Neutralize

saturn

#1

When I am on a long downhill stretch of road I like to put the car in neutral; it saves gas (especially when the tank is almost empty) and I like to do that. I have heard some negative feed back. Do you think it is alright to do this?


#2

What year is your car? Unless it is very old, putting it in neutral (and leaving the engine on) takes more gas instead of saving it. In gear, the transmission turns the engine, so no fuel is injected. In neutral, fuel is injected to keep the engine turning.


#3

There are lots of very long threads about this. Use the “Search” feature at the top of the page.


#4

It’s not alright
It’s often illegal
You are not saving any fuel, and are more than likely increasing fuel consumption

Also fundamentally, if anything, even if you were saving fuel, you would see the most benefit with a full tank, since the added weight of the fuel would enable you coast a couple feet further due to momentum.


#5

No, it’s not alright, and it does NOT save any gas.

None. Zip. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

In fact, if your car is fairly new it uses MORE gas in neutral than it would if you left it in gear. Modern cars are programmed to shut off the fuel injectors under these conditions, so you use ZERO gas in gear but some gas in neutral.

In addition, coasting downhill in neutral is dangerous.

I advise you to stop this practice.

Fill the gas tank before it gets that low.


#6

If you make a habit of driving around with an “almost empty” gas tank, you will be replacing your fuel pump often.
Very low fuel levels cause them to run hotter (less gas to cool them), and to pick up more trash.


#7

Not a good idea. If you drive an automatic transmission there is a chance you’ll go past N and into R for reverse. This can damage the transmission. In a manual you can’t harm your transmission but it dosen’t save gas, unless you actually turn off the motor as well. Since that would be dangerous I assume you leave the motor running.

Coasting down a hill in neutral is a bad idea with any type of transmission as you are giving up some control of the car.


#8

Here we go again. There is a search button at the top of the screen. Please use it.


#9

Isn’t this like the 17,846,452 time this question has been asked? I think we should just quit answering questions that have been repeated ad-nauseum. If you don’t feed them, they won’t grow!!


#10

When I am on a long downhill stretch of road I like to put the car in neutral; it saves gas (especially when the tank is almost empty)

Most modern cars will use more fuel in neutral, because they use zero fuel in gear. Something has to keep the engine running,

There are a few other issues involving legalities, safety etc.

In real life, the differences are small, but why bother putting it in neutral.

BTW under certain conditions you could save fuel, but in the long run it will use more.


#11

#12

Except for a couple of Fords that I’ve driven, there’s no need to push the button on the shifter to go from D to N. Said button is meant to lockout N to R shift.


#13

Gentlemen, the OP politely asked a simple question. Yes, it’s been asked before, but the OP did not come here to learn to use the “search” feature, he/she came here seeking advice. The least we can do is provide a polite answer.

I personally don’t advocate the use of neutral when going down hill. First of all, the drag from the engine can help prevent overheating of the brakes. Second, should an unforeseeable evasive action become necessary, the driver has more control if the car is in gear. And, as already stated, is is entirely possible to put the tranny in R by accident.


#14

I understand the safety issue and the fact there may be negligible benefits, but why does a car use more gas in neutral than in gear? At least with a manual transmission, the load on the engine should the same or less when the car is coasting/going downhil1 in neutral than when coasting/going downhill in gear. In either case, some gas would needed to keep the engine running.


#15

Reread some of the comments.
In gear, going down a hill, there is no load on the engine. In fact, the transmission is able to keep the engine turning just because of the force of gravity on the car going down hill. Since the transmission is turning the engine, the computer turns off all of the fuel injectors and no fuel at all is used while the car is coasting down the hill. The injectors would only be turned on if you pushed the gas pedal.
However, out of gear, the transmission can’t turn the engine. The computer has to turn the fuel injectors on to keep the engine running, so it uses whatever fuel it would normally use at idle.

Coasting in gear = no fuel used at all.
Coasting out of gear = same amount of fuel used as when idling.