Hypermiling - Maximize Your Car's Fuel Economy

Hypermiling - Maximize Your Car's Fuel EconomyFinding new ways to save money is always fun :). Today transportation costs are an integral part of every one's budget. Since most of us drive our own cars, we often look for ways to trim our gas expenses.

Whenever we drive, we try to save gas with good driving habits. Further, we regularly read about how we can increase our car's fuel efficiency. This weekend while doing our research on optimizing our car's gas usage, we discovered hypermiling. Wondering what it really meant, we dug on.

Wikipedia describes hypermiling as:
Hypermiling is the act of driving using techniques that maximize fuel economy. Those who practice these techniques are referred to as "hypermilers."

Hypermiling is defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary as the attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one's vehicle and one's driving techniques.
These days, drivers are putting their vehicles to the test to see just how far they can stretch a car’s limits in order to save gas. Some hypermilers have reported to have obtained 80 to 100 miles per gallon on vehicles to the surprise of their vehicles' manufacturers!

If we are seeking better fuel efficiency from our cars, we may want to try hypermiling. However, it is very important to keep in mind that some of the tactics used can be dangerous, even with the new car safety features that are becoming available. Some of the more popular hypermiling techniques used by hypermilers include:
  • Driving Slowly - Some people opt for just driving slowly, often below the speed limit. Others engage in what is called “coasting,” sometimes turning their engine off while still driving.
  • Making Lights - It can be frustrating to miss a green light. Well, hypermilers try to engage in timed driving so they will hit all the green lights and avoid the red ones.
  • Avoiding Braking - Since braking inevitably causes us to use more gas, hypermilers try to avoid doing it as much as possible. They keep a distance between their car and those in front of them, as well as taking turns and curves at high speeds. By doing this, they avoid slowing down thus saving gas.
  • Keeping Warm - Hypermilers save gas by avoiding the use of their vehicle's air conditioner as much as possible. They make it a habit to pull their windows down whenever possible.
  • Road Attention - In an attempt to reduce resistance, hypermilers pay more attention to the actual lane than others. They usually try ridge-riding, where they avoid driving on the most worn part of the road.
  • Tire Inflation - To reduce the rolling resistance, hypermilers inflate their vehicle's tires more than is recommended by the manufacturer.

Is it worth it?

Hypermiling requires a driver to think differently and challenge one's driving skills in order to save money. Engaging in one or more of the above tactics may save us some gas and money. How much is the real question? The answer will determine whether or not it is actually worth the effort.

We can always log our car's gas mileage and add a couple of techniques to see how many extra miles we are getting per gallon. If we continue, we will soon know which gas saving techniques work for us. There is no doubt that we will find at least one or two things which we can add to our routine in order to comfortably save our hard earned dollars.

If you have been using hypermiling, please let us know which techniques worked well for you. We are looking forward towards your comments. All the best with hypermiling :).

Image Source(s): iStockPhoto