Hypermiling: Tips For How To Get The Best Gas Mileage With The Car You Have
When we get behind the wheel of an automobile, we’re usually in a hurry to get to wherever we need to go. As a result, we leave behind so many ways to save on fuel economy. The good news is that you can start getting better gas mileage with the car you have now by following a few simple steps. As gas prices continue to hover above the $3 mark, these are definitely worth the extra effort.
Idle As Little As Possible
This is an especially hard tip to employ when the summer is in full swing and it’s hot outside, but you can save a significant amount on consumption by merely turning off your engine and sitting with the windows rolled down whenever you have to wait in your car. Nationwide auto insurance explains: “In a fuel economy test, Edmunds found that avoiding excessive idling can improve fuel economy by up to 19 percent.” Let’s say excessive idling costs you $50 per month in gas costs. Employing this one tip can cut that by close to $10, or more than $100 annually.
When it comes to speed, being consistent and not going too fast will allow you better control over starting and stopping. As Nationwide points out, “Maintaining a consistent speed is a key to maximizing fuel efficiency. Avoid accelerating rapidly and slamming on the brakes by anticipating red lights, stop signs, traffic slowdowns and sharp curves.” This requires an extra amount of focus on the road, but shouldn’t you be doing that anyway?
Use An Analysis Device
If you can really dig in to the data surrounding your driving habits, you will naturally become more aware of them, and more capable of improving upon them. Consider employing a device like SmartRide, which give you personalized feedback about your driving trends, thus helping you improve the number of times you accelerate quickly, brake hard, and other factors that can influence fuel efficiency.
Check Tire Pressure Frequently
By “frequently,” we mean at least one time per month. Whenever your tire pressure is lower than usual, your car has to work a little bit harder to get to where it’s going. By staying on top of this, Consumer Reports estimates that you can cut 3 percent off your overall fuel economy, adding that you can measure your pressure against the manufacturer’s recommended pressure, “which can typically be found on glove compartment door or driver’s side door pillar,” the watchdog publication states.
Lighten Your Load
If you use your vehicle as a storage shed, then you’re probably getting worse fuel economy than you should be. As Nationwide states, “Avoid carrying unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. 100 extra pounds of weight in your vehicle can reduce your gas mileage by up to 2 percent … Carry only the necessities, such as a few water bottles, a flashlight and other core emergency items.”
Cut Use Of Air Conditioner To A Minimum
Keeping your air conditioner on full blast will not do your fuel economy any favors. Full use will, in fact, drop gas mileage performance by anywhere from 5 to 25 percent. Instead, keep the AC off and windows down in city or suburban driving. Only use the AC on when on the highway and driving your fastest. And on the topic of speed, we close with this:
Keep It At 60
The faster your vehicle goes, the worse off your fuel economy will be. For that reason, you should avoid “opening it up” on the highway. Instead try to keep it at 60 miles per hour. Cruise control can help you if you’ve got that enabled in your vehicle. If not, just do your best to keep the needle in the 60 range on your odometer. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reports that every 5 miles over the 60 mph level is the equivalent to paying an additional 20 cents per gallon for gas.
If fuel economy is important to you, and you’re sick of paying so much at the pump, then don’t wait to employ these tips. Each can be handled with the car that you currently own, and the savings will surprise you over time.