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Hypermiling: The Ultimate Way to Save on Gas

Hypermiling

When you’re serious about saving gas, there is an extreme set of fuel-saving methods you can turn to which are called hypermiling. You can practice hypermiling techniques on any car, although some techniques need to be adjusted for the unique mechanical characteristics of a vehicle. For example, the techniques you would use to hypermile a Toyota Prius would differ in some ways when compared to the methods used to hypermile a Chevrolet Suburban. At first, you will need to experiment with the different techniques and see what works best for your particular vehicle. That effort will pay off later as you stop for fuel less often and save considerable money.

Before getting into some hypermiling techniques, you need to be aware that there are many fuel-saving gimmicks out there that promise an incredible or even a reasonable increase in fuel economy, but in fact do nothing to increase a car’s efficiency. Some examples include fuel line magnets, air intake propellers and a large array of fuel tank additives. Before you buy any products that promise to increase your car’s fuel efficiency, check out the veracity of those claims through a respected third party organization.

One of the best ways to squeeze all of the mileage out of your vehicle as possible is to smooth out how you drive your car. Jack-rabbit starts, which is when drivers lurch the vehicle forward and accelerate quickly after stopping, actually work against a car’s fuel efficiency. If you see that there is a red light ahead, you should take your foot off the accelerator and cruise toward the light. In fact, using the brakes less often and instead allowing the car to slow down by cruising increases fuel efficiency.

Attack hills wisely. You should coast down hills, touching the accelerator little and instead allowing gravity to do most if not all of the work. When climbing hills, it’s tempting to press on the accelerator so you make your way up the incline quickly. Doing so will consume more fuel. At the most, you should maintain your car’s speed, but if you are looking to hypermile you should actually keep pressing the accelerator as much as you were before climbing the hill, ignoring the fact that your speed is dropping and instead enjoying the increased fuel economy.

While it’s helpful to measure your fuel economy every time you stop for fuel, it’s even more helpful to be able to constantly monitor your car’s fuel economy performance. Many newer cars have such an option as part of the infotainment system. Cars that do not offer the feature and were built in 1995 or later can be outfitted with a relatively inexpensive fuel economy computer, which plugs into the car’s OBD II port.

A more extreme but still sane way to increase fuel economy is to use tape to smooth out the exterior of your vehicle. You can use a tape that leaves little to no residue, like painter’s tape, to cover up body gaps that make your car less aerodynamic. The most notorious of such gaps is the space between the hood and front fenders. Beware that covering up the front of the car, especially the grille and air dam, could decrease the car’s fuel efficiency by starving the engine of air.

Finally, you should plan to combine trips as much as possible. When running several errands, go to the destination that is the furthest away first, allowing the engine to heat up to its optimal operating temperature instead of running a cold engine to several places at first. Also, do as many nearby errands on foot, which will help you cut back on fuel costs as well as improve your personal health.

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