Facts About Speed and Gas Consumption

With gas prices at an all-time high many drivers are looking for new ways to save money when they go to the pump. There are, to be sure, many ways that you can save a moderate amount of gas and increase your mileage per gallon that aren’t difficult to put in place.  The facts below will talk a little about how your speed, and the way you vary it while driving, can affect your mileage (and your wallet) and the accompanying tips will show you how to save by keeping an eye on your speed and other factors when you’re driving.

One of the biggest fuel wasters when driving is rapid acceleration from a stop. Experts say that, if you want to save fuel, you should accelerate from 0 to 20 in no less than 5 seconds and thereafter moderately and consistently until you reach a driving speed of 65 mph, the best mph for saving fuel.

Anticipating stops is a big way to save fuel as it helps you to keep a steady speed and avoid stopping and starting too often. ‘Reading’ the road ahead, anticipating stops at lights and in traffic, keeping a moderate distance between your car and the car ahead of you and coasting rather than using the brakes will all save you gas, to the tune of about 8%. It is also safer and will put less wear and tear on your vehicle.

When on the highway the average car gets the best fuel economy between 50 and 70 mph. Any speed above this optimal speed means that your engine is burning fuel at a much higher rate, sometimes as much as 20% higher! In some cases a difference of only 8 miles per hour more can use approximately $10.00 more fuel every hundred miles, an amount that can add up fast if you do a lot of driving.

When it comes to anticipating stops, as we mentioned earlier, here’s an interesting fact; fuel-injection systems, which most cars have today, will automatically shut off when you release your foot from the accelerator pedal completely. This means that, if you’re coasting, you’re not using fuel. As soon as your car reaches idle speed the system starts up again to avoid stalling.  This technique will also reduce wear on your brakes and pads and, in turn, reduce maintenance and repair costs significantly.

Finally it must be noted that if you vary your speed constantly, even as little as 10 mph, while driving on the highway you can increase gas use by as much as 20%! That’s why, if you have cruise control, it’s a great idea to use it while driving on the highway whenever possible.


  1. Mike McGlade says

    The article states that the best fuel economy is achieved between 50 and 70 m.p.h. I doubt that there is any auto on the road that gets better fuel economy at 6o than 50 m.p.h. ( and much less at 70!)


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