Yesterday I posted about some gas saving tips. It was really popular so I figured I would follow it up with another article dedicated to conserving gas. Yesterday’s article focused more on tips to get extra gas at the pump, todays article will go over tips to drive more efficiently.
Disclaimer: Some of this tips would be dangerous to actually attempt in real world traffic situations. Try them at your own risk!
1) Maintenance – I am sure you have all heard of these before, so I won’t go into too much depth, but here is a list of things you should check to make sure they are in compliance with your owner’s manual: tire pressure, tire balance, wheel alignment, proper motor oil weight and level, Engine Control Module, and oxygen sensors.
2) Lightening your load– This includes taking everything out of your car that isn’t bolted down (and possibly some that are). Some people take out seats, spare tires, tools, airbags(safety issue, please don’t try), and even spare change/everything in your glove compartment.
3) Optimizing Speed– Every car has an optimal speed, for most it is in the 25-55mph range. If you look at a chart of mpg and speed you will see there are usually two peaks of mpg. They usually occur right around 25mph and 55mph. These are the two speeds you should try to maintain to get the best fuel economy.
4) Pulse and glide– This method includes accelerating (slowly of course) to optimum speed (around 55mph) then putting your car in neutral and cutting off the engine. Once you slow down to nearly a stop, repeat the process.
5) Drafting– (Also dangerous) Includes following very closely to another vehicle to reduce wind resistance. The bigger the vehicle your tailing the better, 18-wheelers are ideal. When following one of these its best to stay 1-2 car lengths away(again this is dangerous and not recommended).
6) Taking turns like a mad man– I have read of people taking corners at nearly 50mph. Anytime you hit the breaks, you are losing energy that you engine worked so hard to create for you, so by not breaking, even around corners you will increase you fuel economy(again, very dangerous). You also do this with the engine off. Note in many cars when the engine is off, you lose power breaks and steering, making this even more dangerous.
I have seen, on many online forums, reports of getting up to 70 mpg in an Accord and over 100mpg in cars like the Prius. This type of drivers are known as hypermilers. If you are interested in this kind of thing here are some sites where all those crazy guys hang out and talk about their strategies: cleanmpg.com, greenhybrid.com, and priuschat.com