Gas prices are expensive these days! If you’re sick of paying a premium at the pump, you’re not alone. More people than ever before are turning to a technique called hypermiling that sees them squeezing every last drop of value out of their engines to keep their costs down at the gas pump.
So, what does hypermiling entail, and can it help you save money? Let’s take a closer look at this cost-saving strategy.
The first thing hypermilers seek to cut down is their air resistance. Modern vehicles are designed to be aerodynamic, meaning they slice through the air with a slim profile to resist the amount of physical drag that acceleration causes. When you apply things like roof racks and keep your windows down while you drive, you dramatically increase the drag on your car.
If you want to keep your gas tank full, take the roof rack off your car and keep your windows up when you’re driving around. It’s ideal to invest in roof racks that you can clip on and snap off with ease, as these can help you keep your gas consumption down when you’re not carrying equipment on your roof.
Some hypermilers even go further, riding behind large vehicles to “draft” their air resistance. This technique is dangerous, as it requires drivers to stick close to the vehicle in front of them.
Using your car’s AC will increase its gas consumption. If you want to keep things cool without spending a fortune at the gas station, run your AC on a mild setting and rely on high fan speed instead of powerful cooling.
Contrary to popular belief, this will use less gas than rolling your windows down. Open windows add considerable drag to a vehicle’s profile, increasing the gas consumption by as much as ten percent.
Hypermilers learn to control their vehicle’s acceleration carefully, applying enough pressure to the gas pedal to bring themselves to cruising speed without overtaxing their engines. This means getting up to driving speed swiftly and then going out of your way to avoid tapping the break. The key to good gas mileage is to stick close to the same speed throughout a trip.
Ideally, this means you should accelerate to a few miles per hour under the speed limit and stick to this velocity throughout the drive. If you can do this, you’ll be amazed at how high your car’s gas mileage will go!