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How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

Created by Jay Walling
Last Updated 3/16/2022

High gas prices shouldn't keep you from driving your Mustang. At LMR.com, we have put together a few great tips on how you can increase your Mustang's fuel efficiency.

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How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

Let’s be honest; gas prices are not what they used to be. Owning and driving a sports car like the Ford Mustang can add to costly fuel bills over time. However, that shouldn’t keep you from driving and enjoying your Mustang. Today, we will look at a few different ways you can increase fuel mileage in a Ford Mustang


1. Making Smart Choices When Driving

Driving aggressively in your Mustang can cause poor fuel mileage. Sensible driving habits not only reduce your risk of a possible accident, but they can also help with overall fuel consumption. Smooth take off’s and reducing braking will be one area to help you save. We all know it is a blast to drive your Stang like you stole it, but the further and faster you push down on the gas pedal, the more fuel you waste.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

Planning the best route to work or home is another way to increase mileage. Using typical mapping applications found on any smartphone can help you find the shortest path from point A to Point B. These apps can also show you traffic delays such as wrecks or construction so that you can avoid these.

Maintaining proper speed in your Mustang will also help you save on fuel. I know that some of us overlook the posted speed limit signs and tend to go just a little faster than we should, but fuel economy usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 50 miles per hour.


2. Proper Tire Inflation


Proper tire inflation is a topic that is commonly overlooked. Modern vehicles take the guesswork out of this with factory TPMS (tire pressure monitoring systems), but if you own any 2007 or older Mustang, your car will not have this option. According to the EPA and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), a reduction of 1 PSI per tire can reduce overall fuel economy by .1-.3%.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

Located on the inside of your driver’s side door jam, you will find your vehicle’s door tag. This sticker will provide you with tons of important information, including your VIN, paint codes, and OEM tire pressure ratings. You can always rely on this information to keep your tires at the correct specification, as stated by Ford Motor Company.


3. Keep Idling To A Minimum


Whether it is time spent at a stoplight, sitting in your driveway listening to the radio, or showing off your “CHOP” on TikTok, excessive idling will cause your fuel mileage per tank to drop. No matter how you look at it, fuel is used when your car is turned on. Avoiding stoplights and high traffic areas will help you reduce the overall idle time your Mustang comes across.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

4. Engine Maintenance


Basic engine maintenance is an essential factor when it comes to MPGs. The engine in your car is a big air pump. The more air you can get in and the more you can get out, how efficient it is. If you have a dirty or clogged air filter, this can prevent the engine in your Mustang from operating at 100%. The same will apply to your fuel filter. Regular service intervals of your fuel filter will provide you with savings on fuel.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

If your check engine light is on, have this scanned by a local shop or a handheld tuner to determine what issue you may have on your vehicle. Common problems such as O2 sensors, Idle Air Control Valves, and Mass Air Flow sensors can all come into play for fuel economy. If you have malfunctioning parts, your MPGs can suffer.

Oil changes and using the proper oil intended for your vehicle will be another area to cover. Regular service intervals of your engine oil will not only help you with the overall longevity and resale value, but it will provide you with maintaining your average miles per gallon. Fuel economy can also suffer if the incorrect oil is used (too thick or too thin).

Standard tune-ups consisting of your filters, spark plugs, and belts can help provide better mileage. Even cleaning your throttle body and running an oil separator can reduce contaminants in the intake tract and reduce emissions.


5. Removal Of Excess Weight


As most of us know, when it comes to owning a fast car, weight is a factor that we consider. A good rule of thumb is for every decrease of 100 pounds, you can usually increase around 1/10 of a second on your quarter-mile times. Weight is a huge factor in how much fuel you use. One of the quickest ways to shed a few unwanted pounds on your Mustang is a Rear Seat Delete. Check out all of our weight-reduction guides on the links below.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

6. Take Advantage Of Overdrive


Engine RPMs play a significant role in fuel economy. Modern Mustangs offer advanced transmissions equipped with one or more overdrives to help reduce engine RPMs. Depending on your particular setup, this is not always the case. Driving a 1993 Fox Body with a C4 conversion vs. a 2022 GT with a 10R80 ten-speed will make a world of difference when it comes to cruising speed and RPMs. Using your overdrive will ultimately provide you with less fuel being used.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

7. Cruise Control


As I mentioned earlier, maintaining proper speed in your Mustang will also help you save on fuel. Using the cruise control feature on your Mustang can help you save money at the pump. When cruise control is used, you have less fluctuation on the gas pedal since the computer controls this.


How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

8. Aftermarket Parts


Many aftermarket parts claim an increase of better mileage per gallon and added horsepower. This can be true in some cases, but in other cases, the addition of some aftermarket parts can hurt you at the pump. For example, using aftermarket rear end gears, comparing a 4.10 gear and a 3.08 gear ratio at highway speeds will affect RPMs at cruising speed. The 4.10 will cause your engine to work harder than the 3.08 while the vehicle is traveling at 70 mph. Parts like a Cold Air Intake (CAI), headers/exhaust, or some aftermarket tuners can help you bump up fuel efficiency, depending on how hard you push down on the “Go Fast” pedal. Most of us see a drop in fuel efficiency after installing aftermarket parts due to wanting to make horsepower, and we forget about our correct driving habits. While adding aftermarket parts can cause you to want to drive faster, hurting fuel economy, when tuned properly and driven properly, many mods can actually improve fuel mileage.


How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

9. Wind Resistance


Over the years, Ford has upgraded the styling of these chassis. The 1979-1993 Fox Body was much boxier than the 2015-2022 S550 platforms. Any added drag or wind resistance can have adverse effects on fuel mileage. Coupe and convertible models are often put into comparison on this subject. Having the top down on your convertible vs. a hardtop can cause excessive wind resistance due to turbulence. Driving with your windows up on your car can help reduce wind resistance and positively affect fuel mileage.

How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang - How to Increase MPGs in Your Ford Mustang

If you were to put a truck, van, or SUV in a wind tunnel vs. any Mustang, the smaller passenger vehicle would always prevail when it comes to wind resistance.


Conclusion


I hope this article has helped you clear the air on some common fuel-saving tips for your Ford Mustang. These tips will not only help you save money at the fill-up station but can also help you prevent wear and tear on your Mustang.


Frequently Asked Questions-


What is good gas mileage for a Mustang?


This can vary from the year, make, and model of Mustang you own. The Mustang platforms offer many different engine sizes. Smaller engine sizes like an Ecoboost 4-cylinder or economy-based V6 mustangs will usually provide the end-user with higher MPGs than the V8 counterpart. Comparing a 1993 LX (4-cylinder) and a 1993 Mustang GT (V8), the advertised combined city/hwy fuel mileage was 22 vs. 17 on a stock 5-speed application.


What are some common reasons why my Mustang is using so much fuel?


As we have previously covered, many different areas can cause your Mustang to use more fuel than it should. Remembering everyday things like tire pressure, smart driving choices, and proper vehicle maintenance can benefit your wallet at the pump. These areas covered within the article above can compound and make your fuel economy suffer if not addressed.


Higher Octane Fuel and E-85


One common myth is that running a higher octane fuel in your vehicle will provide you with more miles per gallon. Unless the engine equipped in your Mustang calls for 91/93 octane fuel, bumping up to a higher octane fuel will not provide you with added benefits. The same will apply to E-85 conversions. Typically, E-85 is raised at a higher octane level than traditional unleaded gas but has lower energy content per gallon than gasoline. E85 also burns faster than regular gasoline because it vaporizes more quickly.



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