With gas prices rising every day, miles-per-gallon has become a household term. People are becoming more and more interested in saving money by increasing their gas mileage. Hypermiling techniques have arisen out of this generation and look to turn ordinary cars into highly efficient vehicles. While some hypermiling techniques are just downright dangerous, others are safe and practicable by everyday people. Here are a few techniques that can increase the gas mileage in your car to otherwise unthinkable levels:
- Lay a good foundation. I'm sure that many people already know the basics, but just in case, it is vital to do the little things that maintain your car. Things like slightly over-inflating your tires, using lighter oil (synthetic), and replacing air filters lay a great foundation that will allow you to save money on future gas purchases.
- Avoid your brakes. This technique does not have to be dangerous like it sounds. Simply avoid using your brakes unless it is necessary. Use the natural forces of friction and air resistance to slow down your car instead of prematurely stopping it yourself. By coasting up to red lights and timing their change to green correctly, you will save yourself the gas-draining acceleration of 0-20. Try going an entire car trip without using your brakes except for turning.
- Drop the dead weight. Remove anything from your car that is not absolutely necessary. There is no point in carrying around things like golf clubs or sports equipment unless you are going to the golf course.
- Reduce your drag. Items like flags and car racks greatly take away from the aerodynamic design of a car. By taking away these optional obstructions, your car will be able to operate more efficiently.
- Stop idling. Letting your car sit in one spot while it's running is absolutely terrible for the fuel efficiency. Turn the car off if the wait is going to be 30 seconds or more and you will be rewarded with more miles-per-gallon. Things like waiting for someone in a store, long drive-thru lines, or notoriously long red lights are perfect times to use this technique.
- Accelerate slowly. While it should go without being said, fast accelerations kill the miles-per-gallon of any car. To increase your fuel efficiency, try accelerating slower and maintaining a consistent speed. Cruise control is a great way to avoid unnecessary accelerations on highways.
- Follow the speed limit. This may be the hardest technique to implement. Simply following the speed limit or even riding a little bit under the limit will greatly increase the fuel efficiency of your car and save you a lot of money in the process.
While some of these techniques will not make you the most popular driver out on the road, they will greatly increase the gas mileage that you get. I can personally say that I have gotten 40 mpg, in hilly terrain, with a car that is supposed to average 18 mpg. If it works for me, I'm sure you can get it to work for yourself as well.