How To Improve Mustang MPG

How To Improve Mustang MPG

Last Updated September 4, 2020

Possessing horsepower and torque levels that many drivers can only experience in their dreams or on their favorite video game consoles, Ford Mustang owners are blessed with well-oiled speed demons that can burn rubber with the best of them. With gas costing roughly 35 cents per gallon in the early days of the Mustang, 1960s pony car owners were not as worried about miles per gallon (MPG). Certainly, the Mustang's mpg rating over the years has fluctuated greatly, with some years seeing great fuel efficiency but poor horsepower, or vice versa. Fortunately, thanks to the development of technology like the EcoBoost engine, Ford Mustangs can have great MPG in town or on the highway.

Part of maximizing that fuel economy is going to come down to you and your driving habits, though. There are certainly ways to enjoy the power of your Mustang without feeling a pinch at the pump. These are our top tips for getting the most mpg out of your Mustang.

Take Your Foot Off the Pedal

"increase the gas mileage in your Mustang by 33%"

Though it might go against every fiber in your being, easing up on the gas pedal and shying away from rapid acceleration are some of the easiest ways to help your Ford Mustang become more fuel efficient. It may sound simple in theory, but by driving slower, implementing cruise control when necessary, and using overdrive if your car has it, you will see significant gains in your Mustang’s MPG.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, reducing aggressive driving and braking can help increase the gas mileage in your Mustang by 33% on the highway and 5% in the city. In recent years, the automotive industry has developed “smart” driver-feedback devices that enable drivers to monitor their Mustang MPG and notice trends in their respective fuel economy.

Weight Reduction

2015 Mustang V6 Rolling Shot

A light Mustang is a fuel-efficient Mustang, thus eliminating excess weight, particularly on the top of your car is another way to positively affect your MPG. Lugging equipment on top of your Ford Mustang increases wind resistance, and the aerodynamic drag can bring down your fuel economy. While it may be convenient to haul your bikes or excess cargo on the roof of your Ford Mustang, you are negatively impacting your MPG while you are doing that.

If you are looking to improve your Mustang MPG, take down that hefty bike rack and avoid driving around with a packed car. If you purchase anything heavy from the store, it would be wise to bring it inside your house as soon as possible, instead of allowing your cargo to weigh your Mustang down. Weight is one of, if not the biggest, cause for loss of kinetic energy in your car.

Less Rolling Resistance

The type of Mustang tires and the amount of air you have in them will go a long ways towards improving your Mustang MPG. Keeping your tires properly inflated is not only essential towards your overall driving experience but to your fuel economy as well. According to the EPA, you can improve your Mustang gas mileage by .06% and up to three percent in some cases by simply monitoring your tire pressure and making sure that they are properly inflated. Be sure to adhere to the tire pressure sticker that can be found either on the driver’s side door or in your Mustang owner’s manual.

When you are in the market for new tires, it would be wise to select narrow compound tires with low-rolling resistance. The narrower that your new tires are, the less of a contact patch will meet the road. This could be counter-productive to those looking for extra grip, but all that excess rubber contact with the asphalt will induce more drag on the car.

Air Filters

Mustang EcoBoost COBB Cold Air Intake

Air filters not only affect the fuel economy but the Mustang engine’s overall efficiency as well. The filters screen the incoming oxygen that your car intakes and makes sure that it does not contain any debris, such as dust, pollen, or other forms of pollution. The clean air that naturally comes in forms a symbiotic relationship with your gasoline. If the air is clean and can safely trickle into the engine, you will have greater odds of improving the MPG in your Mustang. If you do not routinely change your air filters, however, the oxygen will have a difficult time reaching your engine, and your motor will have to work harder while burning more fuel as a result.

When you decide to purchase new air filters for your Ford Mustang intake, make sure that your new equipment correctly corresponds with the size of your engine. And if you’re looking to even take it up another notch by not only increasing horsepower, but also fuel economy, be sure to check out Mustang Cold Air Intakes as well!

Additionally, if you spend a lot of time on dusty or heavily polluted roads, your air filters will require more attention than others. Once the mix of natural air and gasoline has reached equilibrium once again, your new air filter can increase the MPG in your Mustang by up to 10 percent, while saving you money at the gas pump!

Routine Engine Maintenance

Mustang Routine Maintenance

You may take it for granted, but the engine compartment contains numerous factors that can either hinder or increase the MPG in your Mustang. While the process can be a bit technical, there are many things that you can do to your engine to increase fuel efficiency. Ensuring that your car is equipped with the recommended grade of motor oil can increase your gas mileage by several percentage points along with regular, scheduled oil changes. Additionally, when filling your car up with gas, try to shy away from discount brand fuel. Though you may save a few cents per gallon, you might notice several differences in performance and the discount fuel could decrease your engine’s longevity.

If your engine is noticeably out of tune or if you are worried about failing an emissions test, it would be wise to address these issues sooner rather than later. If your oxygen sensors, engine thermostat, or intake manifolds are defective in any way, or if your engine is misfiring for any reason, the MPG in your Mustang could decrease as a result along with other potentially serious issues. Properly tuning your engine in a timely manner can improve your fuel efficiency by up to 4% according to the EPA. Additionally, replacing your spark plugs and old engine wiring with aftermarket upgrades could rapidly increase your Ford Mustang’s MPG.

Check out our article on Mustang General Maintenance for further information on keeping your Mustang in tip-top shape!

Wrapping It Up

Improving your driving habits, in addition to closely monitoring your Mustang’s engine can go a long way towards refining your fuel economy. Avoiding idling in your Mustang, while carefully observing the speed limits can save you one or two trips to the gas station every month. By that same token, taking care of any issues with your Mustang engine before they become much larger problems will go a long way towards saving you money at the body shop, at the fuel pump, and increasing your Mustang’s MPG!

How To Improve Mustang MPG

Improving your Mustang’s gas mileage is a dilemma that many enthusiasts struggle with when thinking about their muscle cars; they want to put their high-powered engines to the test, but they don’t want to make routine trips to the gas station every time they put the pedal to the floor.

Related Resources

Mustang V6 or EcoBoost?Mustang V6 or EcoBoost?

If you’ve spent any time on our website surfing for 2015+ Mustang parts, you’ve probably already come to the conclusion that there definitely isn’t an equal amount of aftermarket parts for the V6 as there is for the EcoBoost. Ever since the 2.3L EcoBoost’s introduction as the non-V8 Mustang, there has been an overwhelming popularity for that platform over the 3.7L. This is due in part of Ford’s push for the EcoBoost platform and the serious potential for that motor upon turning the boost up.

How-To Guide: Mustang Oil ChangeHow-To Guide: Mustang Oil Change

Changing your oil is very important when it comes to the longevity of your Mustang’s engine. Depending on the conditions you typically drive your Mustang in, it’s suggested that you change your oil on an average of every 5,000 miles with either full synthetic or a synthetic blend per Ford’s Owner’s Manual.

Single vs Dual ExhaustSingle vs Dual Exhaust

Single vs dual exhaust is an age-old debate when it comes to upgrading from your factory exhaust. You may already have a single exhaust and are thinking about converting to a dual exhaust system. Perhaps you may just want to keep your single exhaust setup but still upgrade to a better aftermarket exhaust for added performance benefits. Whether you are looking to update your current exhaust setup or looking at vehicles to purchase, there are pros and cons to both single and dual exhausts.

Mustang MPG by YearMustang MPG by Year

Which Mustang gets the best, and the worst, mpg rating? You might be surprised! We’ve organized the estimated mpg ratings of Mustangs from 1975 till 2019. Though fuel economy is rarely the top priority of Mustang enthusiasts, knowing your estimated mpg rating is a practical concern.