Busting Common Car Myths – Part 2: Coasting


In part one of our vehicle myth busting series, we showed that, despite what you were taught as a young driver, idling your car wastes more gas than turning it off for a few minutes. Continuing our auto myth busting series, we bring you a question of coasting:

Myth: “Coasting down hills in neutral saves gas.”

This myth feels true. If rolling down a hill with the car in neutral, gravity, rather than your engine, is keeping you moving. But as with many common myths, it’s not that simple; an article in Popular Mechanics claims that coasting down hills in neutral may actually waste more gas than leaving the car in gear.

In addition to not saving gas, coasting down hills in neutral can be dangerous. From Popular Mechanics:

“You need to be able to use the accelerator to avoid an unexpected road hazard; cars don’t handle well in neutral during sharp cornering maneuvers when the engine isn’t connected to the drivetrain.”

Do you have any go-to gas-saving strategies? Let us know your tricks for improving your vehicle’s fuel efficiency in the comments section, and we may put them to the test in our myth busting series.

Check back soon for part three, where we’ll discuss high octane fuel.

  • Carl Wojo

    Coasting down hills in neural does save gas. Just leave the engine running so you have full braking power and steering power. Also, only do this on a clear road with no one in front of you.