Coast Your Car to Savings?

Coasting seems like an obvious way to increase your fuel efficiency.  Our car is using as little gas as possible by simplying idling.  This issue is not as cut and dry as many may think, but there are still ways you can utilize this technique to extend the distance your gas tank will take you.

The two ways that will help reduce mpg while not causing harm to your vehicles are when coasting down a hill or to a stop with your car running.  There are no specific mpg or dollar amounts that these methods will save you, but both are effective.  The key to the savings is pretty obvious, we are allowing our car to coast in a situation when we would normally break our vehicles.  I currently use both methods whenever I am in either situation and have seen an increase in mpg.  The amount is not tremendous, but every little amount helps.  The thing that is frustrating with both coasting methods is that people do not utilize them often.  I see people continuing to accelerate to an already turned red light to break it at the last minute.  Why not just begin coasting to the light when you see it’s red and let your car naturally stop?  It can also help save you money by reducing wear on your breaks.

Not all techniques are as fuel saving or safe as the ones mentioned above.    Putting your car in netural, especially with automatic transmissions, is not a huge saver as most would think and can increase your risk of getting into an accident.  The only way that putting your car in netural could save you additional costs is if your car idled at a lower RPM than when it is still running while coasting.  In many cases, it will not idle much lower and only reduce the control you have over a vehicle.  Don’t ever use this method with automatic transmissions as you will be shortening the life of your torque converter, which can be pricey to replace.  Avoid as much as possible in a car with a manual transmision even if it seems natural to switch to neutral.

Another popular technique that can actually increase your fuel consumption is when you drive to a fast speed and then coast until it reaches a speed in which you have to repeat again.  This not only looks stupid, but it burns more fuel when you have to go from a low speed to a high speed.  It’s better to maintain a steady speed so your car doesn’t have to work hard for a longer period of time.  Just think of it in terms of city vs. highway mileage.  Why do you think city mpg is so much more less?

The next time you are coming to a stop or about to go down a hill, make sure to coast to get that little extra savings.  Make your safety a top priority and keep your car running longer by avoiding some of the other methods of coasting.

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  1. I do use this technique, it’s amazing how many times I see people using the brakes while going down hill, I just shake my head. I always let off the accelerator, and let the car coast down the hill. I have a SUV, but I use a MPG tracker on my dashboard, and while I just coasted down the hill, the meter read 40mpg + on average!

    A dangerous… but effective method is to draft trucks… it really saves alot of fuel, but again it is dangerous…

    Till then,


  2. Your method seems very effective i will definitely use it and save the fuel. You are doing nice job to share such useful method.

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