We all love to get the most gas mileage we can. But then there are the "hypermilers", who consider it a challenge and a contest to see who can get the best gas mileage possible. Their competition stretches the limits of how far you can go on a gallon of gas. But it also creates some excellent tips for the rest of us who just want to make that gas dollar go a little farther.
So in the spirit of the hypermilers, here are some more "better gas mileage" tips:
Park In The Sun If You Have A Hybrid
The hypermiling community believes that parking in the sun has a couple of benefits. It warms your car up naturally. But the bigger benefit comes for those who have a hybrid vehicle. Many hybrids have an auto stop feature which stops the engine if the car is idling while hot. This is a big gas-saving feature, and hypermilers want to get the auto stop engaged as quickly as possible. So they park in the sun.
Roll Down The Windows In The City
By this, we mean to roll the windows down when you're not on the highway. Obviously when you're driving with the windows down, you're not using the air conditioner. The air conditioner sucks up about 10% of the fuel economy of the vehicle. But on the flip side, the faster you're going, the more drag is created when the windows are down, which also sucks up fuel economy. So the recommendation is to limit your A/C use at low speeds and get some fresh air.
Acceleration and Decceleration
Doing these smoothly and efficiently maximizes the work done by the car, and that spells better gas mileage. Smooth acceleration involves paying attention to what's ahead. You don't want to gun it out of the gate, only to run up on the person ahead of you. You have to apply your brakes and you've just wasted whatever gas was used to create that extra speed you didn't need.
Smooth decceleration involves being aware of traffic patterns so that braking and accelerating are minimized. You want to get the most of the energy created by the fuel.
Choosing The Right Gear In Manual
Automotive engineers know there's a sweet spot between the engine's RPMs and the fuel being consumed. This sweet spot seems to be about 1750 rpm. But you don't need 1750 rpm to maintain a cruising speed on the highway; with a manual transmission, you can choose a lower gear that will still maintain the speed you want to travel at. The lower the RPMs you can travel at, the better gas mileage you're going to get. So if you have a manual transmission, pay attention to this.
This post was published on December 17, 2013 and was updated on January 21, 2016.