How to increase your gas mileage by 70%
Sounds too good to be true . . . but by using these extreme tactics, it's possible to save big at the pump. On an episode of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters,” They tested whether a few techniques collectively known as “hypermiling” can double your fuel economy. They took two cars, a new sedan and an older coupe, and drove normally as far as they could on exactly 3 gallons of gas. They then repeated the process using hypermiling techniques.
The results? The new car was able to drive 40% farther while hypermiling (30 miles per gallon, up from 21.3 mpg), while the older car went 70 percent farther (45.3 mpg, up from 26 mpg). The myth is busted, because they couldn’t double their fuel economy, but a 70% improvement is impressive. And it could save a lot of money at the pump.
Only driving techniques and modifications legal in Californiawere employed, so everything they did to get that massive improvement in miles per gallon is probably legal for you, too. But since laws vary from state to state, you’ll want to make sure anything you pull from this list is permitted.
Here’s what to do:
Never drive above 45 mph: Yes, this includes highways. And yes, you’ll make a lot of enemies. But if you can pull off driving no faster than 45 mph, you’ll use a lot less fuel.
Remove passenger side mirror: The thinking here is that by reducing wind resistance, you’ll improve mileage. Removing things sticking out from the side of your car should do that.
Avoid braking and rapid acceleration: This is the foundation of hypermiling. Not only do you need to gradually bring your car up to speed, but also drive to minimize braking. This means driving slower overall, looking as far ahead as possible, and braking less around turns.
Turn off engine at red lights: If the engine is off, you’re not using gas. If you can ignore a little horn honking and spiteful hand gestures you’ll get from the cars behind you while you start back up when the light turns green, you’ll spend less on gas.
Windows up/AC off
If you can stand the heat, you can save some money. By keeping your windows up and the AC off, you reduce the strain on your engine and maintain the aerodynamics of your car.
Try to stay relaxed
Angry drivers burn more fuel. It’s a myth that “MythBusters” has already tested, but the lesson learned has become part of hypermiling. If you feel yourself getting stressed behind the wheel (and if you’re driving without AC no faster than 45 mph on the freeway and turning your engine off at every red light, you probably will) try taking a few deep breaths to calm down and remember that your goal is zen-like fuel savings.
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