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Best (And Worst) Ways to Save on Gas

By Tire Agent Staff

July 05, 2022


Inflation has hit pretty much every market you can think of. Whether you're looking for paint and lumber for a remodeling project in your home or just trying to put groceries in the 'fridge, prices are out of control.

Even worse, it will cost an arm and a leg to get where you're going. Gas prices have been hovering around all-time highs for months, now making the leisurely Sunday drive to nowhere a budget decision.

But there are some things you can do to lighten the load on your pocketbook. If you make a couple of tweaks to your behaviors, you might be able to get better gas mileage.

We've gathered tips and myths about ways to save money on gas.

Ditch Aggressive Driving for Efficient Driving

Efficient driving has to do with your driving style. Mainly, how aggressive a driver you are (or aren't).

Driving aggressively includes speeding, slamming on brakes and rapidly accelerating. Think angry during rush hour driving. If you partake in aggressive driving, you're wasting gas. And it's more than you may think.

According to the government website, aggressive driving can lower gas mileage by 15% to 30% on the highway and 10% to 40% in town.

Here's a way to drive more safely while conserving gas: When driving on the highway, use cruise control. This helps you maintain a constant speed, avoiding the temptation to accelerate over the speed limit. In most cases, using cruise control to stick to the speed limit will save gas.

How much time do you actually save when speeding?

We asked that question of Google and found lots of answers, including this chart from the US Army, which calculates time saved by speed 10 or 20 MPH over the speed limit:

Distance Time it takes to travel at 65 MPH Time w/Speeding +10 MPH Time Saved w/Speeding +10 MPH Time w/Speeding +20 MPH Time Saved w/Speeding +20 MPH
15 miles 13.85 12.00 1.85 10.59 3.26
30 miles 27.69 24.00 3.69 21.18 6.52
50 miles 46.15 40.00 6.15 35.29 10.86
200 miles 184.62 160.00 24.62 141.18 43.44

The calculations are solely for driving time; they don't consider traffic lights, road hazards, and other things that are out of your control. So, if you follow a 65 MPH speed limit for 50 miles, it will take you a little over 46 minutes. If you increase your speed to 75 MPH, it will take you 40 minutes. The question is: Is the 6-minute time-saving worth (a) getting a speeding ticket, (b) risking an accident, and (c) a 15% to 30% increase in gas?

Check Your Tires

One of the easiest ways to boost fuel efficiency is to keep your tires inflated to the correct air pressure. 

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, you can improve gas mileage by up to 3% by keeping your tires inflated to the recommended pressure. It's also a safety thing.

Properly inflated tires improve safety and vehicle performance and allow the tires to wear evenly. It's a win, win, win. This can also help save money by getting the most out of your tires before replacing them.

Speaking of replacing tires. If you're driving on old, worn tires, it's time to think about upgrading. You might not think of technology when tires come to mind, but advancing tire tech can help you get better gas mileage. In a related blog post, we explain fuel efficient tires.


Keep Your Car Tuned

Gas mileage can be increased by an average of 4% by fixing a car that is clearly out of tune or has failed an emissions test. Keep in mind that results can vary depending on the type of repair and how thoroughly it is done.

But that's not all. Fixing a significant maintenance issue, like a faulty oxygen sensor, can increase gas mileage by up to 40%. That's huge!

Wait, What? Motor Oil???

Yep, motor oil can impact gas mileage. According to, gas mileage can be improved by 1% to 2% by using the grade of motor oil recommended by your vehicle's manufacturer.

For instance, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to utilize 5W-30 can result in a 1% to 2% reduction in gas mileage. Your gas mileage can be reduced by 1% to 1.5% when using 5W-30 in an engine intended to run on 5W-20.

So stick with manufacturer guidelines for best results, and don't forget to get the oil changed regularly to maximize mileage.

Avoid Excessive Weight and Roof Hauling

This is a no-brainer. Don't keep unnecessary items in your vehicle. All it does is weigh things down, which can impact gas mileage.

It's estimated that an extra 100 pounds in your car could lower miles per gallon by nearly 1%. Smaller vehicles are impacted more by excess weight than larger ones.

Also, if you're hauling things, do it wisely. Moving cargo on top of your vehicle's roof is a bad idea. That's because it increases the aerodynamic drag, wind resistance in laypeople's terms.

Rooftop cargo can lower fuel efficiency by up to 8% in city driving, up to 17% on the highway and up to 25% on the interstate when driving between 65 and 75 MPH.

Does Weather Affect Fuel Economy?

Weather does impact gas mileage. Here's why:

Cold weather

According to, tests show that, in city driving, a traditional gasoline car's gas mileage is roughly 15% lower at 20 degrees Fahrenheit than it would be at 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It can drop as much as 24% for short trips.

Hot weather

Fuel efficiency can actually improve in hot weather. That's because warm air creates less aerodynamic drag than cold air, your engine warms up to an efficient temperature more quickly, and summer gasoline grades can have a little more energy.

Remember that running your air conditioner will also lower fuel efficiency by nearly 25%. This one might surprise you. Driving with windows down can also lower gas mileage. That's because it increases wind resistance and requires your vehicle to use more energy.

That about covers it, as far as fuel-saving tips go. Now, as promised, we will share myths about how to save money on gas.

How NOT to Save on Gas

Some people have strange ideas on how to increase gas mileage. We're here to debunk some of the most ludicrous myths. Without further ado ... 

Myth 1: Go downhill in neutral

This is an oldie but goodie. Back in the day, you may have heard someone have the bright idea of putting their car in neutral and turning off the engine while driving downhill to conserve gas.

That's just silly. Not only that, but it's dangerous. Coasting with the engine off is a great way to have zero control of your car, which puts you and others in danger. Don't do it!

Myth 2: Buy premium gas

While premium gas could have positive effects on your vehicle's performance, better gas mileage isn't one of them. Sorry to burst your bubble, but there is no proof that premium gasoline improves gas mileage. 

Myth 3: Overinflate tires

Some people believe that driving on overinflated tires will boost gas mileage. Not true! As we mentioned earlier, it's best for fuel efficiency to keep tires inflated to the manufacturer's recommended settings.

Myth 4: Don't shut the car off

This is another classic tale that's also not true. Some think they'll save money by not turning the car off when going into the grocery store. But why? Well, they bought into the myth that it costs more to start the car than to leave it running. Again, don't buy the hype.

Myth 5: Don't use cruise control

If you set your cruise control over the speed limit, then, yes, cruise control wastes more gas. But, no, using cruise control to maintain a safe speed will not decrease your fuel efficiency.  

Those are just a few myths you might find online about saving money on gas. Instead of trying goofy tales you'll find online, stick to the tried and true ways to increase fuel efficiency that we've written in this post, and you'll be able to keep a few extra bucks in your pocket.