How do you save money on fuel?
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  1. #1
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    Default How do you save money on fuel?

    Post 4/10!

    Wondering if anyone does frugal driving techniques to drive more efficiently?

    My partner commutes to university every day in my car, and he has created his own rules so our diesel lasts longer, for example:
    • Driving around 60mph on the motorway to keep mpg high
    • If he sees a red traffic light in the distance, he'll crawl towards it, not go close to it before braking
    • Uses a fuel additive which claims to make the fuel last longer (makes the car smell horrid though!)


    Does anyone else do this or anything similar? My partner is very frugal so I'm quite proud, but perhaps other people find it annoying? What do you do to keep car running costs down?

  2. #2
    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    I use cruise control whenever possible. I have a MPG indicator on the dash and I love to see it go up!!. I could never convince my late DH to use AC and now I use it when I need to. It is more efficient to use it with windows closed, at 40MPH or up, than to drive with windows open at highway speeds. I could not make him believe that though.

    I also will coast up to a red light and I downshift going down long hills to avoid using brakes (automatic transmission) Not sure what that does to gas mileage but it saves the brakes.

    I drive a minivan so it varies from over 30 on a long hwy trip to under 23 around town (grrr).
    Make America Kind Again.

  3. #3
    Registered User Contrary Housewife's Avatar
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    I bought a car with 32/40 gas mileage. I get it serviced regularly to keep the tires inflated at proper pressure and the filters clean so the engine runs efficiently. It's a small car, I bought it for city driving which is mostly what I do and it is a manual transmission so I have more control over the engine. I roll the windows down in the spring and fall as much as possible rather than use AC. We don't have a lot of hills that you can coast down, but research seems to show that taking it out of gear doesn't really save you gas.
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  5. #4
    Registered User Spirit Deer's Avatar
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    Downshifting isn't coasting. It's engine braking. Coasting would be shifting to neutral, while engine braking is shifting into a lower gear, even with an automatic tranny. We do that in the mountains because overusing brakes on long inclines can be dangerous and overheat or even burn out brakes, which would be beyond hair-raising. By dropping the engine into a lower gear, the engine itself slows down and slows the truck even with a ton of trailer behind it. I don't know what that does to gas mileage but there's no way we'd give up engine braking at any price. We're flatlanders too, so mountain driving for us is scary enough as it is! Sad for us, we love the mountain west.

    Unfortunately both of our vehicles are gas hogs. We talked to people who have the same engine we have on our truck and anticipated getting the 20-25 mpg they got. But apparently there is more than one model of Avalanches, and the rear axle gear ratio is different, which lowers the mpg by quite a bit. The Astro is hard on gas, too. Luckily we don't drive many miles per year so we just put up with it. We won't go back to anything less than AWD till we move off this hill we live on, because sometimes even that won't get us up to the house in winter. FWD doesn't even come close, and we know that since we tried it. That's about the only car we've ever owned that we only had for a year. Hauling groceries up a steep icy hill all winter and having to scrape windows every day wasn't any fun at all, not to mention dangerous. The truck is a V-8 which is nice when we need more horsepower, and we get the same mileage with it as we do with the van, which is a V-6.

    To save gas, we try to minimize trips into town. We do errands once a week and combine trips as much as possible otherwise. Husby works in town so if we need something during the week he picks it up. We get groceries once a week and visit my mom at that time. In winter I often don't leave the place for weeks and Husby does all the shopping.

    We purposely bought a hard-side folding camper so it would draft behind the truck and not catch wind.

    We were unwilling to take the 25% drop in mpg others report with full-height campers. Our truck barely knows the camper is back there and we lose only 1-2 mpg with this rig, not bad at all. We drive about 60 mph where speed limits allow that, for safety and fuel conservation. The cost of owning and pulling a camper is offset by not having to pay for hotel rooms and most meals while on vacation, or having to pay kennel costs for our two dogs who travel with us.

    We use discount coupons for gas where we can, too.

    We only use 4WD when we need it, and on those rare occasions when we forget to turn it off, we get a rude reminder when the mpg takes a huge hit.

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    We drive electric. The purchase price was high enough (mainly because it was the newest vehicle we ever bought. But the fuel costs are almost 0, and the maintainance costs are also very low. The short range can be annoying sometimes, but we never let that stop us. Here are some photos from our travels: https://www.instagram.com/travel_electric/
    Slush fund: $3 300 (done)
    Student loan #1: $12 000 (done)
    House renovation: $38 000 ($32 000 left)
    Student loan #2: $3 500 ($32 500 left)
    Full size EF: 0 ($10 000)
    Mortgage: 0 ($220 000)

    Total paid/saved: $56 800
    Total goal: $351 300
    To do: $294 500

  7. #6
    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    I want my next car to be a hybrid but I plan to drive this one into the ground first, even though I no longer need a van.
    Make America Kind Again.

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    gaja,
    Does your Van have the tent pop-up? About how far do you get between re-charges? Are they available in the US?

  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by old guy View Post
    gaja,
    1) Does your Van have the tent pop-up? 2) About how far do you get between re-charges? 3) Are they available in the US?
    1) Mine doesn't, I take a lot of ferries in remote areas, and my van is 4 cm lower than the maximum height of the "normal car rate". A tent popup would build 6-10 cm. In some ferries this would just increase the price with 50-100 %, but some places we would have to wait a day or two for a larger ferry to come by. But there is this guy in England who has done a much more professional looking campervan conversion, and he has added a popup. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu5gHNZQHGE&t

    2) I know I can do 100 km (60 miles) no matter the weather, road quality or terrain. I have managed 140 km (86 miles), with relatively careful driving on a summer's day in flat terrain. I could perhaps stretch it 10 km more, but I hate taking risks.

    3) Yes, it seems like it: https://www.nissanusa.com/future-and...hicles/e-nv200

    There are more details in my blog: Travel Electric
    Slush fund: $3 300 (done)
    Student loan #1: $12 000 (done)
    House renovation: $38 000 ($32 000 left)
    Student loan #2: $3 500 ($32 500 left)
    Full size EF: 0 ($10 000)
    Mortgage: 0 ($220 000)

    Total paid/saved: $56 800
    Total goal: $351 300
    To do: $294 500

  10. #9
    Registered User josantoro's Avatar
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    that Nissan link is to "Future and Concept Vehicles" so no, not yet.
    Make America Kind Again.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by josantoro View Post
    that Nissan link is to "Future and Concept Vehicles" so no, not yet.
    That is weird. It is the bestselling electric van in Europe, and has been for sale here and in Asia for years. Strange that you can't get it in the US. But you should be able to get it second hand as import?

    The Peugeot Partner electric, Citroen Berlingo electric and Renault kangoo electric are slightly smaller than the Nissan eNV200, but it should be possible to make a decent campervan out of them. Are those also only available in Europe? https://www.topspeed.com/cars/peugeo...-ar175942.html
    Slush fund: $3 300 (done)
    Student loan #1: $12 000 (done)
    House renovation: $38 000 ($32 000 left)
    Student loan #2: $3 500 ($32 500 left)
    Full size EF: 0 ($10 000)
    Mortgage: 0 ($220 000)

    Total paid/saved: $56 800
    Total goal: $351 300
    To do: $294 500

  12. #11
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    I use public transportation as much as possible ( bus and train).
    Blessed and Highly Favored!!!!
    From $78K in debt to debt free and purchased a house with 100% cash...God is sooo Good!!!
    Goal: Build EF and cash flow graduate degree and REMAIN DEBT FREE!!!

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