Fuel Economy Tip – Brake With Your Right Foot

I’m sure a lot of you are asking, “what difference does it make which foot I use to brake as long as my car comes to a stop when I need it to?” Ultimately, I guess it doesn’t matter as long as you are able to slow or stop your vehicle when you have to, but, breaking with the wrong foot can lead to decrease fuel economy.

Always brake with your right foot!

Since most people do this anyway, it isn’t much of an issue, but for those of you that do brake with your left foot, pay attention.

Drivers who brake with their left foot tend to slightly rest their foot on the brake pedal as they are driving down the road. Even slightly resting your foot on the pedal causes the brakes to engage.

By engaging the brakes as you drive down the road, not only will you go through brake pads much faster than you should, you also reduce your vehicle’s gas mileage.

By even slightly using the brakes, you are forcing your engine to work that much harder to increase and maintain speed. That extra effort put forth by your vehicle’s engine is made possible by using more gas than it would otherwise.

All of that being said, if you do feel more comfortable braking with your left foot and don’t want to switch to using your right foot, make sure you keep your left foot off the brake pedal as you are driving down the road.

While this change isn’t likely to increase your fuel economy by a sizeable amount, it will help you save a bit of money at the pump and even more money on brake replacements.


  1. i just like to waste fuel, I figure someday the gov. will legalize granny clampetts corn fuel.

  2. I wish I had money to burn like you!

    With the American public seemingly more and more upset with the rising fuel costs, it looks like the alternative fuels (like the ethanol you’re talking about) might not be THAT far off.

  3. Is there an assumption in the post that the car has automatic transmission? I believe that manual (or sticks, or whatever they’re called these days) offer better economy, if driven sensibly.

  4. Sorry for taking so long to get back to your comment, but I haven’t made any assumptions regarding a car’s transmission.

    I’ve also heard that manual transmission vehicles tend to get better gas mileage than their automatic counterparts.

  5. Nuno Branco says:

    Well, it is a fact that “manual transmission vehicles tend to get better gas mileage than their automatic counterparts”.
    I believe here in Europe we have a bigger choice in this respect as most cars that offer an automatic transmission are usually also available with a manual transmission. Most car magazines have the specs for each car model and it is easy to verify that manual transmission car get better MPG than their automatic equivalents .

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