You’ve no doubt heard about the term hypermiling, even if you don’t know the details behind its definition. It’s become the new concept of getting the most fuel efficiency out of your car using various easy and sometimes extreme means. While some people are living by the hypermiling creed by doing things with their cars others wouldn’t, you don’t have to go overboard to make a difference in getting more bang for your fuel buck.
If you were to say to your friends that you’re getting into hypermiling, what would they expect you to do at the very least?
Avoidance of Speeding Up and Slowing Down
Many people don’t realize that constantly speeding up and then breaking hard on a busy highway can burn more gas than sitting in traffic or driving slower. It’s one reason why it’s always recommended you drive slower in traffic rather than hitting the pedal to the floor every few minutes. Regardless, you’re better off finding an alternate route than the highway anyway to avoid starting and stopping. If you can, find a route where you can keep moving and not end up in bottlenecks.
Weight on Top of Your Car
Those racks you have on top of your car are actually adding more weight than you think. By removing them, your fuel economy increases by 5%. While this might not be easy if you’re a skier or biker and you place your skis and bike up there while traveling, you’re better off keeping everything inside the vehicle than on top. Any kind of weight on your car puts more of a drag on fuel economy.
Avoid Searching for Closer Parking Spots
This may be something you hadn’t thought about, despite being a natural reflex in all of us in busy parking lots. We don’t always realize how much gas it takes to go around in circles finding a parking spot that’s closer to the door of a store. You’re better off just taking the first parking spot you can find, even if it’s a considerable distance away. The walking exercise will do you good as you partake in true hypermiling.
Using Cruise Control
Many people don’t bother to use cruise control in their cars when on the road. If you haven’t, you may want to now to keep your speed steady when on a highway. All of us are guilty of never keeping the legal speed we’re supposed to when traveling. When on a straight stretch, your foot is going to press harder on the pedal and increase your speed by as much as 5 to 10 miles from where you started. In cruise control, you can maintain a speed and help eliminate that problem of going faster and ultimately losing fuel efficiency.
You’re better off not trying the dangerous concept of drafting behind trucks on the highway. This is where you follow a truck at close range to block any wind coming at you. By doing this, you’re essentially saving up to 39% on miles per gallon. MythBusters did an episode on this in the late 2000s, and they recommended no one try it because of the lack of ability to stop in time if the truck jams on its brakes.
As a hypermiling fanatic, you benefit sticking with the basic things that can help you save on your gas bill–even if gas prices go low.