How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

You don't have to torture yourself and buy a Prius if you want to see high MPGs. Jalopnik readers have ten tips for getting better mileage in the car your already own.

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There are a lot of extreme modifications you can do to increase your gas mileage, but we don't think they're all worth it. Of course the most painfully extreme is buying a new, beige, boring hybrid. There's a whole community of hypermilers who block off their cars' grills with cardboard to cut drag, build their own streamlined bodykits, and draft semis on the highway. None of these changes are practical.

Of course, the best way to cut your fuel bill is to drive less, and we know ten ways to help get you on public transportation.

And whatever you do, don't fall for any of these fake fuel-saving scams.

Photo Credit: Toyota


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

10.) Do Your Routine Maintenance

No single change to your car is going to make to a sizable bump in your fuel economy, so you need to do them all together: properly inflate your tires, replace your air filter, change your oil, replace your spark plugs, check your wheel alignment.

Suggested By: RayHMKishimoto, Photo Credit: Asim Bharwani


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

9.) Shift Earlier

High RPM are not your friend. Shift like your grandma for better economy.

Suggested By: MooseKnuckles, Photo Credit: Peter Gorges


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

8.) Stop Braking So Much

On the highway, maintain a safe distance from the car ahead and keep your speed level. Don't tailgate, as you'll end up braking and accelerating, braking and accelerating. This eats into your fuel economy.

Suggested By: Ash78, Photo Credit: sparktography


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

7.) Stop Mashing The Gas

Change your driving style. Relax behind the wheel and don't pull away from the lights aggressively. Smoothly accelerate like grandma is in the car and you'll get better mileage.

Suggested By: Bullitt417, Photo Credit: Albert Lynn


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

6.) Clean Your Car

Those dead bodies in your trunk? Dump ‘em. Your fifty-three copies of Top Gear Magazine, EVO, and CAR in the back seat need to go. You're burning fuel carrying that shit around.

Suggested By: lonestranger, Photo Credit: Raphael Orlove


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

5.) Record Your Gas Mileage

If you keep track of your gas mileage over a long period of time, you'll notice that you're driving more efficiently and getting better fuel economy. That's just how humans work. A simple spreadsheet works, but we like the DashCommand app paired with a Kiwi Wifi OBD II scanner. It gets you all your info on your iPhone.

Suggested By: End User, Photo Credit: DashCommand


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

4.) Plan Direct Routes

Plan your trips to avoid the typical trappings of ‘city' driving. Taking the one way into downtown that has five lights, seven stop signs, and a train crossing is going to burn more fuel than if you re-route yourself over the highway.

Suggested By: Metroid_SR388, Photo Credit: PINKÉ


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

3.) Travel Off Peak

Get up earlier to skip stop-and-go traffic. You're getting terrible mileage when you're stuck bumper to bumper on the highway.

Suggested By: My X-type is too a real Jaaaaaaaaag, Photo Credit: C. Elle


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

2.) Carpool

Hauling your coworkers to the office will cut into your gas mileage, but you'll save when they pick you up and you leave your car in the garage. It's up to you to decide if the fuel savings are worth hearing about your coworker's divorce.

Suggested By: For Sweden, Photo Credit: pellethepoet


How To Increase Your Fuel Economy Without Replacing Your Car

1.) Combine Your Errands

Simply combining your trips and errands is a great way to spend less time behind the wheel. Basically, the less you drive, the less you spend on gas. It is the ultimate way to increase your fuel economy.

Suggested By: Joe_Limon, Photo Credit: Municipal Archives of Trondheim