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Fuel Saving Tips

Automatic Transmission RPM Management

(1) Learn Where Your Ride Switches Gears--Accelerating smoothly but steadily to the gear change will drop your RPM & consume less fuel. For ex: my car switches from 1st to 2nd gears on a cold engine at about 2200rpm; so unless I accelerate, my engine revs high for extended periods. Better to keep steady accelerator pressure & force the shift early, but don't gun the engine. (2) Feel Free to Coast--Even an automatic, despite not dropping to near-zero RPM like a manual with its clutch engaged, uses less fuel if you lay off the gas pedal. So on slight downhill slopes (even a 15 or 20% grade, in my experience), you can essentially maintain, or even gain, speed by coasting, without the higher RPM of actual acceleration. (3) Avoid 'Jack-Rabbit' Acceleration--This has been mentioned before (see Matthowie's Tip of July 2008, below), but it bears repeating. It's best to apply the gas with steadily increasing pressure, rather than to 'punch it'. (4) Prevent Downshifts When Possible--On inclines, auto transmissions will often downshift to maintain speed or accelerate up the hill. With some experimentation, you can determine the low RPM where your engine shifts down a gear. And, by increasing gas pedal pressure, you can inhibit the downshift 'impulse' of your ride. Again, this works best on mild slopes & won't be applicable on steeper ones. [deletable note to moderators: if this is too long for a Tips entry, pls post in the Forums..?..thx]

posted by cee on April 30, 2009

this tip works for 67% of voting Fuelly members.

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