"Looking ahead to see the need to eventually slow down and removing the foot from the accelerator lets the vehicle coast.
You may not need to brake at all. Too many drivers accelerate up to red lights, stop signs, speed bumps etc. You can see the red lights, stop signs, speed bumps etc., and start your coasting down to the speed to go over the speed bump without braking, or down to the speed where you do not have to brake much to stop at the stop sign and the driver ahead of you already cleared it so you don't have to stop twice (once behind her and once when its your own turn to stop).
On the highway, optimized coasting is a way to reduce rush hour stop and go and its fuel use and maintenance impact on your car and the fellow beneficiary behind you. Help smooth things out for other people. Avoid rising to as high a speed during each go between stops as the car in front of you. This saves gas, brakes and nerves.
Coasting is the non-hybrid way of recuperating kinetic energy (lay-folk read momentum here) and it works for hybrids too!" - T.K., June 2008
1. Drive sensibly
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent at highway speeds and by 5 percent around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
2. Observe the speed limit
Gas mileage decreases approximately 7% for every 5mph over 60. Driving 10 miles at 65mph instead of 70mph only takes 40 seconds longer.
3. Remove excess weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones.
4. Avoid idling
Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
5. Use cruise control
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
6. Use overdrive gears
When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
7. Keep your engine properly tuned
Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.
8. Check and replace air filters regularly
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine.
9. Keep tires properly inflated
You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer
10. Use the recommended grade of motor oil
You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
"EcoDrivingUSA is part of a nationwide effort to increase overall vehicle fuel economy and preserve the environment in which we live." Sponsored by The Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, with the support of the state governments of California and Colorado (and more soon).
Parts Geek Tips for Increasing Gas Mileage
Another good resource featuring tips and links to many other resources.
Gas and Electric: Understanding Hybrid Cars
A full explanation of hybrid engines.
Environmental Benefits of Hybrid Cars
A discussion of the benefits, potential and significance of hybrid cars.