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Does Cruise Control Save Gas – Is It Really More Fuel Efficient

by Jordan Harris
Does Cruise Control Save Gas

Does cruise control save gas? A curious mind will undoubtedly desire to know. This might be information you shouldn’t disregard in the midst of skyrocketing fuel costs. Knowing more about the feature may enable you to use it to your financial advantage if you’re a driver who enjoys using the cruise control option on your automobile.

In order to respond to the inquiry, “Does cruise control actually save gas?” We will offer knowledgeable insight. Let’s begin straight away.

What Does Cruise Control Do

Does Cruise Control Save Gas

In 1948, Ralph Teetor created cruise control. He was traveling for a while with his attorney when he painfully noticed that the other driver kept varying his pace. His engineer brain thought, “I can fix this,” and that was how cruise control started.

The main goal of cruise control is to stabilize a vehicle’s speed and spare drivers from depressing the gas pedal throughout lengthy distances. Using cruise control while driving a car, truck, or RV is advantageous.

Best Speed For Gas Mileage

For most cars, 55 miles per hour is the ideal speed. At 65 mph, your efficiency drops by 8%, and at 80 mph, your efficiency drops by 28%. Reducing your carbon impact can be another benefit of slowing down.

The New York Times estimated in 2008 that Americans saved nearly 2.56 billion gallons of gasoline annually when the 55 mph speed limit was in place.

Since the speed restriction was eliminated in 1995, gas consumption has climbed by 16.9%; therefore, if the 55 mph limit were returned, we could save 3 billion gallons of gasoline, or more than 2% of the gasoline used in cars, each year.

Due to the fact that the fleet has grown by more than 70 million vehicles since 1995, we have seen an increase in motor vehicle fuel consumption of approximately 17% while only seeing a meager 3.5 mpg improvement.

Economic Driving

Modern vehicles already include technologies and capacities that were previously unavailable and environmentally friendly, so you are already driving more fuel-efficiently. That, however, is insufficient on its own. Here are some tips for driving efficiently and what you can do further.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #1: Slowly Accelerate

Fuel consumption increases with increased acceleration. You will use less gasoline if you gently depress the accelerator pedal while driving in the city. To be as fuel-efficient as possible, it should take 5 seconds to accelerate your car up to 20 km/h (about 12.4mph) from a complete stop.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #2: Slow Down When Coasting

When you press the brakes, you stop moving ahead. You can frequently tell when to slow down well in advance by observing how the traffic acts in the distance. You will save money and fuel by letting up on the gas and coasting to slow down rather than applying the brakes.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #3: Keep Your Speed Constant

When your speed fluctuates, you use more gasoline and spend more money than is necessary. According to research, varying your speed by up to 5 km/h (about 3.1mph) every 18 seconds might increase your fuel consumption by 20%.

Consider using cruise control when driving on the highway when the circumstances permit. Be mindful, though, that when gravity does the work, tiny variations in speed might be favorable. Where possible, when traveling uphill, slow down, and when traveling downhill, accelerate once more.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #4: Reduce Your Speed

Respect the speed limit to conserve gasoline. The majority of automobiles, vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs operate most efficiently between 50 and 80 km/h (about 31.1 and 49.7 miles/hour). A car uses more fuel the quicker it goes than this speed.

For instance, at 120 km/h (about 74.6mph) versus 100 km/h (about 62.1mph), a car uses 20% more fuel. This improvement in speed for a 25-kilometer trip would save only two minutes.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #5: Plan Ahead For Traffic

Keep an eye out for what is approaching while driving. Maintain a safe distance between your vehicle and the one in front of you as well.

By closely observing what people and other cars are doing and making educated guesses about what they will do next, you may keep your speed as constant as possible while using less gasoline. Additionally, it is safer to drive this way.

Speaking of using gasoline, do head over to our detailed explainers on ethanol-free gas and whether can you mix E85 with regular gas. If you’re thinking of upping your MPGs, trying out different types of fuel might be really handy.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #6: Keep Your Car From Idle

If you are stopped for more than 60 seconds, turn off your engine unless you are in traffic. A 3-liter engine car wastes 300 milliliters (more than 1 cup) of fuel for every 10 minutes it remains idle.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #7: Check The Tire Pressure

Driving a car with tires underinflated by 56 kilopascals can result in a 4% increase in fuel consumption. Additionally, it can shorten your tires’ lifespan by more than 10,000 miles. You could discover the suggested tire pressure for your automobile on the placard with tire information.

Usually, it is near the doorpost or the border of the driver’s door.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #8: Avoid Bringing Extra Baggage

Sports equipment, heavy luggage, and other unnecessary items should all be taken out of your automobile. The lighter your car is, the less fuel it will need. A mid-size car’s fuel consumption increases by about 1% for every 25 kg (around 55lbs) of weight it carries.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #9: Use Air Conditioning In Moderation

The fuel usage of a car might go up by 20% while the air conditioner is on. In urban areas, open the windows while driving, and use the flow-through ventilation system when the windows are up on highways. If you do decide to use the air conditioner, utilize the recirculation setting. It will lessen the effects.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #10: Make Use Of The MPG Display

With the aid of a fuel consumption display, which is now a standard feature on many vehicles, you can see the effects of fuel-efficient driving methods firsthand.

Some more recent automobiles have even more advanced displays that monitor speed variances, manual gearbox shift positions, and driving habits, including acceleration and braking times. By acting on the information provided by fuel consumption indicators, many drivers reduce their fuel use by 15%.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #11: Take Down Any Roof Or Bike Racks

Remove any exterior accessories from your vehicle, such as roof racks and bike racks, as these increase aerodynamic drag and result in higher fuel consumption.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #12: Keep The Windows Shut

Your car will drag more as a result of open windows. Opening the windows instead of turning on the air conditioner may seem like a better method to stay cool, but doing so could use up the same amount of fuel. If it’s comfortable for you, close the windows as much as you can.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #13: Keep Tabs On Your Gasoline Usage

Keep track of your fueling schedule and the intervals between visits to the gas station. Reduce the number of times you fill up your tank and lengthen the time between those trips to the gas station.

Speaking of gas stations, we have a plethora of other resources that you might find insightful. We’ve previously discussed the myth surrounding Top Tier gas, and whether that’s worth the premium. Additionally, we looked at what is the best gas station, and how much does a gas station cost, if you’re thinking of opening one yourself.

We even went the distance to list out the best gas station out there, as well as looking at BJ’s gas services, on top of looking at how do I find the Costco gas price today near me. Also, we made some guides on how to put gas in a car, whether can bad gas cause a misfire, and whether can you put gas in a Tesla.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #14: Keep Your Car In Good Condition

Maintaining your vehicle properly and according to a recommended service schedule is one of the greatest methods to maintain optimum fuel efficiency in your vehicle. Make sure to take your automobile to a mechanic as soon as issues arise, in addition to having an annual service.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #15: Use Moderate Brake Pressure

Sudden braking puts a strain on your brakes, tires, and fuel consumption. If possible, coast to a halt instead of applying heavy brakes unless you have to stop suddenly.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Economic Driving #16: Pay Attention

As we’ve already discussed, maintaining a consistent pace is one of the most crucial aspects of fuel-efficient driving. Maintaining momentum is essential to accomplish this, and to do so, and you must plan your movements in advance, predict the movements of pedestrians and other drivers, and maintain safe following distances.

You’ll be safer and spend less on fuel as a result.

Otherwise, if you’re not able to enjoy a lot of fuel savings, it might be that your car is inherently a gas guzzler. If so, you might instead consider browsing our list of the best gas mileage cars under 10k and the best gas mileage truck on the market to find more economical options.

Elsewhere, and for more references, do check out our write-ups on what is a good gas mileage figure, in addition to what is a good MPG figure. Besides understanding what a good MPG might be (as well as learning how to calculate MPG), good maintenance practices such as fuel system cleaning or being wary of the cost to clean the fuel system also help.

Cruise Control Speed

Setting your cruise control to a speed range between 35 and 70 mph is considered the best course of action. In this range, you’ll get the most fuel efficiency. Your cruise control, though, can be set to practically any speed.

You must keep in mind that if you utilize the setting outside of its intended range, you might not be getting the most out of it.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas

In a nutshell, the answer is generally, it does save gas to use cruise control. A driver’s default behavior is accelerating when climbing a hill or unintentionally letting off the throttle while engaging in in-cab discussion.

Your fuel efficiency suffers as a result of this volatility. As a result of cruise control, your engine doesn’t have to work as hard or consume as much gasoline to keep you going forward.

On level terrain, cruise control typically saves the most fuel. It tries to maintain speed in the hills but could over-accelerate. As a result, it is generally more fuel-efficient to slightly accelerate before a hill, slow down, and cruise down the other side rather than trying to maintain speed.

By just keeping your speed lower, cruise control can also save you fuel.

With your foot on the gas, it’s simple to accelerate too quickly, and your fuel economy declines as you accelerate. The majority of vehicles are most effective between 30 and 40 mph, and efficiency quickly declines after that. You can save a lot of fuel by driving 70 instead of 75, especially if you have a large vehicle.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas – Percentage Of Fuel Savings

Some individuals believe that going to the gas station early will result in you getting more gas. However, using cruise control to save on fuel is not a myth.

According to Natural Resources Canada research, a car uses approximately 20% more fuel when its speed fluctuates between 47 and 53 mph every 18 seconds than when it is on cruise control and maintaining a constant speed. That is unquestionably a sizable amount.

However, the precise amount may differ from vehicle to vehicle because of differences in size, speed, and road conditions. Your fuel economy will be significantly impacted by the hills and elevation changes you encounter on your journey.

You might or might not actually notice the impacts of cruise control on any given drive due to these several other factors.

Cruise Control Benefits

Following are some of the cruise control benefits.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Other Benefits #1: Lower Your Driving Fatigue

You can let up on the brake or gas when using cruise control. This makes it possible to sit more comfortably and lessens the possibility that your foot may get tired.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Other Benefits #2: Limit Chances Of Getting A Speeding Ticket

Cruise control’s ability to keep a constant speed that you have specified decreases the likelihood of receiving a speeding citation.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Other Benefits #3: Increased Concentration

If you have engaged cruise control, you won’t need to pay attention to your driving speed. You are able to concentrate more on your surroundings and driving as a result.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Other Benefits #4: Greater Comfort

Does Cruise Control Save Gas

When using cruise control, you can sit more easily with your foot not extended because you don’t need to brake or accelerate.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Other Benefits #5: Adjustable Speed

Adaptive cruise control is a feature that is present in the majority of new cars. With this, you may set a speed, and the cruise control will adapt to maintain a safe distance if the automobile in front of you slows down.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas, Other Benefits #6: Braking Automatically

Many more recent cars feature automatic braking systems that identify when the car in front of you slows down while you are using cruise control. If you haven’t changed your speed, the cruise control will do it for you.

Adaptive Cruise Control

The most recent type of cruise control used in cars nowadays is adaptive cruise control. ACC adapts your vehicle’s speed to traffic flow as you travel. ACC systems can detect road speed, but they can also detect the presence of other vehicles.

Traditional cruise control has a fault in that drivers frequently take over the vehicle’s acceleration at different periods, which skews the setting’s benefit for fuel efficiency. ACC has an advantage over conventional cruise functions because it handles everything for you.

The fast computations and changes that an ACC function can perform are not something that many people are naturally good at. You’ll probably get a more fuel-efficient result if you let the computer decide.

Allow your automobile to drive if you want to obtain the maximum mileage possible on a long trip. Knowing that certain RVs also feature adaptive cruise control will provide you peace of mind if you go for the majority of your long-distance journeys in an RV.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas

When To Use Cruise Control

  • When fatigue is more prone to set in on extended drives, feel free to activate cruise control. While it’s not advisable to unwind completely while driving for extended lengths of time, it’s acceptable to rest your muscles occasionally. Cruise is a fantastic feature that, when utilized wisely, may lessen the strain of extended driving periods.
  • Turn on the cruise control when there is little to no traffic (you’ll notice a reminder on your gauge cluster, such as “main cruise” on a Honda, to let you know that it’s on). Enjoy the clean roads while maintaining a steady speed with cruise control.
  • When the speed limit remains constant for extended periods of time, just utilize the cruise control. To avoid receiving a ticket, just remember to turn it off and reduce your speed when the speed limit changes.

When Not To Use Cruise Control

  • Even while cruise control is a fantastic function on many modern cars, using it while driving isn’t always a good idea. You ought to avoid using your cruise control in many situations. Utilizing this function can be risky in some circumstances while being ineffective in others.
  • For instance, you shouldn’t take control and drive while using cruise control, especially adaptive cruise control.
  • Additionally, using cruise control when on a city street or a curving road is not recommended. When you turn on the cruise, you can’t control the situational changes correctly. Another circumstance in which the driver should have total control involves using cruise control in the rain. Wet roads are not taken into account in cruise settings.
  • Finally, you could discover that you shouldn’t use cruise control when driving up and down frequently steep gradients in a big vehicle—such as a motorhome carrying a car or trailer or a truck towing a heavy load. Most smaller vehicles can adjust without a problem, but cruise control sometimes does not know when to shift and stop the car when it is heavier than usual. The car can have trouble shifting smoothly in these circumstances, which would hurt your fuel economy.

FAQs on Does Cruise Control Save Gas

What Does Cruise Control Do

Cruise control allows you to maintain a predetermined speed without pressing the accelerator. After choosing a speed, you can let up on the gas, and the car will continue to go at that pace.

How To Save Gas

Drive as efficiently as possible on fuel. Some techniques to save gas include softly accelerating, maintaining a constant speed, anticipating traffic, avoiding high speeds, and coasting to decelerate.

How To Use Cruise Control

Turn on the cruise control system once you’ve reached your chosen speed, ensuring sure to stay under the posted speed limit. The controls for it often sit on or behind the steering wheel, and a light will be seen on your dashboard when it’s turned on.

Does Cruise Control Use More Fuel

Because it can maintain a constant pace, cruise control can help you drive more fuel-efficiently and can help you save 7–14% on gas on average. In contrast, a motorist using the pedals can consume more gas due to the continual acceleration and deceleration.

Is Cruise Control Bad For Your Car

Your vehicle won’t be harmed by cruise control. Contrary to popular belief, cruise control is frequently preferable to steady acceleration and deceleration for your vehicle. The driveline suffers damage when acceleration is performed manually. Also, it consumes more fuel.

Does Driving Slow Save Gas

Your fuel efficiency can increase by 7% to 14% if you reduce your speed by 5 to 10 mph. Since cars expend the most energy when accelerating, using cruise control on the highway can help drivers keep their speed consistent.

Do Manual Cars Have Cruise Control

Certain vehicles with manual transmissions do really have adaptive cruise control. It differs significantly from adaptive cruise control in an automatic transmission in two key ways. The first feature is that it is set to disengage anytime you squeeze the clutch. Therefore, if you need to shift gears, you must activate the cruise control after shifting.

What Does Cruise Main Mean In A Car

A system that helps regulate vehicle speed and, as a result, reduces the likelihood of accidents on the road is known as cruise control, a word used exclusively in the automotive industry. The steering wheel is attached to the cruise control button. It may also be marked with a ‘cruise’ emblem on some cars in order to be more noticeable.

How Can You Save Fuel While Driving On Hills

It’s easy. Driving up a slope should be done slowly rather than quickly. When descending a steep hill, entirely release the gas pedal.

Can You Use Cruise Control In The Rain

Even in dry weather, a motorist must pay close attention when faced with a challenging driving circumstance. Therefore, using cruise control in bad weather is hazardous and not recommended. In fact, whenever a higher level of driving concentration is needed, using cruise control is not a good choice.

What Is The Most Fuel Efficient Speed

Most automobiles, vans, pickup trucks, and SUVs operate most efficiently between 50 and 80 km/h. The higher the speed limit, the more fuel-intensive driving is. For instance, at 120 km/h, a car uses 20% more fuel than at 100 km/h.

How Much Gas Is 5 Hours Of Driving

1/22 ‘gallon per mile’ is one gallon of gas every 22 miles. If you drive for 5 hours at 55 miles per hour, you’ll cover 275 miles. This will use 275/22 = 12.5 gallons of gas or 1/22 gallon per mile.

Does Auto Stop Save Gas

The majority of people believe that employing a start-stop system only saves a small amount of fuel, but in truth, the fuel used while idling at a stop adds up quickly. In heavy traffic, adopting a start-stop can increase a car’s fuel economy by nearly 8%, according to research by the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Why Is My Car Wasting So Much Gas

Poor air filters and oxygen sensors can cut your gas mileage by up to 20%. They must be maintained to ensure that oxygen sensors have the right balance of fuel and air. Clean, sand- and debris-clogged air filters can be changed to restore the engine to peak performance.

Do All Cars Have Cruise Control

Although some automakers only provide it as an option, cruise control is a standard function on the majority of modern cars. However, not all older vehicles have the feature, save for premium trim levels that cost more and contain all the choices.

Is Cruise Control Safe

The use of cruise control does not make it inherently unsafe or destructive; rather, it only necessitates extra caution and attention to ensure that the driver remains totally focused on the road. For instance, using a car’s cruise control might be dangerous when driving in inclement weather.

Does It Take More Gas To Start A Car

Since only a small amount of fuel is really utilized to start the car, the fuel is used more effectively. This implies that idle driving uses more fuel than starting the car from scratch. Consequently, we are seeing more vehicles designed with start-stop technology.

When Not To Use Cruise Control

Some people might believe that using cruise control when sleepy makes driving simpler. However, it raises your chance of dozing off behind the wheel because it diverts your focus from the road. Furthermore, cruise control won’t help you steer or brake. Driving manually in bad weather conditions is safer, even if your car has traction control. When your wheels don’t catch, cruise control may result in an accident by making them spin more quickly.

Does Diesel Burn Slower Than Gas

Compared to gasoline, diesel is 20% more efficient. It can create more energy with less fuel thanks to its thicker density. Additionally, a diesel engine may provide the same power as a gasoline engine at a lower RPM. To put it another way, a slower rate of fuel combustion for the same output.

Does Cruise Control Save Gas: Final Verdict

Does cruise control save gas? By assisting you in keeping your speed constant while you are driving, cruise control can help you conserve fuel. By allowing the engine to run at a steady pace rather than regularly accelerating and decelerating, maintaining a constant speed can increase your car’s fuel efficiency.

Furthermore, cruise control will prevent you from speeding, increasing your fuel efficiency. It’s crucial to remember that other elements, including the weather and the weight of your car, can also impact your fuel efficiency.

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