fuel saving tips

7 Fuel Saving Tips When Driving an Automatic Car

Are you tired of feeling like way too much of your hard-earned money is going toward fuel? Every driver has their share of experiences with stopping at a gas station, and wincing at the gas prices they need to pay to fill up. With most people driving automatic cars, how can you save money and navigate fuel prices at the same time? Whether you go for the premium fuel or not, it’s still coming out of your pocket.


That’s why we’ve created a list of fuel saving tips to help you reduce your fuel consumption while out on the road. If you follow this guide, you’ll be able to improve your car’s fuel economy and use your fuel-efficient driving skills to save some money. And if you have any concerns about driving your car and are looking for transmission shops in Chattanooga, Tennessee, explore your options so you can stay safe on the road.

1. Plan Your Trips

Planning your trips ahead of time is a great way to reduce your fuel consumption. It has the combined benefit of saving you time and money. 


If you have several small errands to run, we recommend combining them all into one trip instead of taking multiple short drives. This decreases the amount of times you’re turning on and off your car, and the distance you’re driving goes down significantly as well. 


Planning your trips isn’t only a good idea when it comes to errands. With any drive you’re planning on taking, it is in your best interest to plan ahead for the best route to take. This allows you to stay conscious and engage in fuel-efficient driving strategies. Always keep your gas mileage in mind–it’s different for every car. You want to be able to balance time and distance with speed and gas mileage. Ask yourself: what area are you driving through? City driving usually means more stop-and-go traffic, which means another gallon of fuel wasted for you. How many traffic lights are there? Too many can halt the flow of your driving. You can avoid the traffic congestion by timing your trip, so it doesn’t coincide with rush hour. 


The idea is to know your route ahead of time, which includes how far you’ll have to go, what driving conditions will be like, and how much gas it will take to get there. If you start thinking about driving before you ever hit the road, you’re already starting to maximize fuel efficiency.

2. Drive At Normal Speed

We know. It’s so tempting to go over the speed limit. But most of the time, even when you think if you just go five miles over you’ll get there sooner, that’s not the case. Not to mention, highway speeds are already pretty fast. If you throw your engine speed around, you’re just creating more hazardous driving conditions for yourself and those around you. While manual transmissions are designed to deal with more speed fluctuations, an automatic car is not. Going faster doesn’t guarantee a quick trip, it just guarantees more money spent on miles per gallon. 


Driving at a constant speed means less variability in overall engine speed. This is great for cars with automatic transmissions, because they’re designed to work best under steady speeds. 

3. Check Tire Pressures

Where would we be without our tires? They’re the key to getting us anywhere, and with the right vehicle maintenance, it can help consumers with fuel consumption. If your tire is deflated or not up to pressure standards, this can have a huge impact on your engine. 


This can cause your car to drag, slowing you down and increasing your driving distance. It’s also just unsafe to not have enough air in your tires. Some road conditions are not exactly conducive to tires. Slippery roads, rough terrain, and road debris can all be tough to navigate if your tire pressure isn’t where it needs to be.

4. Be More Fuel Efficient with Less Cargo

We don’t often think about what’s weighing down our car. Extra weight added to the car can slow you down. It can take longer for your car to reach its destination, because more speed is required. If you have a larger vehicle, you’re already prepared to pay more for your gas. Why add to that by bogging down your vehicle with unnecessary items? 


Try to limit the cargo you put in your car. This can be anything as simple as leftover miscellaneous items in your trunk, to removable attachments such as a roof rack or bike rack. Unless you’re actively using them, they shouldn’t be on your car if you’re trying to save on fuel. Excess weight can be a key factor in fuel consumption.

5. Use Cruise Control

Anytime you’re cruising down the highway, your engine is working to combat wind resistance. The more miles per hour you’re going, the more fuel you’re burning. Cruise control is a great way to reach an average speed so that your car finds the sweet spot when driving on flat surfaces, like highways. 50-90 miles per hour is a solid range for cruise control. 


Cruise control can keep you going fast enough that you’re not slowing down cars around you (and creating a safety hazard) but not so fast that you’re in danger of veering out of control. And before you know it, you’ll have saved a whole gallon of gas. 

6. Avoid Idling

Idling for too long can lead to fuel waste that’s just unnecessary. When in the car, gas should be for driving. Your gas mileage should match the distance you cover, not the time spent in one place. Fuel prices aren’t cheap, so try to avoid idling when possible. City driving often means more traffic lights. if you find yourself at a busy intersection during rush hour, don’t be afraid to turn off your engine. Same goes for if you’re in a long line at a fast food restaurant, or sitting in a parking lot. 


A good general rule to abide by is that if you’re idling in one place for more than three minutes, you should turn off your engine. It may not seem like a big deal, but those extra minutes that your engine isn’t running might make all the difference when it comes to annual fuel costs. 

7. Keep Up With Engine Maintenance

Taking routine car of your car can go a long way towards keeping your fuel expenses down. The engine is the heart of your car. If vehicle maintenance is not given to your car, corrosion and sludge can build up between the parts. Air filters should also be kept clean. No one wants a dirty air filter, but it also contributes to more burnt fuel in your engine. Even just not cranking your air conditioner all the way up can help you save money. Otherwise, you might find yourself visiting a transmission shop soon. If you suspect there’s something off about your car, get a transmission inspection as soon as possible.


Regular maintenance of the engine can keep your car running smoothly. Finding the right engine oil can also help to reduce engine friction and boost your fuel economy.

The Bottom Line 

While it may seem impossible to save when it comes to gas, there are many fuel saving tips at your disposal. Every car is different. It’s important that you assess what your car’s gas mileage is so that you can best plan how to limit the amount of fuel used while driving. Factor in external factors, like fuel type, location, and time.


Whether your daily driving means little errands here and there, or long road trips, our guide should give you a clear plan for how to get the most out of your car while .