Want to get more miles per gallon without buying a hybrid car? Believe it or not, you can increase the fuel efficiency of your current vehicle by up to 35 percent. How? By implementing a new trend called hypermiling, and it’s sweeping the nation. Let’s find out why.
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The Hypermiling Concept
Recently, a hypermiling team in a Honda Accord set a world record traveling through 25 countries at 100 mpg on average. You may not get results like these, but you can copy some of their gas savings techniques.
The way you drive your car influences fuel consumption dramatically. Therefore, some simple changes in driving habits can save you a lot of gas money. For example, if you mash on the accelerator when the light turns green, you burn much more fuel than if you accelerate gradually.
The core concept of hypermiling is using your accelerator and brakes as little as possible. The more you coast, the more you save since coasting is more fuel efficient. So if you see a stop sign or red light ahead, let off the gas immediately and coast to a stop.
Car Prep Is Key
Your car’s maintenance is also a central part of hypermiling. Be sure you don’t carry any excess weight by emptying the trunk of unnecessary baggage. Also, keep tires inflated to the recommended pressure at all times to reduce drag. Proper wheel balance and alignment also help here.
If you install high performance spark plugs, you’ll get a boost in engine performance due to a larger combustion spark. Additionally, the lowest viscosity motor oil will keep your engine running smoothly and increase efficiency.
Steady As She Goes
When on the highway, try to keep your speed stable, without too much braking. Optimal speed is around 55 mph, so stick to the slow lane. You might get there a bit later, but you’ll save on gas.
Air Conditioning Tricks
When driving around town, roll the windows down instead of using the AC. At slower speeds, air drag from open windows is less of a power drain than on the highway. For longer road trips on the interstate, you can use the AC, but turn it on and off intermittently instead of having it blow full time. For hardcore hypermilers, the windows stay up and the AC stays off at all times – so they pack plenty of ice water to stay cool.
When hill climbing, take it slow. The lower your rpms, the less fuel you burn climbing. When going downhill, build momentum to maximize the distance you can coast at the bottom of the hill. Always scan well into the distance to be prepared for any obstacles or stops.
If you’re going to be stopped for over a minute, shut off the engine. In cold weather, instead of warming the car at a stop, drive gently until things get heated up. A few minutes bundled up in the car is a small price to pay for gas savings.
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