With the rising cost of fuel and the concerns about the damage vehicle emissions have on the environment, most drivers are now looking for ways to minimize their fuel consumption to save money and protect the planet. One such method of conserving fuel while helping the environment is a practice called Hypermiling.
So, what is hypermiling? Hypermiling means to establish particular driving practices that are focus on increasing fuel efficiency and reducing gas mileage. Although your own results may vary depending on your personal pledge to saving fuel, studies have shown that when implementing fuel efficiency practices, one can “boost fuel efficiency of up to 35%.”
The following are a number of tips on how to practice hypermiling:
1. Following traffic laws can actually help you save gas. For instance, driving the speed limit and refraining from speeding will save gas. As well, drive to avoid using your brakes. For instance, leave enough distance between your car and the car in front of you, when you approach a stop sign or red light, slow down so you don’t have to slam on your brakes. Try to drive slowly whenever possible. Use your gas and brake pedals as little as possible.
2. Keep your vehicle in good working condition. Your tires should be fully inflated. Keep your fluid levels, especially motor and brake fluid, at the top level. Make sure your tires are balanced and properly aligned. One of the fundamentals to hypermiling is maintaining your vehicle in first-rate road condition.
3. Much of the energy is consumed when one accelerates a vehicle. When accelerating, slowly take your foot off the brake and apply it to the gas pedal. If you are in an automatic vehicle, it will move forward slowly on its own. A brief pause will permit the vehicle to move on its own power. Also, consider acquiring a fuel efficient vehicle such as a hybrid. As well, avoid aggressive driving.
4. The best way to reduce fuel consumption is to drive less. A number of tips to drive less include: live close to work, carpool, bicycle, walk, and take the bus. If you live too far a distance from work, consider ‘park and ride’ where you can ride a bike to a bus stop or carpool, and then drive the rest of the way in a vehicle.
5. Don’t overburden your vehicle with extra weight. For instance, clean out junk in the trunk and rest of the vehicle and remove roof racks. Driving a lightweight car during fine weather and when there are strong tail winds will save energy.
6. Drive in a fuel efficient manner. For instance, avoid travel during peak traffic times, drive on well paved roads, avoid traffic congestion, turn off the vehicle if you have to sit in traffic, avoid the drive-through, leave for your destination a little early so you do not drive faster, and choose the driving lane of ‘least resistance.’
Becoming a hypermiler is a great way to reduce fuel costs and reduce your impact on the environment. By implementing a number of easy cost saving measures, it will not be long before you see substantial savings.