While some of the tips may seem to be much the same as my prior articles on personal driving habits, these tactics focus more on ways in which you can drive a vehicle that have been scientifically proven to save gas. By adjusting your driving habits and focusing on these various tips, you can work to lengthen the time between filling up with the increased gas prices in Georgia.
1. Drive the speed limit
Experts say that the average car on the road today reaches its optimal fuel burning capacity between 45 and 60 miles per hour. Beyond that speed, your vehicle’s mileage decreases rapidly so avoid traveling over the speed limit. Doing so can help you increase your fuel efficiency anywhere from 7-14% based on your vehicle. Want to find out exactly how much you could save? Use this handy tool (click the button mid-way down the screen that reads “What is the speed penalty for my vehicle?”).
2. Coasting is your friend
Coasting to stops and down hills in gear can improve overall gas mileage by avoiding the energy killing nature of brakes and the fuel wasting of a car in neutral.
Studies have shown that those who accelerate toward a light waiting until the last moment to throw on the brakes perform about 50% less efficiently compared to a vehicle that coasts to a stop over a longer period of time. The same idea goes for vehicles who follow too closely on the highway and must utilize their brakes more often versus paying attention to the vehicles ahead of them and coasting at certain times to avoid braking.
Many people still believe that coasting down a hill while in neutral helps to save gas. The fact of the matter is that this illegal act is actually quite false. It has been shown that engines in neutral actually do use gas (even though at a much lower rate than when in gear and accelerating) while the intelligent engines of today utilize deceleration technology that fuel injectors are automatically shut off when your vehicle senses your foot lift off the gas pedal. Effectively, newer vehicles can sense when you are coasting down a hill and reduces its energy output while the old school way of thinking still uses gas.
3. Your start is everything
While the majority of people would agree that putting the pedal to the metal on a green light is much less efficient compared to slowly working your way up to speed, there are studies out there that tell us taking too long to accelerate can also be inefficient. The idea behind this thinking is that the longer it takes a vehicle to reach its higher, more fuel efficient gears, the more gas is wasted in the lower gears that have a lower fuel economy.
4. Use cruise control correctly
When traveling on a long, flat stretch of road, cruise control is a great way to maintain a safe, efficient and legal speed without adding in the unpredictable nature of your foot lightly accelerating and decelerating throughout the journey. While this can save you money on a flat stretch, cruise control can actually hurt fuel economy when going up and down hills. Hypermilers (those who work to get the best possible gas mileage from their vehicles) believe in a technique that calls for slowing down while going up a hill and allowing the vehicle’s built up speed to get you to the top where you can allow the vehicle’s potential energy take you down the hill without using any gas. This technique can help to improve MPG by about 17% if done correctly.
There you have it folks, the complete list of tips and tricks to becoming a fuel efficient Hypermiler! Don’t let the high gas prices in Georgia get you down anymore and start making the most out of every gallon with these helpful hints! We hope you found our series on gas saving tips, tactics and techniques helpful in your quest for saving the most gas possible during these tough times. Have any other fuel saving tactics that we didn’t cover? Share them with us on our Facebook page!