The 5 Secrets to Hypermiling any Car, Especially Hybrids!
The word hypermiling was named “word of the year” by the Oxford Dictionary in 2008 for good reason. Hypermiling describes a method of driving that nets the most miles-per-gallon, and trust me … you want to know how to do it.
Chances are, those of you who bought hybrids did so because you wanted to create a smaller carbon footprint, or you were just fed up paying big bucks at the pump.
Either way, the idea is to get the best gas mileage possible, right? I can help you with that.
Here’s the thing. While hybrid drivers would love to see the MPG display shoot up to 100, many of them fail because they don’t know how to hypermile. For the record, I was able to get 65 mpg from a tankful on a 2015 Toyota Prius, whereas most people are averaging mid 40’s. So, hear me out…
How do you hypermile? It’s easier than you might think.
1. Drive like you would ride a bike
When you ride a bike, you don’t pedal from intersection to intersection pumping up the speed only to come to a hard stop. That would be a total waste of your energy. Instead, when you see the stop ahead you instinctively coast toward it. It’s called momentum, and bike riders use it intuitively. If you understand that concept, and you are halfway towards understanding hypermiling.
To help you realize the concept of maximizing your car’s momentum, I created the term: Accelerator to Brake Ratio, or A/B Ratio. Don’t worry, my 12-year-old son totally understands it, so I guarantee it will be easy for you to implement.
The next time you’re in a car as a passenger, pay attention to the driver’s feet. When you are approaching a stop, if the foot goes directly from the accelerator to the brake, the driver is failing to take advantage of the precious commodity called momentum. Too much pedal to the metal!
What you want to do is create as much time as safely allowed to take the foot off the brake and coast, eventually braking at the very end. If you increase the time between the accelerator and brake pedals you will achieve the optimum A/B ratio along with great gas mileage.
Reading the road, anticipating what is ahead of you and proactively hypermiling, will save you a bundle. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been passed by a driver with their foot on the accelerator only to come up to them at a red light 30 seconds later.
2. Pressure Matters
We’ve heard it time and time again; properly inflated tires will help you achieve the best gas mileage possible. Under inflated tires will increase rolling resistance by approximately 1.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. If you were 5 psi low, you would be losing close to 3 ½ miles per gallon.
3. Keep Up That Maintenance
Up to date maintenance is imperative to achieving your best possible fuel economy. Simple but true. Take care of your car, and your car will take care of you.
4. Too Much Junk in the Trunk
Carrying unnecessary items around in the back of your car means extra weight, which means the engine has to work harder. Bottom line: we are way too attached to our stuff. Watch George tell it like it is. George Carlin talks about your stuff.
5. Myth Busting Higher Octane Ratings:
If you had a high compression racing engine (which a hybrid surely is not) then you would need to worry about the octane levels in your gas. But for the vast majority of vehicles, including your beloved hybrid, standard-octane fuel is a perfect fit. Fuel efficiency is NOT related to your fuel’s octane level in most situations. Octane rating is only a measure of the fuel’s propensity to cause an engine to ping. Save your money for yoga class and chai tea and be healthier and happier as a result.
In the meantime, get out there and hypermile!
Greg Macke- Your Car Angel
Greg Macke is a car blogger and author of “My 7 Secrets to Buying a High Quality Used Car”. He is a professional car buyer and consumer advocate working closely in the industry to improve the buyer’s experience. His high quality car buying tutorials offer help to the car buying public. – See more at: https://carbuyingsupport.com