With gas prices on the rise these days, ways to increase gas mileage are something we should all pay attention to. So, I’ve been scanning the internet trying to find tips I could pass on to help you improve your gas mileage and I ran across the concept of “hypermiling.” For those unfamiliar with the term, hypermiling is the science of squeezing every inch of mileage from your mpg.
Supposedly, it’s extremely beneficial, if not also a little extreme at times. But I’ll let you be the judge of that.
Oh, and in case you think hypermiling is all hype – the Maximum Fuel Economy contest was held in Elkhart, Indiana, where “world records” were set for the:
- Honda Insight (213 MPG)
- Toyota Prius (136 MPG)
- Ford Escape Hybrid (76 MPG)
Now to the tips …
- Drive with your windows closed and your air conditioner off. Seriously? Summer’s coming on, how do you expect us to survive the heat!? Guess I’ll wear my bathing suit to work.
- Don’t coast in Neutral – In neutral, your car thinks it’s idling and increases the engine’s RPMs.
- Avoiding breaking or accelerating hard – and avoid driving on LA Freeways because there’s only two speeds – 1.) get there fast and 2. ) stop even faster.
- Remove roof racks – talk about a drag. Evidently, a roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5%! So stuff everything inside!
- Keep your tires pumped up – under-inflated tires can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.
- Forget the coveted “closest parking space” – a.) walking is good for you. b.) you waste fuel looking for this elusive spot.
- Park facing out and downhill – that way you can just start up and drive off. And if you’re facing downhill, you can coast a bit too.
- Find a route that’s easy on your vehicle – routes with level roads and less traffic lights or stop signs generally do better than scenic routes that may include more hills, twists, and dips. It takes longer but you’ll save on gas.
- Use Your Cruise Control – it helps prevents you from “creeping” up in speed without realizing it.
- Don’t drive in big shoes – our “expert” says “big shoes take away the sensitivity you need with the throttle.” You gotta love that idea. So, no clowns allowed behind the wheel.
- ONE WE DON’T ADVISE DOING – “Draft” behind other vehicles – you’ll need a brave heart and a steady foot on the gas to do this and for good reason, this is highly frowned upon by most safety experts. *
*MythBusters confirmed that drafting does work. Here’s their MythBuster video.
SPECIAL NOTE FOR PRIUS DRIVERS SUCH AS MYSELF – Do the “Pulse & Glide”. It’s a bit complicated to perfect but if you’re a REAL hypermiler, this is a must. You’ll need to use your energy monitor for this (the display that shows the arrows going from the engine to the wheels to the battery.
First, pulse your car, that is, accelerate until you reach 40 mph, then ease back slightly on the accelerator until no energy arrows appear on the energy monitor. You are now gliding that is, you’re not relying on the engine nor are you recharging the battery. When the vehicle slows to about 30 mph, repeat the process, pulsing and then gliding. Before you know it, you are in a hypermile nirvana.
For more information, watch this video: