3 ways to save fuel

3 ways to save fuel
3 ways to save fuel

Fuel prices are on the decline right now, but it is only temporary. Fuel is a major household expense, so it's time to consider adopting simple actions and behaviors that will save you a lot of money. You will see that there are dozens of levers of action that, over one or more years, will save you hundreds of liters. Some drivers have made it a (lucrative) game: they practice eco-driving.


Method 1 of 3: Maintain your car regularly

Step 1. Change the candles in due time

Depending on the model, the spark plugs change between 30 and 120,000 km. Given the savings you will make, replacing spark plugs, inexpensive and easy, is an operation that should be done regularly. If you are not well versed in mechanics, you will find a nice friend, otherwise you have the garage.

Step 2. Limit your car trips

There are several means, such as carpooling, grouping your activities by having an optimal route or the first parking encountered and you end up on foot.

Step 3. Take your fuel where it is cheapest

In general, the cheapest fuel can be found in service stations coupled with supermarkets. There are also sites that do benchmarks in your industry, such as this official site.

Step 4. Maintain your vehicle regularly

A regularly serviced vehicle is a vehicle that wears less quickly and above all consumes less, it has been demonstrated for a long time.

Step 5. Go to the gas station intelligently

Before going there, three things should be taken into account.

  • See if it's worth refueling or not. Half-filling your tank will save you a bit of weight and therefore fuel. However, this practice only makes sense if your regular gas station is on your route, otherwise you will spend on the trip (and time!) What you earn elsewhere.
  • Don't constantly refuel. Fuel, whatever it is, is volatile, and since tank caps are intentionally punctured for pressure reasons, you are going to have losses: it's bad for your wallet and bad for the environment.
  • Do not go to the pump until your needle indicates that you have used the last quarter of the reservoir. Casually, the less gasoline you have on board, the less your engine consumes and if the economy is negligible on a single trip, over one or more years it can make a big difference in your wallet. This practice should be suspended during the winter, as condensation forms in the tank, which gradually reduces the life of the fuel pump.

Step 6. Regularly check the tire pressure

Three to four times a year, check the pressure of your tires (figures to be consulted in the manufacturer's manual). Under-inflated tires, and your fuel consumption can increase by 10%. Tire pressure is always checked when cold, that is, after having driven less than 2 km. When hot, you must add 0.2 bar of pressure to those recommended by the manufacturer. Conversely, do not overinflate your tires, thinking that you will save even more money. This is not only wrong, but above all you risk an accident (going off the road or bursting the tire). To inflate your tires, you have the choice between certain motorway entrances and generally the inflation is free, otherwise in the service stations where for 0, 5 € you can quietly inflate your five tires: do not forget the spare wheel ! Avoid deflating your tires too much when inflating them, especially when they are hot.

Some major fuel stores allow you to re-inflate your tires for free

Method 2 of 3: Buy another vehicle

Step 1. Buy a diesel car

It's an old idea that diesel is cheaper. In recent years, the prices of diesel have approached those of unleaded. Under pressure from environmentalists, the government has discouraged the purchase of diesel vehicles, but diesel is a few cents cheaper.

Step 2. Buy a hybrid vehicle

Of course, the fuel economy is easy to understand with a vehicle like this, which only runs in thermal over long distances. As part of the fight against global warming, the French government regularly offers bonuses for the purchase of these vehicles. They range from 3,000 to 5,000 € under certain conditions. The builders are also paying their premiums. Ask your insurance company if they are discounting these types of cars.

Step 3. Buy a smaller car

Quite logically, the small city dwellers, because they are less heavy, consume less and they have been studied to be not very greedy.

Step 4. When buying a vehicle, know the engine torque

Many customers focus on the power (in hp) of an engine in order to estimate its consumption. But what matters is the torque and speed of the motor. At equal power, a gasoline car will have a higher rpm, but a lower torque compared to a diesel model. This is why with a diesel, gears are shifted at lower revs than with a gasoline car.

Step 5. If you can, use a motorcycle or scooter

In maintenance and insurance, these machines are more interesting than a car. In consumption too! Thus, a Kawasaki Ninja 250R, sold for around 5,000 €, consumes around 3.74 L / 100 km and can go from 0 to 100 km / h in less than 6 seconds!

Method 3 of 3: Drive more economically

Step 1. Avoid running your engine unnecessarily

When you can, instead of letting your car idle, consider turning off the engine. Studies have shown that turning off the engine for more than six seconds saves fuel. Imagine how much you could save over a year! Don't leave your engine running while you go to the bakery to buy your bread. There is no point in driving fast if you know full well that in 200 m you will have to brake.

Step 2. Prepare for your trips

This can be done on a daily basis as for more original routes (holidays). Group your trips on a route as linear as possible, take small roads with few traffic lights and crossings of towns. To save fuel, drive during off-peak hours, you will have less traffic jams.

Step 3. Use your navigation system (GPS)

With this technology, you usually avoid traffic jams you are not aware of and you won't go wrong either, so you won't be extending your run. If possible, avoid steep streets and mountain roads.

Step 4. Drive at a steady speed

Avoid unwarranted acceleration and last-minute braking. At cruising speed, on the motorway or on straight nationals, activate your cruise control and you will save a lot of money … and you will avoid the fine for speeding.

Step 5. Avoid putting your regulator in some cases

This is the way to keep engine control in the mountains, on big descents and on winding roads. On these particular courses, nothing prevents you, in a way on the pedal, to keep a constant and sure speed. And then you will quickly see that the regulator on these grounds gives a feeling of insecurity.

Step 6. Limit stops

To save gas, it's best to come to a red light almost at a stop without having to brake hard. As you decrease your speed, there is a chance that the light will turn green so you will not need to accelerate to restart. Indeed, you will consume less, because you will benefit from the inertia of your vehicle.

Step 7. Anticipate the arrival at a red light or stop sign

Of course, this presupposes knowing the route well. A few dozen meters before a red traffic light or a stop sign, take your foot off the accelerator, but keep the gear engaged, to slowly come to a stop. Driving in neutral is a violation of the Highway Code and is above all dangerous. If you arrive behind a line of cars stopped at a traffic light 10 seconds earlier or later, it won't change your journey time much. Anticipation is the key to fuel economy. On the route that takes you to your workplace each morning, try to find the constant speed that allows you to benefit from all the green traffic lights: you will save a lot of money and be more relaxed.

Step 8. Observe the safety distances

It is unnecessary, dangerous and expensive to stick to the car in front of you. In addition to the accident (and you would be 100% responsible in the event of an impact!), You will put too much strain on your engine and therefore overconsume. Conversely, don't pay attention to bad conductors, such as those who get too close to you. For them, slow down, brake lightly and let them pass as soon as possible.

Step 9. Don't drive too fast

The resistance of the air is proportional to the square of the speed and the power needed to maintain your speed is the cube of that same speed: the faster you go, the more you consume. Below 60 km / h, it is the frictional forces of the tires that cause fuel consumption. Above this, you add air resistance: consumption is skyrocketing. Drive at the same speed as the vehicles surrounding you. Even though today's vehicles have a good coefficient of drag (Cx), try to stay under 100 km / h so as not to consume too much. The moment when you consume the least is the low speed of the highest speed (the overdrive): at this speed, you are traveling, depending on the engine, between 70 and 90 km / h.

Step 10. Don't start on the wheel caps

By doing this, you prematurely damage your tires and overconsume by asking the engine to quickly reach high speed!

Step 11. Avoid being in the wrong places

The best example is given by shopping areas where you are very likely to find yourself blocked often and sometimes for a long time, by pedestrians crossing, cars that park (well or in double line): so many causes of overconsumption.

Step 12. Only turn on the air conditioning on the highway

At medium speed (around 50 to 60 km / h), lower your windows. Admittedly, you will lose a little on the coefficient of drag, but not as much as if you were using the air conditioning. Do a little research on the Internet to find out about air conditioning practices depending on the circumstances. Continuous air conditioning leads to an excess consumption of 8 to 10% depending on the engine.

Step 13. Never get into neutral when going downhill

Under the pretext of saving gas, it's tempting to come to a standstill. On this point, your fuel gain will be ridiculous, but above all, you risk your life: the brakes are coupled to the motor and you risk overheating the pads. In the event of a steep slope, you must put yourself in second, or even first, and thus descend into the valley. This advice is in order for hybrid engines, but for other reasons.

Step 14. Park in the shade

A double advantage to this practice: you will consume less gasoline when restarting, because the air conditioning will work less and your fuel will evaporate less in the tank. If the parking lot is in direct sunlight, try to find a spot where your tank will be away from the sun, somewhat in the shade of the vehicle. The fuel tank caps are not tight (fortunately!): To avoid overpressure of the air in summer, check that the openings of the cap are free.


  • If you usually leave your job at a rush hour, try to work later to avoid traffic jams and overconsumption. Otherwise, take the opportunity to do your daily jog near your workplace while the traffic calms down.
  • Learn to drive smoothly. It is taught in driving school, but we tend to forget it. Driving like this means driving as regularly as possible, whatever the speed, anticipating stops and accelerations and using the gears correctly (manual gearbox): it is this driving, perhaps monotonous, which allows great savings..
  • Any modification to a vehicle does not necessarily reduce consumption. The addition of fins and other spoilers improves grip, but not fuel consumption. The installation of a turbocharger and the chip-tuning (electronic management of the power supply and the ignition) do reduce consumption, but if it is to make your engine roar, it is in vain.
  • It is an experience that you can have and that will be very instructive. Say you refuel every two weeks. Ride for the first fortnight as you usually do and see how many kilometers you do. The next fortnight, try to apply all the advice given here and see the difference: you will be amazed!
  • A vehicle with a manual gearbox has, at the time of purchase, a lower price than that of the same vehicle with an automatic gearbox and the maintenance of the gearbox of the first, apart from the clutch disc, is almost nil and has therefore no influence on fuel consumption over time. On the other hand, an automatic gearbox that is not regularly maintained leads to overconsumption that only gets worse over the months. A car with a manual gearbox generally consumes less than a car with an automatic gearbox.
  • When you think about it, fuel economy is difficult to determine as the parameters to be taken into account are numerous (state of the road and traffic, type of engine and fuel, etc.). Those that can be displayed on the screen instantaneous consumption know it: in first, you can consume up to 17 to 18 L / 100 km, then the upward ratios and the speed being constant, the consumption stabilizes around the figures given by the manufacturer. They also notice that they use less at the beginning of the report rather than at the end. By driving at a constant speed, you will find at the next red light those who thought they were going faster. To meditate !
  • In the past, it was obvious that running on diesel was economical, this is hardly the case today with prices aligned. An idling engine, diesel or gasoline, consumes between 0.6 and 1.2 L / h, so the cost is the same to a few cents. It is also true that cars equipped with turbochargers consume less.
  • On roads with several lanes, choose the one that corresponds to your speed and avoid switching from one lane to another under the pretext of going faster and thus saving fuel: it is a preconceived idea that does not has no basis.
  • The type of gearbox has a big impact on consumption. Quick transmissions allow you to quickly pick up overdrive, which at low revs consumes little. Find out about it.
  • An electric vehicle seems the ideal solution to save money… and save the planet! No more going to the pump, no more problem of adjusting the carburetor, no more speed to adapt…, the dream in short! There are just two unknowns: the pace of battery replacement and their recycling.


  • Casually, proper tire inflation can lead to substantial fuel savings, especially on long journeys.
  • Stopping and then restarting dozens of times over a course causes premature wear of many parts (clutch). As to whether or not to turn off the engine for a momentary stop, beliefs are diverse, some are for, others against.
  • Gadgets (additives, dedicated electronic chip, etc.) are on sale on the market promising significant fuel savings. At best, they save you nothing; at worst, they have the opposite effect. Often, these products or devices are very expensive, wiping out the savings touted.
  • Sticking to the car in front in order to benefit from its aspiration is unconscious. The economy sucks and all you risk is an accident, the worse the faster you go. Drive at the imposed speed, respect the safety distances, anticipate the dangers and you will save money.
  • In a cold zone or period, it is desirable at start-up to idle your vehicle for a few tens of seconds, so that the various circuits warm up, you will thus avoid many breakdowns which will cost you much more than the few tens of seconds. pennies from idle.
  • Contrary to popular belief, driving in neutral does not lead to substantial fuel savings. This is because cars with an injection engine must maintain the flow of fuel, even when idling. But the danger is elsewhere. Besides being illegal to run in neutral on a downhill, this is a traffic offense punishable by the Highway Code. When going downhill, the vehicle acquires an increasing speed, the vehicle becomes uncontrollable.
  • We were talking about motorcycles and scooters to save energy. Remember that these devices are potentially much more dangerous than vehicles on four wheels.

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