“Hypermiling” is the art of drastically changing driving methods in order to improve fuel efficiency and maximize gas mileage. It is a growing trend now where drivers become more conscience of their daily travel habits and make adjustments in order to exceed their vehicle’s EPA fuel economy rating. Here are a few tips that we at PWR feel are easiest and most helpful to know:
1. Drive the speed limit. Most traffic lights in metropolitan areas(and even some rural areas) are timed so that you “get the green” if you are driving the speed limit. Also, excessive acceleration and braking does nothing but cause you to use more gas than needed and puts more wear on your engine component parts.
2. Turn your car off if you are idling for 30 seconds or more. While you are sitting there waiting to pick up your kid from day care, or waiting at a fast food drive-thru, turn off your car’s engine. Many people still assume that it takes more gas to start your car back up than it would to just leave your car running and this is absolutely false with newer cars. The computer’s on board most modern vehicles today are programmed to use much less gas to start up than you might imagine so take advantage of the built in technology. Think about it, you get 0 miles per gallon if you sit and aren’t going anywhere.
3. On the highway, use the cruise control whenever possible. Drivers should use cruise control during long highway drives on level roads. This prevents “speed creep” — the tendency to gradually start going faster the longer you drive and cuts down on other wasteful speed changes which can reduce gas mileage.
4. Do not accelerate to a red light. Why burn extra fuel when it’s not giving your any advantage(figuratively and literally). Instead of zooming to the red light, try the “coasting technique where you let your car’s momentum to carry you to your stopping point. On the same token, don’t speed off after being stopped at a red light either.
5. Use your AC and avoid opening windows on the highway. It is a common myth that rolling down your windows is better than using the air conditioning to burn less gas. This actually negates any effects due to the significant loss in your cars aerodynamic integrity. As air flows into your car’s passenger compartment, the added resistance(referred to as “Drag”) is enough to bring your fuel economy back to similar levels if not worse than using AC. So the bottom line is, stay comfortable and don’t mess up your hair…use your AC!
6. Keep your tires inflated to the recommended levels. Not only is it dangerous to have underinflated tires(increased risk of a blow-out), it is also creating friction between your tires and the road. More friction means more gas. Check your tire’s sidewall for the right PSI rating and make sure to check your tires every 2-3 weeks for accuracy from there on.
7. Trip Stack. This is a term meaning consolidating everyday trips or errands into one sweep instead of going to one place at one time, and another place later on a different trip. Plan your route accordinglingy and hit multiple destinations in one trip to help save money and boost your fuel economy.
8. Car Pool. Get closer to a work buddy and coordinate to car pool. If you are splitting gas costs(at the time of writing this article, the ave. gas price in the Us is @ 3.97/gal for reg. unleaded) you are effectively paying half price for gas or doubling your fuel economy!
Try these easy and effective gas saving tips(which doesn’t require you to buy or add-on anything) and feel better as you are helping save the environment and keeping more hard earned money in your pocket!