Hypermiling as a Way to Stretch Miles per DollarDownload Audio Version
Hypermiling is a way to save gas dollars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, you can achieve an improvement of up to 40 to 50 percent over your car’s mpg figures. It is also a way to keep your engine running for longer because improved fuel efficiency minimizes the demands on your vehicle’s engine.
Techniques and Tricks
The Air Cone and Load
There are different techniques to help you improve your gas mileage. One is to minimize the air conditioning. This will increase your fuel efficiency by 20 – 25 percent. Use the ventilation fan or open the driver’s window. You may also want to lighten the load on your vehicle. Clean junk from your car and truck.
Offline and Online Communities
If you are a new driver, you may attend a driving clinic. Hybrid owners join to discuss different fuel efficient techniques. Non-hybrid owners are also welcome. Alternatively, you can join a fuel economy forum where members share their experience.
Tire Inflation and More
Checking tire inflation on a regular basis also helps save on gas. The rolling resistance decreases when the pressure is higher. Do not over-inflate your tires, however, because this may result in blow outs and premature wear and tear. The outside temperature is an important factor. Tire pressure decreases when temperature drops. The rolling resistance also increases with bad weather, i.e. slush, snow, and rain. You should avoid tailgating as well. It is dangerous to begin with and results in more frequent braking.
If possible, leave early to avoid rush hour. This helps improve your driving efficiency as you don’t feel pressed to drive faster to reach your destination. The faster you drive, the more resistance and drag on your car. Planning your trip also helps maximize efficiency. You may plan your refueling trips so that you avoid unnecessary idling and lines. Avoid fast food joints with drive-thrus for the same reason. Ordering results in excessive idling.
There are efficient and less efficient ways to slow down. Regenerative braking, regenerative coasting, and coasting in neutral are more efficient than friction braking, whatever your car is. The method of choice depends on traffic. Remember that every time you press the brake pedal, gasoline is transformed into heat and dust.
There are advanced techniques for experienced drivers, including drafting, coasting in neutral, pulse and glide, and others. Some drivers also master advanced parking tactics such as driving into a pull-through spot and reverse in. When possible, pick a spot in the periphery instead of choosing one that is as close to the mall as possible.
Basically, the goal is to use the brakes and gas pedal as infrequently as possible. The more you press the gas pedal, the more fuel you use. The same happens when you use the brakes. Driving below or at the speed limit also helps improve fuel efficiency. The reason is that you use less fuel to maintain momentum. Some drivers use more extreme techniques to save fuel, for example, they turn off the engine while coasting. The American Automobile Association warns that such methods are unsafe.
Techniques for Hybrid Cars
One option is to use to green or eco mode to maximize fuel efficiency. Turn off the air conditioning, wipers, lights, and radio when you don’t need them. Press the accelerator pedal lightly to make sure the vehicle is running on electricity instead of fuel.
Measuring Fuel Efficiency
One way to do this is to install a fuel consumption display device. You will be able to see changes in miles per gallon used. Hybrid cars are usually equipped with display devices. Fortunately, such devices can be installed on non-hybrid cars as well.
Other Ways to Save on Gas
Obviously, one way to do this is to drive less and take public transit. Carpooling is another option. Park and ride is getting popular among cyclists and is convenient if your commute is bike friendly. If you live in rented accommodation, you may move closer to work.
Ecodriving is another practice for drivers who want to limit the negative impact on the environment. The focus is on decelerating gradually and driving at a steady speed to minimize greenhouse gas emissions.
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