On June 9th i started tracking my fuel consumption with fuelly. I wanted to test out a few Hypermiling techniques to see if you can really save gas by driving consciously. I drove one tank of gas using my easy for everyone hypermiling techniques and one tank of gas like I usually drive (heavy on the gas). I initially filled up on June 9th, it took through July 24th for me to get through my first tank of gas, the second tank of gas was up on August 14.
Driving conservatively saved me 2.2mpg on a single tank of gas. Assuming my tank is 16.5 gallons I would have gotten an extra 33 miles out of a single tank of gas, saving me just a bit over the cost of a gallon of gas. While that $2.38 may not add up as quickly for me (I work from home most of the time) my wife would be saving over $100 per year. Of course gas is a lot cheaper now than it was not that long ago, if we were still paying $5 a gallon the savings would be a lot more apparent. I think I could have further increased my mileage if I had been more diligent in applying my techniques. What did I do you ask? Well here you go, my 5 easy driving tips to increase your gas mileage:
No Jack Rabbit Starts: Seriously where are you going anyway, this isn’t “The Fast and the Furious” and you are not Paul Walker or Vin Diesel. When the light turns green stop treating it like a drag strip and slowly and evenly accelerate away from the stop.
Anticipate Stops: This one is a little bit trickier. When you are driving you need to start planning ahead and anticipating your stops. If you know you are going to be stopping, cease all acceleration and allow your car to coast. Best case scenario is the light will turn green before you get there and you can continue on your way. Otherwise try to plan it so your car will almost stop itself with little to no braking. Brakes turn the forward energy created by burning gasoline into heat/friction on your brake rotors. The less braking you do, the less gas you are wasting.
Don’t Idle: This little trick gets me interesting looks at stop lights but can probably provide you with the biggest bang for your buck. Contrary to popular belief you aren’t going to do irreparable damage to your car, and the amount of gas it takes to start your engine wouldn’t even idle your car for 10 seconds. I tried to be aware of light timing and would turn my engine off at stop lights. Another popular myth is that your car needs to warm up, the most effective way to increase the heat in your car is to drive it. Don’t let your car sit in the drive for 30 minutes to get warm, just get in it and go.
Slow and Steady: You know those white signs on the side of the interstate with the black numbers on them. What are they called again? Speed Limits. While most people call these suggestions, slowing down and going the speed limit can actually save you money. Fuel Efficiency in most vehicles starts to take a nose dive past around 60 mph so staying around 60 while driving can actually improve your fuel efficiency. During the conservative portion of my little test I never went over 55mph, EVER. The people on the interstate hated me, but it gives you a little more time to relax on your way to work.
Car Maintenance: Maintaining your vehicle properly will not only extend the life of your car but will also improve your gas mileage. Make sure you are changing your oil and your air filters when needed. In addition maintaining proper tire pressure is very important. I actually keep my tires 11 psi above the vehicle recommended pressure. I am still below the tires maximum sidewall pressure but above the cars recommendation. This causes a bumpier ride but decreases friction and increases gas mileage.