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Fuel Tips from a Fuelly Driver

honda accord fuel tips

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In May I ran a few Fuel King/Queen Challenge to encourage myself and others to improve their gas mileage. (Congrats to Martilyo from The Angry Millionaire for winning in 2 categories!) While doing the challenge I followed Fuelly drivers who got great mileage from their Honda Accords, which is the car I'm driving.

I contacted one of those drivers, David, to ask if he had any helpful advice for increasing gas mileage. He was kind enough to reply to my email and share some of his tips. Here are the basic stats for David and his Honda Accord since May:


Take it away David!


What helps my MPGs most is driving slowly on the highway (around 60-65 mph) and keeping my tire pressures at 35psi. Most car manufacturers want lower tire pressure for a smoother ride, but keeping them at higher pressures gives better mileage and is better for the tires and rims, anyway (lower tire temperatures on the highway and less likelihood of damage via potholes).

I drove somewhat long distances for work and found that it takes a long time to go a long way, no matter how fast I drive. I can drive fast with the best of them, but on long drives it gets tiresome constantly to be on high alert (to say nothing of watching out for police cars!)

In the same vein, even though I know it reduces my MPGs, I use cruise control virtually all the time. Driving at 60-65 MPH with cruise control on, I don't have to even think about my speed or speeding tickets and arrive relaxed at my destination. Most of my driving is in the Midwest where it's relatively flat, anyway, so my MPGs don't get penalized too much by cruise control.

Many years ago, I regularly drove a little Honda Civic hatchback from Michigan to Washington, D.C… Once I tried to get there as fast as I could; 550 miles and ten hours later I arrived, exhausted. Thereafter, I resolved that I was going to take my time and get there when I got there, and not be so doggone tired when I arrived.

LOL, once, I tried to get the absolute highest mpg I possibly could on the same drive–driving up the mountains in Pennsylvania at ~45-50mph and down them at ~70-75mph… I got 58.7MPG on that trip! {:- )

Anyone can drive like a maniac. IMO, driving smoothly is the mark of a good driver. Driving smoothly, as it happens, also leads to better MPGs… For example, I look far ahead when driving; if I see a red light I'll slow down and time my arrival to avoid coming to a full stop.

I pay attention to wind speeds on the highway, too. (I think wind resistance increases as a square of your driving speed?) Especially driving over 65mph, wind resistance really affects MPGs.

Indeed, my best highway tank for my Accord happened on a highway trip going east, with a consistent tailwind of around 25-30mph. I got 46.3 mpg!

Conversely, once when heading west into headwinds of 25-40 mph, I HAD to slow down to about 57mph (felt as though I was going to get blown OFF of some highway bridges), and only got 31.5 mpg. Wind speed and direction make a BIG difference in MPG; I look at flags a lot while I'm driving to monitor that.

I don't track my MPGs with anything other than Fuelly, and a calculator.

Bottom line, I'm not a “hypermiler.” I use cruise control; won't drive so slowly I'm a danger in traffic; still occasionally drive in a hurry, etc.

But having tried to be a smooth driver all my life, I find it interesting to see how I do with gas mileage. That, and I'm Scottish so I'm frugal (prefer that word over, “cheap,” LOL).


Thanks again to David for setting aside some time to give driving tips. I hope it helps you the next time you drive.

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