How to Improve Your Fuel Economy

Modern vehicles – especially Hondas – are extremely efficient. An onboard computer ensures the engine operates smoothly for maximum fuel economy. You can’t tweak the carburetor or ignition timing for better gas mileage, like you could on older cars. But there are some changes you can make. Following these fuel-saving tips will help make out a couple more MPGs.

Keep up on maintenance and repairs

Late model vehicles are a complex combination of electronics and mechanical parts. The engine’s computer, called the engine control module (ECM), decides how much fuel the engine gets. It makes this choice based on input from sensors throughout the vehicle. A sensor, or circuit that’s not functioning properly can throw the ECM’s fuel calculations out of whack, resulting in bad gas mileage. Any needed repairs (such as a check engine light) should be taken care of for maximum fuel efficiency. The same is true for maintenance. An engine must be well-tuned, or the ECM will struggle to provide smooth operation and good mileage.

Check tire pressure

Underinflated tires increase rolling resistance, cutting down on gas mileage. On the other hand, overinflated tires reduce rolling resistance, but also cause a rough ride. The best strategy is to keep your vehicle’s tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. This information is usually found on the tire placard, located in the door jamb. Tire pressure should be checked a least once a month.

Shed some weight

Dragging around unnecessary items in your truck or cargo area can hurt fuel mileage. If you’re carrying around a ton of stuff you never use (no, we’re not talking about the jack and spare tire) – get rid of it! Your fuel economy will improve and you’ll actually have room for the groceries next time you go shopping.

Fuel Economy

Change your driving habits

Bad driving habits are a leading cause of poor fuel mileage. Maximum efficiency is achieved when engine speed is kept moderate. Follow these driving tips to save fuel:

  • Don’t Speed. For most vehicles, efficiency drops rapidly above 60 mph.

  • Avoid hasty acceleration and braking. Moderate engine speed provides the best fuel economy.

  • Turn off the air conditioning: The A/C compressor puts an additional load on the engine when running, which zaps fuel mileage. Unfortunately, rolling down the windows increases air resistance, dropping fuel mileage as well. This is especially true at highway speeds.

  • Avoid idling: Excessive engine idling sucks down gas, so turn your engine off the next time you’re in the drive thru line.

  • Use the cruise control: Cruise control keeps engine operation level for improved efficiency.

  • Don’t drive aggressively: Not only does aggressive driving increase your blood pressure, it also kills your fuel economy. Studies show driving aggressively can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent on the highway and 5 percent in the city.

  • Drive less


    It may seem obvious, but driving less will save you fuel. Carpooling with your co-workers, walking to nearby destinations – these are all great ways to avoid the pump. Even the most fuel-efficient car isn’t as economical as a good pair of walking shoes.

    Stop by today at Mel Rapton Honda for any questions or car care services.