Some folks have this “hypermiling” down to an art form. If you don’t know what “hypermiling” is, here’s a little primer.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – You can get 35 percent better fuel mileage out of your current vehicle by using a device most drivers already have.
That would be your right foot.
Most drivers agonizing over the cost of gasoline fail to realize the enormous impact their driving style has on fuel consumption.
During the last run-up in fuel prices, we wrote about Edmunds.com’s tests of common fuel-saving driving tips. Some common tips, it turned out, had little or no effect on fuel economy. (Edmunds.com provides data and content for CNN.com’s automotive Websites.)
For example, using the air conditioner at highway speeds had no appreciable effect on fuel economy compared to rolling down the windows.
Keeping your tires properly inflated, while important for safety, has only a small effect on fuel mileage, according to Edmunds.com’s tests.
Using cruise control on the highway, though, really does have a noticeable effect on fuel economy. In Edmunds.com’s test using a Land Rover LR3 and a Ford Mustang, the Land Rover got almost 14 percent better mileage using cruise control set at 70 miles per hour rather than cruising at driver-controlled speeds between 65 and 75 miles per hour. The Mustang got 4.5 percent better mileage.
Using cruise control cuts down on unnecessary speed changes which can eat up gas and it prevents “speed creep.” the tendency for a driver’s average speed to gradually increase with time spent on the road. (In that way, it can save you from an expensive speeding ticket, as well.)
If you want a big gain in fuel mileage, though, you need to seriously lay off the pedals when driving around town. Accelerating more slowly away from green lights and stopping more gradually for red lights cut fuel consumption in Edmunds.com’s tests by 35.4 percent for the Land Rover and 27.1 percent for the Mustang.
Slamming down the gas pedal pushes more fuel into the engine while it also keeps the engine running faster.
You can also save a lot of gas by just lifting your foot off the accelerator as soon as possible when approaching a yellow or red light or a stop sign.
For one thing, letting up on the gas sooner gives your car more coasting time.
- The first step toward saving gas and increasing mpg: Always know your gas mileage after each visit to the gas pump.
- The second step: do you drive agressively but not know it?
- The third step: Video: How long are you sitting still at red lights?
- The fourth step: Keeping yourself moving in traffic congestion
- The fifth step: Slowly accelerate after stops
- The sixth step: Your cruise control saves gas (but not by using it they way you might think)