A suitable GF-5 engine oil formulation is investigated to improve the fuel economy of gasoline engines with hydrogen-free DLC-coated valve lifters. Molybdenum dithocarbamate (MoDTC) is shown to be a suitable friction modifier for low viscosity grade engine oils like 0W-20. A suitable Ca salicylate detergent is also determined from several types examined for maximizing the friction reduction effects of MoDTC. The most suitable Ca salicylate has a chemical structure capable of forming a borophosphate glass film on metal surfaces, which is known to improve the effects of MoDTC. A high viscosity index Group III base oil (VI>140) is also effective in improving fuel efficiency. It is further clarified that the structural design of the polymethacrylate viscosity modifier is another important factor in reducing engine friction.