Thursday, June 19, 2008


I’m pretty sure that most of you are aware of gas prices at this point, and I don’t have to tell you that the price per barrel is setting all kinds of high records. However, there is one thing you can do to improve your gas mileage that you may be unaware of. On a recently trek through the internet, I came across an article detailing Hypermiling and how it can save you money at the pump. Hypermiling is a technique of driving which incorporates more efficient changes that lead to an improvement in your car’s gas mileage. Such improvements, as I’m sure you are picking up on by now, will save you money. So how does one go about hypermiling? Well, my little oil-guzzling dears, I will tell you some of the many ways people out there are conserving fuel.

Take Your Gas Mileage
This can be done by setting your trip odometer to 0 the next time you fill up at the gas station. On your next stop at the gas station make sure to note how many gallons it took to fill your car up. Record this number along with the reading on your trip odometer; divide the number of miles driven for that period by the number of gallons it took to fill the tank. This is your gas mileage.

Lighten the Load
Simple people: the heavier the car, the more energy it uses in hauling it’s fanny down the street.

Avoid Hard Acceleration
The harder you press down on the gas pedal, the more gas you’re gonna use. If you have an automatic transmission, let momentum carry you forward a bit before pressing the gas pedal. It takes a lot more energy to start a stopped object than it does to increase the speed of an already moving object. Capiche?

Car Maintenance
Tires that are low on air make your car work that much hard to reach and maintain speed. Also, changing your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles will ensure that your car runs easily and thus, uses less fuel.

Park Forward
Park in a spot facing out, since it uses 25% less gas to pull forward than it does to back out.

The 3 Second Rule
Do you believe that cars actually apply their brakes 10%-25% more than necessary? Actually, after driving with my mother….I believe it. In creating a three second cushion between yourself and another car, you are allowing yourself more space to adjust to the other drivers around you without constantly applying the brakes (sidebar: if you can’t remember how to do the three second rule choose a landmark as you’re driving and time the number of seconds that pass from the time the car ahead of you passes it to the time you pass it). Through creating a buffer between yourself and other cars, you are more likely to rely upon your car’s momentum rather than the brake to slow down; doing so takes less energy (read: gas).

Remember, even when employing some of these tips; be courteous and aware of other people on the road. Sure, going exactly the speed limit is going to save you some money but is it worth causing an accident?


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