Hey Cool Car Fans,
With gas at $3.50 a gallon and diesel now at over $4 a gallon, I thought I would post a few tips on how to get better gas mileage out of your vehicle.
I picked up a copy of Reader’s Digest the other day that had an article about a “hypermiler”, Wayne Gerdes, who gets 59 mpg out of his ordinary Honda Accord by changing his driving habits.
What is a Hypermiler?
Wikipedia has an article with the following definition…
“* Hypermilers are drivers who exceed the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimated fuel efficiency on their vehicles by modifying their driving habits. The term ‘hypermiler’ originated from hybrid vehicle driving clubs and Wayne Gerdes in particular. As people began comparing fuel efficiency, they noticed that by using certain driving techniques, they could greatly improve their mileage. With the aid of real time mileage displays, drivers were able to refine these driving techniques and greatly exceed the EPA rating for their vehicle. Decades before the word ‘hypermiler’ was used, the techniques were used in events such as Mobil Economy Run dating to 1936. Gas rationing during World War II forced some drivers to adopt these techniques, but they largely fell out of favor with the population after the war. Hypermiler Wayne Gerdes can get 59 MPG in a Honda Accord and 30 MPG in an Acura MDX.”
Granted, Wayne’s methods are a bit extreme for most people, like wearing an ice vest when he drives instead of using the air conditioning. I’m not quite ready for an ice vest for extreme fuel savings, if you know what I mean.
However, there are some things you can do that are common sense practices to get better mileage out of your vehicle. Here are 7 quick tips from The Cool Car Guy to spend less at the gas pump.
Honor the Scheduled Maintenance – Scheduled maintenance is designed to help your car run as efficiently as possible. Many people skip the maintenance of their vehicles and end up getting worse gas mileage than the EPA recommendation.
Keep Tires Inflated and Aligned – Believe it or not, frequent alignments and keeping your tires inflated to the proper amount will save you gas.
Use Overdrive and Cruise Control – Most automatic transmissions have these features. If you drive a stick, consult your owner’s manual about the recommended RPMs when shifting. I prefer driving a manual transmission and I get great gas mileage out of my WRX compared to most people by driving properly.
No Junk in the Trunk – Clean out your trunk and the rest of your car for that matter. Excess weight bogs down your vehicle, causing it to burn more fuel. You wouldn’t believe the stuff I see in people’s vehicles when they finally trade them. Some people are carrying hundreds of pounds of excess weight in their vehicles for no reason – put it in the garage.
Drive the Speed Limit – The higher the speed, the more gas your car will use. This is a big one for most people. If you want to go faster, weight for the downhills and leverage the terrain you’re driving on. Wayne drives 50MPH in the slow lane, which again doesn’t work for The Cool Car Guy, but your speed makes a big difference on gasoline consumption.
Avoid Long Idles
– Idling burns more gas than restarting an engine. Turn off the engine and save your fuel. In cold weather states this is a big one for many people, especially when picking up kids from school or sporting events.
Go Easy on the Pedals – Jackrabbit driving is a killer when it comes to burning fuel. Remember that slow and steady wins the race in more ways than one. Don’t race from stop sign to stop sign or kick it down only to have to come to abrupt stop in heavy traffic. Save the fuel and save lives.
There you have it! Seven tips to save you some money at the gas station. Another tip, if you are driving a big SUV that is costing you $100 or more to fill-up, you may want to call me and get a smaller gas saving vehicle. The gas savings will pay for the vehicle. I have clients who are keeping their trucks and buying Chevy Aveo’s as their daily driver’s for under $10,000.
Auto Consultant – John Boyd: The Cool Car Guy
John is an auto consultant with JFR & Associates in Denver, Colorado. He can help you save time and money on any make or model, new or used, lease or purchase – nationwide! Call or email John about your next vehicle! firstname.lastname@example.org