Gas is expensive… Use these tips to maximize the fuel economy in your Honda Accord!


Increasing fuel economy of your Honda Accord is important and useful for a variety of reasons.

The obvious one is that it helps save money on fuel costs, since a car with better fuel economy will require less fuel to travel the same distance. This can be especially beneficial for those who have a long commute or who use their vehicle frequently.

Secondly, better fuel economy leads to a reduction in wear and tear on the engine, making it run more efficiently. This means that regular maintenance, such as oil changes, can be less frequent and less costly.

Next, vehicles with better fuel economy generally have improved power and acceleration and are more responsive to the driver. This improves the overall driving experience and makes the vehicle more enjoyable to drive.

Lastly, increasing fuel economy helps reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce emissions which helps protect the environment. Vehicles that use less fuel produce fewer emissions, which in turn improves air quality and reduces the negative impact on the environment.

Okay, enough of the convincing, if you found this article, you probably already know all that! Let’s start with the list. The first one relates to your tires…

1 – Tires

Keep your tires properly inflated: Properly inflated tires can increase your fuel efficiency by up to 3%.

To properly inflate tires on a Honda Accord, you will need a tire pressure gauge and an air compressor.

inflating tires

First, check the recommended tire pressure for your specific Honda Accord model. This can be found in the owner’s manual or on the driver’s door jamb.

tire pressure decal

Next, use the tire pressure gauge to check the current pressure of each tire. If the pressure is low, use the air compressor to inflate the tire to the recommended pressure. Repeat this process for all four tires. It’s important to check the tire pressure regularly and inflate them as needed to ensure optimal performance and safety.

2 – Oil

Use the recommended grade of oil: Using the recommended grade of oil can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 2%. Not sure which oil to use? Check out my post on the best oil to use in a Honda Accord, which breaks down the proper oil weight to use by year.

oil draining from a Honda Accord

Also, I recommend using synthetic oil. Synthetic oil can improve fuel efficiency by reducing friction in the engine. Wondering what synthetic oil to use? See this article on the best Mobil1 synthetic oil.

3 – Idling

Avoid excessive idling: Idling your engine for more than 30 seconds uses more fuel than turning it off and restarting it.

4 – Weight

Remove excess weight: Removing excess weight from your vehicle can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 2% for every 100 pounds of weight removed.

Don’t treat your car as an extra storage facility! Stash the junk in your garage, basement or get rid of it. It doesn’t make sense to spend money hauling it around.

5 – Speed

Avoid excessive speeding: Driving at high speeds can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 33% at highway speeds. Drive the posted speed limit and try to avoid “pulsing.”

“Pulsing” is the term for a driver not keeping constant pressure on the accelerator but pressing it on and off to try to maintain the same speed. Not only is this annoying for other drivers in nearby cars and the passengers whose heads lurch back and forth with every pulse, but this type of driving is also generally considered to be inefficient and can cause increased wear and tear on the vehicle, as well as increased fuel consumption.

It can also be dangerous, as it can cause sudden changes in speed that can be difficult for other drivers to anticipate. It’s generally considered safer and more fuel efficient to maintain a steady speed and avoid sudden accelerations and decelerations.

Find it tough to maintain a constant speed? See the next item 6 and use cruise…!

6 – Cruise Control

Use cruise control: When driving on the highway, using cruise control can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 14%.

Do those cruise control buttons and knobs seem confusing? They are! Check out this post on how to set the cruise control in a Honda Accord and take the mystery out of the buttons!

cruise control indicator

I hope you find this helpful, if you purchase something through one of our affiliate links we may earn a commission, at no extra cost to you; it helps cover the website hosting fees.

7 – Gas

Use the recommended octane: Using a higher than the recommended octane might improve your fuel efficiency, but only by about 1%, which is not worth the increased price which is usually on the order of 5-20% more. Stick with the recommended octane.

Gas Cap for a Honda Accord 2004

8 – Tune-Ups

Get regular tune-ups: Regular tune-ups can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 4%.

9 – Overdrive

Use overdrive gears: When driving on the highway, using overdrive gears can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 30%.

Overdrive refers to a gear ratio in the transmission that is less than 1. It allows the engine to rotate at a lower speed than the wheels. This results in a reduction in engine RPMs, which can lead to improved fuel efficiency and lower engine wear. Overdrive is typically used when driving at highway speeds, as it allows the engine to run at a lower RPM while the vehicle maintains a higher speed. This can help to reduce engine noise, vibration and fuel consumption.

Overdrive can sometimes be controlled by a button or lever on the gear shift or on the steering wheel, depending on the car make and model.

Most modern Honda Accords have overdrive as an automatic feature and shift to overdrive gear when a certain speed is reached while others it’s manually controlled.

The 1st Gen Honda Accord was introduced in 1976 and it was equipped with a 4-speed manual or 2-speed automatic transmission, and it did not have overdrive.

In later generations, Honda began to offer overdrive as an option on certain models of the Accord. The use of overdrive in the Honda Accord increased in the 1980s and 1990s.

In the 4th Gen Honda Accord, which was produced from 1990 to 1993, overdrive was available as an option on certain trims, paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission.

In the 5th Gen Honda Accord which was produced from 1994 to 1997, overdrive became standard equipment on all models. It was paired with a 4-speed automatic transmission, and also available with a 5-speed manual transmission.

In the 6th Gen Honda Accord, which was produced from 1998 to 2002, overdrive remained standard equipment on all models, paired with either a 4-speed automatic or a 5-speed manual transmission.

In the 7th Gen Honda Accord, which was produced from 2003 to 2007, overdrive remained standard equipment, paired with a 5-speed automatic or a 6-speed manual transmission.

In the eighth (2007), ninth (2012), and the 10th generation Honda Accord (2017+), overdrive remained available as standard equipment. It’s paired with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) or a 10-speed automatic transmission.

10 – Style

Drive smoothly: Avoid rapid acceleration and hard braking, as this can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 33%. A speed limit driver who is easy on the throttle will get roughly 20% better gas mileage than someone who is always in a hurry.

11 – Air Filter

Check and replace your engine air filter: A dirty air filter can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 10%, replacing it can help to boost it.

air filter housing open

Not only will timely replacements of your engine air filter help to increase fuel efficiency, but it will also help in the following areas:

  1. Improved Engine Performance: A clean air filter ensures that the engine is getting an adequate supply of clean air, which is necessary for efficient combustion. A dirty air filter can cause the engine to work harder and reduce its power output.
  2. Reduced Emissions: A dirty air filter can cause the engine to produce more pollutants, which can harm the environment. Replacing a dirty air filter with a clean one can help to reduce emissions and improve air quality.
  3. Increased Engine Life: A dirty air filter can cause debris and dirt to enter the engine, which can lead to increased wear and tear on the engine’s internal components. By regularly replacing the air filter, you can help to protect your engine and prolong its life.
  4. Improved engine sound: A new air filter will help the engine breathe better and reduce the noise, engine will run smoother and sound better.

It’s recommended to check and change the air filter in your Honda Accord according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. This is usually every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, or as often as specified in the owner’s manual, depending on the driving conditions and environment.

12 – Alignment

Check your tire alignment: Improper tire alignment can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 6%, having it checked and fixed can help.

13 – Spark Plugs

Use the recommended spark plugs: Using the recommended spark plugs can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 2%. Replacing spark plugs at the recommended interval can increase engine performance.

Spark plugs play a crucial role in the ignition process of the engine. They create a spark that ignites the fuel-air mixture, which powers the engine. Worn or dirty spark plugs can cause the engine to misfire, which can lead to a decrease in power and performance. Replacing them with new spark plugs can help to restore the engine’s power and performance.

Changing spark plugs is pretty cheap and easy. Check out this post on how to change the spark plugs in your Honda Accord.

Honda Accord Spark Plugs old vs new

14 – Injectors

Check your fuel injectors: Clogged fuel injectors can decrease your fuel efficiency by up to 30%, having them cleaned or replaced can help.

Use of a fuel additive can also help to clean fuel injectors.

Fuel injector cleaner additives are chemical compounds that are added to gasoline or diesel fuel to clean not only the fuel injectors, but also other fuel system components. They are designed to remove carbon and other deposits that can build up in the fuel system over time.

Some automotive experts believe that fuel injector cleaner additives can help to improve engine performance, increase fuel efficiency, and reduce emissions. They can also help to extend the life of the fuel injectors and other fuel system components. However, other experts believe that they are not necessary and that regular maintenance such as using good quality gasoline and regular oil changes will keep the engine and the fuel system clean.

It’s important to note that not all fuel injector cleaner additives are created equal, so it’s important to use a reputable brand and to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Also, using too much or using it too frequently can cause damage to the engine and fuel system.

I personnally use a fuel injector cleaner additive about every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. If you decide to try it, I recommend this K&N Fuel Injector Cleaner.

15 – Trips

If possible, avoid using your car for short trips: Cold starts use more fuel than warm starts, so avoid using your car for short trips whenever you can.

16 – Roof Rack

If your car has a roof rack, and you never or rarely use it, consider removing it. Removing a roof rack can increase fuel economy by reducing the aerodynamic drag on a vehicle.

The drag force on a vehicle, also known as aerodynamic resistance, is a function of the vehicle’s velocity and the air density. The drag force on a vehicle can be broken down into two components: pressure drag and skin friction drag.

Pressure drag, also known as form drag, is caused by the pressure difference between the front and the back of an object. A roof rack can create a large amount of form drag, as it creates a large surface area for the air to flow over, resulting in a higher pressure difference and therefore a greater drag force.

Skin friction drag, on the other hand, is caused by the friction between the air molecules and the surface of the object. A roof rack can also increase skin friction drag as it creates a larger surface area for the air to flow over, resulting in a higher friction force.

In a research article published in Procedia Engineering, “Impact of vehicle add-ons on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions,” it was found that the drag coefficient of a sedan vehicle can be reduced by up to 12.5% by removing the roof rack (Chowdhury, et al 2012). Additionally, the reduction in drag coefficient led to a corresponding reduction in fuel consumption of up to 2.2%.

17 – Carwash

Wash your car. Believe it or not, not only does keeping your car clean make it look nicer, it also improves your fuel economy!

A clean car is a slippery car. Just like a swimmer’s body is more aerodynamic without excess hair, a clean car’s surface is more aerodynamic without dirt and grime. This can result in a reduction of drag on the car, which can improve fuel economy.

Although slight, a dirty car is a heavier car, and a heavier car needs more fuel to move. A clean car is lighter, and thus, more fuel-efficient.

A clean car is also a healthy car. A clean car is less likely to have debris and dirt that can clog air filters and other components, which can negatively impact engine performance and fuel economy.


I hope you found this post helpful in increasing the fuel economy of your Honda Accord! Again, the main factors that are going to give you the biggest boost, in rough order of importance are:

  1. Driving style. Avoid hard acceleration, hard braking, and excess idling. Coasting is your friend!
  2. Cruise Control. Don’t “pulse” the accelerator, it is obnoxious and wastes gas.
  3. Drag. If you have a roof rack, remove it.

All the best!