Updated at: 21-07-2022 - By: Lucas

There are a lot of people who believe that putting the car in neutral saves you money on gas. The people who say that coasting in neutral saves fuel aren’t joking when they say it. Younger drivers are also being exposed to this idea, which has persisted among drivers for years.

To dispel the myth that driving in neutral saves fuel, I’ll explain why this isn’t the case in this essay.

It does not save fuel to put the shifter in neutral. Even though many motorists still assume that their cars use less fuel when they are rolling with the transmission disengaged, the clutch pedal pushed, or the gear selector in neutral, the truth is that this is simply not true. Fuel is being used because the engine rpm are still high.

What is the fuel consumption when the car is in neutral?

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For the same reason as previously stated, driving in neutral has virtually little impact on fuel usage. Additionally, if you don’t drive with the gas pedal depressed and the car in gear, the resistance may rise slightly. On a long trip, you should expect to need an extra 0.25 liters of gas every 100 kilometers (approximately 1176 to 470 miles per gallon).

Why putting the car in neutral does not save fuel?

Many motorists are concerned about saving money on gas when they get behind the wheel. The rationale is clear to see in this situation. More rotations per unit time of the engine crankshaft means more fuel is sprayed by the injection system.

Its idle speed is between 750 and 850 RPM, while the engine’s speed rises to between 2,000 and 3,000 RPM when the automobile is driving. A quick estimate indicates that we could save anywhere from three to five times as much fuel this way. Yes, that would be wonderful. In practice, though, things don’t operate like that.

As opposed to modern fuel delivery systems, antique cars used a carburetor to prepare the gasoline mixture before being fed into the engine. Depending on the engine’s mode of operation, this device with calibrated jets merely passed a set amount of fuel and air through itself. It was never a problem to get petrol.

The ability to turn off the gas supply when coasting and forced idle economizers arose even on the complex carburetor systems of later years of manufacture.

During coasting through idle, for example, the fuel supply was switched off when the engine revs reached 2,000. As a result, the fuel was not burned in the chambers. In neutral, the fuel was still being provided, and without it, the engine would simply shut down.

There are no tricks like shifting into neutral in today’s engines, which use injection systems, to save fuel. It’s really easy to use. Electrical impulses are no longer given to injector and ignition coil when gas pedal is released and engine rpm are greater than the specified values.

The mixture in the cylinders does not ignite because no gasoline is injected. The motor blows regular air through it. In order to keep the engine running, the system initiates the fuel delivery, starting with a lean mixture and gradually bringing it to the norm for idling. Without a load on the engine, it continues to operate normally.

The alternator, oil pump, power steering, air conditioner compressor, vacuum brake booster, and other critical systems may all continue to function when the engine is coasting thanks to the internal combustion engine’s ability to rotate the crankshaft. Auxiliary systems are unconcerned with how the engine’s crankshaft turns, how the fuel-air mixture ignites, or how much power the wheels are putting off.

As a result, when going downhill in a gear, the cylinders’ fuel is essentially wasted. Fuel is spent in idle mode when driving there with the car in neutral. In this situation, there is no debate about fuel efficiency.

Why driving with the car in neutral can be dangerous?

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Additionally, many drivers don’t realize that when driving in neutral, braking distance increases, especially when driving with a detached transmission in a front-wheel-drive automobile.

With simultaneous slowing of the brakes and engine, emergency braking is also possible because it considerably reduces braking distance.

Similar to this, drivers who believe that placing the car in neutral will save them gasoline also believe that engine braking will wear out their transmissions and engines.

This is not the case; in fact, using engine braking while driving is a smart move because it saves fuel while also preventing damage to the engine and transmission. When driving down a hill in a manual car, the fuel usage is nearly zero when the shifter is in one of the gears and the foot is off the gas.

In addition to being useless, this style of action is also potentially harmful. You have no control over your vehicle in any gear, even position N in cars with automatic transmissions. When there is an emergency or loss of control, this can be problematic.


In theory, putting the car in neutral should be as profitable as possible. The engine consumes less fuel since there is no wheel interaction with the shaft, hence there is no torque. On an old carburetor engine, this strategy actually worked, but not on a contemporary injection engine.

Today, with the transmission in neutral, the vehicle continues to run at the lowest possible revs. When it comes to automatic transmissions, this is especially true. Fuel consumption and speed are guaranteed by the internal combustion engine’s design.

When the car is in engaged gear and the gas pedal is released, the twigs turn the other way. This causes the engine to cut off the gasoline supply completely, which does not happen when the transmission is in neutral. Because of its efficiency and safety, this method of transportation is widely accepted.