Hypermiling to Save Gas

Hypermiling can save gas and increase your gas mileage by as much as 15 mpg, but how safe and practical are these ways to save gas?

A hypermiler in Illinois averaged more than 90 mpg for more than a year driving a manual transmission hybrid Honda Insight.

The same guy was part of a team that drove a Toyota Prius for more than 1,200 miles....on a single tank of gas!

Hypermilers are fanatical about making adjustments to the way they drive to maximize their gas mileage. The quest to squeeze their miles per gallon of gas to the extreme becomes an obsession with them.

Many of these ways to save gas will increase your gas mileage dramatically...and even with gas guzzlers, but you will also see that many of them are impractical for "normal" humans. However, you can still adopt some of these techniques to save gas and money in your normal driving too.

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Good, bad and extreme, here are ways to save gas as used by hypermiling enthusiasts...

:: Drive Really Slow: Some hypermilers will limit their speed limit to only 38 mph! Hmmm, I'd like to see how many people that would piss off on the freeway, but for every 5 mph above 55 mph you drive, you can lose as much as 10% in gas.

:: Drive Without Braking: Constantly accelerating and then braking just to end up at the next stop wastes gas. Instead, accelerate gently and coast your way forward to the next stop.

:: Turn Off Your Engine and Coast: This is probabably a bad idea with most cars because doing this will shut off your power steering and power brakes and make controlling your car difficult, plus, what about wear and tear on your entire ignition system?

:: Plan Your Route: Plan your route to avoid dense traffic and big hills. Check out different routes to regularly visited destinations (like work) because sometimes driving a longer and flatter route can save gas.

:: Over-Inflate Your Tires: Hypermiling involves over-inflating your tires. I'm not sure yet how much the hypermilers are doing this, but under-inflated tires take a lot more energy to move. The downside is that over-inflated tires wear out sooner, compromise traction, give a rougher ride, and are more prone to blow-outs.

:: Use Thinner Oil: The viscosity of oil increases as it gets older so using a thinner grade of oil will be easier to push through your engine and will save gas. I wouldn't use any grade of oil that was not recommended in your owners manual though. I'm not sure if its true, but a mechanic once told me that thinner oil will wear out your engine sooner too.

Some of these hypermiling ways to save gas are good common sense and some are kind of ridiculous. Click here to check out more sane ideas for ways to save gas.

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