, and added a few others, in coming up with my own comprehensive guide for how to get better gas mileage: http://www.mahalo.com/How_to_Get_Better_Gas_Mileage

george78
george78
12 years ago

Yes! Good maintenance goes a long way: I added a K&N air filter, synthetic oil (only have to change once a year!), and new plugs and wires to my 1997 Saturn SL2. I also brought it to the dealer to have a thorough examination and repair of mechanical defects. My cost for the car (used) was $2400 and I put about $1000 into repairs and upgrades. I recently got back from a 1000 mile trip, averaging 39mpg with 4 people and fully loaded. In the city I average about 34mpg. That’s a heck of a lot better than the 21/31… Read more »

WHISTLER
WHISTLER
12 years ago

Anyone had any experience with converting car to a water hybrid?

Kris
Kris
12 years ago

While useing your engine to slow down for a turn or stop may not increase your mileage, It will increase the life of your brakes, and if done PROPERLY will not wear out your clutch or engine any faster, Ask any truck driver! Synthetic oils in the engine may make a difference but .5 of a percent isn’t a lot of savings when it costs 2x the price. Somebody said that CVT’s are better than manual transmissions, WRONG manual transmissions are nearly 100% efficiant, and CVT’s barely make 92% so you are throwing 8% out the window, If you have… Read more »

Scott Parker
Scott Parker
12 years ago

Check out this article: 12 Steps to better fuel economy. I followed the advice given here and I went from 28 MPG to 42 MPG and it didn’t cost me more that $100 to do all the steps!

Loren
Loren
12 years ago

You could tighten your gas cap, commute, carpool, drive slowly, check your tire pressure.. so many things to increase your MPG’s and save money on gas.

Ron Morrison
Ron Morrison
11 years ago

Driving at a constant moderate speed is the way to go, and if your vehicle has a tachometer (the needle that measures your engine rpm’s)do not allow it to go above 1900-2000 rpm’s when starting from a dead stop. You use less fuel at a slower accelleration then if you do a jack-rabbit start. You can get up to 60 mph at 2000 rpm’s. If you live in a hilly area, this is a little more dificult to do, but you can also shift into neutral when going down big hills. The tach will drop as low as 1000 rpm’s… Read more »

Becky
Becky
11 years ago

I love these tips and use a lot of them, but I was just not getting enough improvement. I saw a hydrogen generator called the H Factor fuel system that has shown 30 – 40% improvement on their test vehicles over several months. I got one and my mpg has improved 20% in just a couple weeks after having it installed! The say to give it a couple months to see the most benefit because it improves efficiency of your engine and reduces emissions. Fewer ‘orange alert’ days around here would be great! Has anyone else heard of it or… Read more »

Ben
Ben
11 years ago

I own a 08 Suzuki SX4 that I bought specifically to improve my gas consumption over my 98 Ford Ranger. As reguarding to AC vs windows open, I have noticed about a 2 mpg increase when I turn off the ac. My car has a meter in it that tell fuel econony, etc. Think about it this way, when the ac clutch kicks in, it is a physical resistance on the engine. So now there is more work it has to do to keep the car moving, especially on the highway. You will notice this more with a smaller engine,… Read more »

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