When To Shift Gears For The Best Fuel Economy

Engineering Explained
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When Should You Shift Gears? How To Get The Best Fuel Economy
When To Shift For Acceleration - ruvid.net/video/video-zZBqb0ZJSwU.html
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When is the best time to shift gears for maximum fuel economy? In this video we look at how to drive efficient, how to drive with good fuel economy, and when to shift gears to maximize fuel efficiency. When you're accelerating and shifting through the gears, it's important to keep the engine in an optimal region where it operates most efficiently if you want to maximize fuel economy. This engine region is determined by an engine's brake specific fuel consumption (BSFC).
BSFC is a measurement of the amount of fuel required to produce a certain amount of power, for a given engine load and RPM. Generally speaking, BSFC is highest in high load, low RPM regions. This video will demonstrate this by conducting a test showing fuel consumption with the engine at four different operating regions, but with the same power requirement for each - to keep a car moving at 60 mph. Check out the video for full details, and to learn when the best time to shift is!
Related Videos:
Best Shifting For Acceleration - ruvid.net/video/video-zZBqb0ZJSwU.html
LSPI: Don't Lug Your Engine - ruvid.net/video/video-soJea7xEt-8.html
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Autos & Vehicles

Published on


Aug 19, 2018

manualstick shift6 speedshift gearshow to drive manualhow to drive efficienthow to get good mpggear shiftskip gearsmanual transmissiondouble clutchaccelerationwhen to shifthow to shiftfastest accelerationbest fuel economydual clutch transmissionautomatic transmission5 speed5 manual transmissionhow it worksengineering explainedbesttop 10




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Engineering Explained
Engineering Explained 10 months ago
Here are two additional videos which supplement this nicely, hope everyone's having a great day! When To Shift For The Best Acceleration - ruvid.net/video/video-zZBqb0ZJSwU.html LSPI: Don't Lug Your Engine - ruvid.net/video/video-soJea7xEt-8.html
viuliscopmosco 2 months ago
do a research on how to convert a normal combustion car into an hybrid?? hahaha ive heard in India theyre doing it
PGTMR2 5 months ago
@David Crandon The engine is 25-26 years old with about 60k on it. It's an obd car running on an obd II ecu. I have parts and ecu from a newer engine and will eventually get around to making it distributorless. Single coil, inside of the disty, 7k rpm shifts, 3300 rpm at freeway speeds doesn't help either and wears ignition parts quick. But, lugging the engine seems to make it worse. 6 months to a year and cap, rotor, wires and plugs usually need a refresh. IF the distributor itself doesn't have an issue.
David Crandon
David Crandon 5 months ago
Cap and rotor? Wow, how old is this engine? (BTW, caps and rotors should be replaced regularly anyway). @PGTMR2
SAM DE BERRY 6 months ago
Your demo focuses on constant speed. In acceleration this is different, the engine is more efficient with an fully open throttle till 66% of rev range, then skip shift from say 2nd to 4th. Partial throttle can be less efficient. Just saying 😋 great channel btw.
Pecko88 TV
Pecko88 TV 7 months ago
Engineering Explained One very large factor you didn't take into account is the engine type, e.g. low RPM or high RPM engine design.
gabriel lemos
gabriel lemos 23 hours ago
Manual transmission>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> automatic
Just keep it under 3000 rpm and don't be lazy to change gear in order to gain lower rpm👌
Sushi Mamba
Sushi Mamba 2 days ago
Would the same principle apply to driving a turbo diesel with a DPF that may be prone to becoming clogged with exhaust deposits at lower RPM? I find I have to stay in lower gear/higher RPM/lower fuel economy to prevent too frequent DPF cycles happening and/or clogging of the DPF (I had it happen once and it was very expensive to replace the DPF).
Chunyu 99
Chunyu 99 3 days ago
If you are driving Subaru Impreza, you can't save fuel XD
Art Tafil
Art Tafil 4 days ago
The best shift point is at the torque peak of the engine. That’s where internal combustion engines are the most volumetrically efficient.
Jacob Larsen
Jacob Larsen 5 days ago
I really don't think this video answered the question. It still needs to address whether to to shift early during acceleration to reduce fuel consumption or do it later to make the time driving slow and inefficient a bit shorter. Also how much throttle should the car be given. This is not truly explained, but only touched upon. I would like to hear an explanation about finding a sweet spot for how fast to accelerate alongside when to change gear.
Felipe 6 days ago
Is there a limit on how low my rpms could be? I mean, if I want to get the best fuel economy, should I put my car on 6th gear when after a red light? (I know it doesn’t make sense, but theorically speaking)
evo eve evo
evo eve evo 6 days ago
When to shift Ans: up when your car screams at you Down when your car sounds like it's battery is low You don't have to spent 8mns to figure that out go out live your life
Jessé Steinert Barbiaro
How did you measure engine load?
Mon De Leon
Mon De Leon 7 days ago
This is what I always wanted to show my dad
Shawn Eliason
Shawn Eliason 7 days ago
I honestly thought this was common sense. If a person drives a standard, you would think they would be able to think a little more about fuel economy and know how and when to shift.. But.. manual or automatic transmission cars.. just use the gas pedal as needed.. ie. keep your foot out of it!
juste 8 days ago
how broke u have to be to watch this video
Ryan Acker
Ryan Acker 8 days ago
I like when the car goes vroom vroom.
Peter B.
Peter B. 9 days ago
This applies to the highway. In the city rapid accelerating but not exceeding the speed limit. That way you close the gap between top speed and average speed. And remember, if you see a red light take your foot off the accelerator. 1, 2, 4 or 5. Or if the next light is red, 1 to 20mph - 30km/h, 3rd.
BrightIdeas 9 days ago
You make a cardinal error in that you talk about acceleration and real world driving conditions while your test maintains a steady state. Engine load at constant speed needs to be on the high side because in a low load condition the relatively high rpm represents more power being generated than required. However, under acceleration the situation is completely different. Relatively high load means a high rate of acceleration which means a high demand for power which equals a high demand for the air/fuel that produces power. As one provides this extra fuel stoichiometric combustion is surpassed and excess fuel is delivered. This incomplete combustion (such as evidenced by black smoke in the extreme case) is not economical
ryvr madduck
ryvr madduck 9 days ago
Best time to shift - five hundred RPMs before redline. All vehicles have a different redline.
Frank Gutowski
Frank Gutowski 9 days ago
My ‘84 Peugeot 505 GL manual said that for the best fuel economy, shift into a high gear as soon as possible. That doesn’t mean to floor it, but not to dilly-dally in lower gears.
Jan Bloem
Jan Bloem 10 days ago
Moderate acceleration in the correct gear : don't shift up too early - lugging can actually use more fuel than a lower gear with moderate acceleration.
Awesome explanation as always! You're getting better mileage in 2nd gear 60 than my Ram in 5th... Lol
Willem Lambert
Willem Lambert 11 days ago
My cousin ruined already 5 gearboxes. When I finally asked him "how and when do you shift ?" He told me, "If I want to go all the way fast, i go, 1st, 2nd, 3th, 4th, 5th gear and then I go to R for RACE,...... and EVERY TIME the gearbox gets destroyed...... strange...
Christian Brock
Christian Brock 11 days ago
I remember asking for this video, can't believe I missed it when it came out. thank you for listening
124 Spider
124 Spider 11 days ago
Lol. Shift before you stall.
1147cc 11 days ago
its really depends on the power band... esply an old small car like my 1147cc Spitfire.
He Was Dead When I Got There
Is the word "especially" too difficult or time consuming for you? Lol wow
Guy Connell
Guy Connell 11 days ago
Addressing this topic is like attempting to define lugging. Certain folks just HAVE to have a certain RPM number and cannot seem to understand that an engine can be lugging at 4000 RPM steady state and not lugging under certain circumstances at 1500 RPM.
_Underscore_ 11 days ago
Ok BUT if I am (driving a diesel) in 6 at 50 km/h (30mph) I will use more than if i was in 3 or 4th gear. So you miss something here...
Ricky Rex
Ricky Rex 12 days ago
When driving in traffic i shift at 3k. When im hooning i shift at 5k but im also in a 4 cylinder idk if that affects anything
yo mama
yo mama 12 days ago
Is it better to get an automatic car?
Qaczqa 13 days ago
When to shift? When the car is shaking
retepaskab 14 days ago
It's also important for fuel economy to have a high useful/gross weight ratio (passenger seats filled).
joel madlansacay
joel madlansacay 15 days ago
I learn more from the comments than the video itself
Time Code
Time Code 14 days ago
Yeah I don't think I learned anything from that video
Simon Blackham
Simon Blackham 17 days ago
As resistance to increasing altitude is rewarded with increasing potential energy (mh) so it is worth using power to climb hills ... although the energy of speed (1/2 mv^2) is high it is reduced significantly by increasing drag which is a dead loss. Braking is also a dead loss (except regenerative braking in electric vehicles).
Avery Glenn
Avery Glenn 18 days ago
“laughs in redline”
Steffen Zlk
Steffen Zlk 18 days ago
What would be great to see is a comparison of mid term fuel consumption at the same distance between: 1) faster acceleration with higher rpm and immediately after reaching the desired speed, shifting into highest gear and keep it rollin (= short time of high consumption, long time of low consumption) 2) slow acceleration in higher gears to desired speed and keep it rollin (= longer time of mid fuel consumption, less time of low consumption)
ussling 19 days ago
A perfect way to get an idea of when to shift is to ride a multi-speed bicycle (called 10 speed back in the olden days). Pedaling hard at slow speed in a high gear will definitely get the rider's attention, and burn the legs and lungs. Then apply this to a manual transmission car.
Supreme Renegade
Supreme Renegade 19 days ago
300k on my little V8 and I’ve never had to use 4th or 5th gear get on down the road in 3rd gear at 85mph no problems. Matter fact, I had to re-enforce the little plastic peg that stops my rpm needle from going any further.
Nicolas Gif
Nicolas Gif 20 days ago
If so, having a bigger engine (more torque) to have the same power at low rpm would be more economic?
Zac Design
Zac Design 16 days ago
Yes like diesel engines
GAME & OTOCARS 20 days ago
Automatic,dsg,cvt please
Geoff J
Geoff J 22 days ago
43 mpg right above 2,500 rpm is impressive. At 60 mph, a Cruze Eco achieves the same fuel economy around 1,700 rpm in 6th gear.
Angel Gutierrez
Angel Gutierrez 19 days ago
Geoff J Mine does 850 rpm at 60 mph :)
Guitar3000LP 23 days ago
I was taught to shift at 2000 rpm, works really well and is pretty quiet as well.
An Drei
An Drei 22 days ago
Same. Except for a few scenarios, like if i'm going uphill or when i'm carrying passengers or heavy load.
PengunFury 23 days ago
When is it optimal to shift? quick answer : when you get to 3000 rpm
LazyMe420 22 days ago
lol no
alex Nd
alex Nd 24 days ago
well I go 60 mph with 2800rpm at 5th gear , so basically I can't have economy xD
alex Nd
alex Nd 22 days ago
@J.Z.G I sell hydrogen devices , so I can do some economy 😁
J.Z.G 22 days ago
At 120 kph I'm at 3400 So I'm basically broke
Charlie Tate
Charlie Tate 24 days ago
SHIFT @ 2900 RPM
thelolmaster1997 24 days ago
i wondered why my nissan micra eats so much fuel at 110, wind resistance!
wird klap
wird klap 24 days ago
Just shift at low rpm's. Ez
Logical Volcel
Logical Volcel 24 days ago
Best time to shift is just before the vacuum secondaries open up
Andrew Renner
Andrew Renner 26 days ago
Does tossing the car in neutral and coasting to a stop sign/light help with fuel efficiency?
pereni david
pereni david 24 days ago
No, you get 0 l/min consumption in engine breaking
Jambo Rmbac
Jambo Rmbac 26 days ago
we in EU drive like that
SO2002 27 days ago
EE: Fuel Economy RX-8: *_We dont do that here_*
Brandon Sanchez
Brandon Sanchez 24 days ago
Unless it has an LS
Pytz Arregaçado
Pytz Arregaçado 27 days ago
Start up the car in the second gear, where you consume more fuel is in the start up,l and u don't need the power that first gear gives you
Pytz Arregaçado
Pytz Arregaçado 24 days ago
@Green Gamer you don't need much power, the golf have 120hp is enough to start in second gear in plane places or in low inclination roads
Green Gamer
Green Gamer 24 days ago
Pytz Arregaçado it’s not a car with huge power. Don’t think you’d be able to start it in second gear
Pytz Arregaçado
Pytz Arregaçado 25 days ago
@Green Gamer VW golf 2003
Green Gamer
Green Gamer 25 days ago
Don’t know what car you drive but almost all cars will not start in second gear. Specially if you’re going up. In that scenario you will definetly need to start in first gear
shane brady
shane brady 28 days ago
2nd gear at that speed must be deafening
screaming chivo
screaming chivo 29 days ago
2nd gear at 60 miles an hour ??? ... you trying to BLOW THE ENGINE dude ??? ... and the best way to save fuel with a standard transmission is by DOWNSHIFTING to a COMPLETE STOP ... people will be on your ass because you're slowing down with no brake lights but while they're riding their brakes you are not only saving them ... you're saving your fuel as well ... and don't go any higher than 3,000 rpm for each gear when down shifting ... you are literally just TAXING everything under the hood with all that force you are putting to the front wheels with high rpm down shifts ... I shift every 3,000 rpm when accelerating ... every 2.5 rpm when no one is behind me since I don't need to pick up that fast ... and I never go past 3 when down shifting ... it literally is the best rpm for daily driving
Gordon Huynh
Gordon Huynh Month ago
the answer is always......redline.
john moser
john moser Month ago
It had to be hard to dop the second gear run....... spinning it like a madman
Count Dracula
Count Dracula Month ago
To sum things up: Most fuel efficient acceleration: From 1500rpm to 3000rpm Best fuel economy: Highest gear at any speed that the engine can take. NOTE: Do not accelerate with high gear at low speeds. If you are driving in 5th gear at 50km/h (35mph) do not use that gear to get to 120km/h. Your flywheel will suffer the most, especially if you are driving a diesel with a dual mass flywheel. You are welcome!
Willem Lambert
Willem Lambert 11 days ago
Every car have a manual. Find the manual chapter where it talk about max torque. Maximum torque is the rpm where your engine have the most power with the less effort. In a 4 cylinder car it will be around 3200 to 3500 RPM. A 5 cylinder (which will have more power) will feel the most "happy" around 2600 to 3000 RPM. It is all not to difficult, LISTEN to you engine. When you get to know the sounds he make, you can HEAR when he doesn't need to "work hard". When you HEAR him starting to roar a little, shift to higher gear. When you car (especially 4 cylinders) start to stutter (you can hear AND feel that) shift DOWN. Your best consumption will be staying around the max torque,... always stay there, your consumption will be low. With any new or other car, you need to pay attention. Once you get to know your car (and the sounds he makes) your body will be in control,... meaning, you don't need to pay attention anymore, your body and brain will drive the car,... trust them, they know....
MonRoe x
MonRoe x Month ago
Funny that this video was recommended to me. For the past week or so, I've been driving my Focus ST like a baby. For the past couple months I've been beating the hell out of it and getting very poor fuel economy. So for the past week I've been shifting mad crazy early, maintaining an average of 2000 RPMs when driving. The difference...? An additional 40 miles to the tank. And that's just City driving.
ChiquitoMikito Month ago
Actually the correct time to shift is several moments after slapping limiter
JosVideosHD Month ago
You are not forced to choose when to shift, you are free to choose.
Olumide Idowu
Olumide Idowu Month ago
Just get an automatic car.
Gonzalo Garcia
Gonzalo Garcia Month ago
Hi Jason is it safe to drive a car in second gear at 60mph?
Always Flush
Always Flush Month ago
Unless you're trying to beat that minivan over taking you, Shift up you will consume more gas and strain your engine, im usually in 4th gear at 60mph
Vinay Gautam
Vinay Gautam Month ago
Does this apply similarly to disel engines?
HarrysDog malaysia
What the hack? Im at lost. If 0 to 30 (acceleration) focus on low gear and cruising at 60 on high gear? He is making it too confusing
Eli Teli
Eli Teli Month ago
Yes. Accelerate with high rpm, cruise with low rpm.
Adrian Ionut Barat
After all this engineering explained my brain is spinning at very high rpm right now.
Adrian Ionut Barat
@Engineering Explained Yeah, exactly :)
Engineering Explained
Time to shift!
xXx Month ago
Most standard malaysian car, around 3000 rpm. Cruising at the speed of 80-100kmh. No AC, hard accelerate and hard brake. Done. Or start walking. *blinking fuel tank*
HarrysDog malaysia
Hello fellow malaysian
Cheung14 Month ago
Wow very informative, I love it
Guillermo Garcia
Holy crap!!!... 3 minutes of video and everything is wrong....
K s h F i 3 d
K s h F i 3 d Month ago
Simply said... Try to not push too hard on the throttle (unless needed) Your best bet is to hold still the accelerator and try to hold with the speed limits (rather slower than faster) Know when your car can shift a specific gear and use it to shift just right where the gear starts and the most important... DONT REV YOUR CAR ALOT
internetguy Month ago
I shift when i hear the engine starts to rev to high, that's what I love with manuals, you and the car are one with each other
Aadith narayanan
Low rpm = less cycles per minute , as gasoline / Diesel is filled per 2 cycles (4 stroke ) and the rpm is less ,there will be less injection stroke so less fuel consumed per minute than high rpm
srinitaaigaura Month ago
Keep speed high and revs low. The sweet spot it is. Although this might not be practical, driving below 55 mph keeps aero drag down which is what causes the fuel consumption to increase. Or drive in e mode.
zee wolf
zee wolf Month ago
As an European, used to deal with manual... the Engine... "says" exactly the right time to change shift... duh... Americans...
Nasir alDeen
Nasir alDeen Month ago
I like your videos! Thanks!
Se7entynet Month ago
BMW drivers didn’t like this.
Tittu Lawrence
Tittu Lawrence Month ago
Lol 🤣
Son of Jacob
Son of Jacob Month ago
It varies depending on the car brand and type. But 2.5k rpm is the ideal for most petrol (gasoline) cars.
Josh Hernandez
Josh Hernandez Month ago
Shifting at low RPM (2500-3500)
Stan Szeto
Stan Szeto Month ago
Your BSFC curve = torque curve = volumetric efficiency.
Kathy Baldock
Kathy Baldock Month ago
THANK YOU for making the information technically correct and accessible. This was helpful.
Jedediah Gordon
Jedediah Gordon Month ago
my 99 F150 doesn't have an rpm gauge on the dash.. yes its a manual..
Batojiri1 Month ago
If this was true, I'd have over 60 MPG with my diesel car at 40 MPH, in 6th gear at 1,000 RPM, which is practically inaccurate in reality. The engine prefers to be between 1,500-2,000 RPM to get the best fuel economy. The engine isn't lugging either at 1,000 RPM.
Tamlin Giles
Tamlin Giles 2 months ago
Keep revs between 1500-2000 while cruising, accelerating dont let them get above 3000.... pretty basic really
HELENO HENZO 2 months ago
before the rpm bar gets to the red
The_Touring Jedi
The_Touring Jedi 2 months ago
What he is trying to tell you that, when you are low on cash in your pocket you shift from 1st directly to 3rd and then 5th gear and let the car roll on it self dowhill. With this philosophy you get the best MPG. Reving your engine at low gear sucks out your bank account🤣🤣 and thats a fact.
Dartheomus 2 months ago
Think about an RPM and what happens during that cycle. Your pistons back and forth, meaning a shift in momentum which is inefficient. (Let's minimize that!) Also, every second time the cylinder travels back and forth, you need to inject gas and burn it. (Hence more RPM = More gas burned.) So yes, it's very logical that you want your RPM low if you want fuel economy. So what is the down side? Well, technically you are working your engine harder. Think about riding a bike up a hill in low gear vs. high gear. At some point, you blow your damn knees out! :) So technically you are probably wearing out SOME of the components in your engine a bit faster, but things like piston rings should be better off because they aren't going up and down as frequently. /shrug. Overall, it's better to run low RPM unless you are racing.
Military Broadcaster HD
When it says too right?
Ri Max
Ri Max 2 months ago
You shift when the engine goes BABABABABABABA
flisko 2 months ago
i dont even switch from first gear, riddle me that
StillNoPickles 2 months ago
I don’t even go out of neutral, I push my car uphill and coast downhill
Pék Backer
Pék Backer 2 months ago
so use 2nd gear at 60 mph, for zero engine load, saves money right?
Erick Castillon
Erick Castillon 2 months ago
Why am I watching this? I pretty much shift near redline all the time😂 theres no " fuel efficiency" in my driving book
Runnin' Wild with Milwaukee Buck!
What about throwing the car in neutral & then using the service break?
Freakey TTV
Freakey TTV 2 months ago
So would it be safe to assume that, if possible and surroundings apply, one can just start acceleration from 2nd gear? If it generates roughly the same power with fewer RPMs, wouldn't it be better to just go 2nd gear until you hit 2.5-3k, then go 3rd to 2.5k, then 4th to 2k, then 5th at 2k, and 6th at 2k? This seems more reasonable than starting in 1st everytime when you're just going to be shifting in less than 1 second on a 45mph road anyway...
Turk ee
Turk ee 2 months ago
3:40 ;)
Dahoon 2 months ago
I see the car has 100 % identical dash at the speedo as an older Alfa romeo. Nice copy&paste there Subaru.
lifeisgood070 2 months ago
You should've linked load to the rate of acceleration to get a more accurate graph. You're just guessing.
lifeisgood070 2 months ago
@Dombomb Throttle position has a way bigger impact on mpg than rpm according to the sensors I've seen. RPM is a good estimator for relatively predictable load below the engines power range like highway driving. It's different with acceleration.
Dombomb 2 months ago
Rpm is a better representation of fuel consumption i believe
Patrick Doyle
Patrick Doyle 2 months ago
Measurements at 58mph are an odd choice for determining "when to shift", a decision one makes when trying to get up to 58mph. I was hoping to see the differences between shifting at, say, 2500 vs 2000 vs 1500 rpm.
MoeGreenesEye 2 months ago
How many gears are there worldwide?
best gameplay
best gameplay 2 months ago
i learned 2.1 toures
JNJ 2 months ago
Save on fuel.....Sell your car!!
Tiger Flyer Channel
Tiger Flyer Channel 2 months ago
Andre Hernandez
Andre Hernandez 2 months ago
Why does this guy look like beto o’rouke tho
Solidude Hermit
Solidude Hermit Month ago
Ronald 2 months ago
60mph in 2nd gear would destroy my car 😂
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