by Dave Routledge
(New York, USA)
Extreme high prices sometimes call for extreme measures to cope. One measure gaining attention is called Hypermiling and in essence means rebelling against high gas prices.
In Europe it’s called Ecodriving. Some hypermilers claim to get 100 mpg and 1,500 miles on one tank of gas. They do this by squeezing the maximum mileage out of every drop of gasoline.
Some measures are extreme but others are common sense driving such as accelerating gradually, driving slowly and avoiding unnecessary braking.
You’re also urged to keep your vehicle in tip top condition with regular oil and air filter changes and using proper weight oil.
Oil that’s too heavy drags the engine down. Properly inflate tires. Driving with flatter tires means more drag.
1. More extreme methods suggest shifting to neutral when possible and letting the inertia carry the car. Coast to red lights and off ramps. The sooner you get to the red light the longer you’ll sit idling. Note that driving in neutral in some states is illegal. This could be dangerous, especially in heavy traffic.
2. Drive the speed limit or slower. Gas mileage increases significantly as you slow down.
Sure, other drivers may honk and even give you hand gestures but smile because you’re saving gas.
3. Practice ridge riding which is hugging the right side white line on the highway. This will provide you with the shortest route and keep you from weaving on the roadway. You drive farther when you weave and use more gas.
4. Plan ahead and choose the smoothest route with the fewest traffic signals and stop signs. Also avoid construction zones and traffic tie-ups.
Keep an ear to the radio for traffic advisories. Sometimes the longer route may be the best if the road is smooth and with fewer stops.
5. Build up speed when you see a hill ahead and maintain your speed as you climb the slope. As you reach the crest slip it into neutral and coast down.
6. The more options your car has the more power it takes to move it. Avoid air conditioning and other power equipment.
Open a window if you must but only a crack. Open windows create a wind drag. If you have a standard transmission shift to the highest gear as soon as you can.
7. Hypermilers have learned to be patient. You don’t have to be the first to arrive and you don’t have to catch up with that car up ahead.
While you’re doing what you can to save gas, you may be irritating the more aggressive driver, so remember to be courteous. Pull over and let them pass when safe to do so.
Hypermiling is best with hybrids and small cars but can work with SUVs and larger cars too. Even if you utilize just a few of these methods your bank account will thank you.
Click here to read more about energy efficient car tips