Does coasting save gas?

The new 2018 Ford F-150.
The new 2018 Ford F-150. –Ford

My husband shift into neutral to save gas. Does this actually work?

Q. We purchased a new Ford F-150, but my husband isn’t happy with its fuel economy. He shifts into neutral whenever there is an opportunity to coast — except in major intersections or on steep hills — claiming it saves on gas. I’m not so sure. Are we really saving any gas?

A. In trucker talk, this is referred to as a “Georgia Overdrive,” whenever a driver shifts into neutral while going downhill. It may allow for better mileage on a tractor-trailer since the engine is not slowing the truck. But you are driving a pickup truck, not a tractor-trailer, and it’s not worth it. Any slight savings in fuel economy will be lost in wear-and-tear to your vehicle’s transmission.


John Paul is AAA Northeast’s Car Doctor. He has over 40 years of experience in the automotive business and is an ASE certified master technician. Email your car question to

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