How to save $0.54 per gallon on gas

By Lynn Truong on 10 April 2008 (Updated 11 May 2011) 62 comments
Photo: iStockphoto

There are many tips that help increase your car's mpg. Hypermiling has been covered, but includes some extreme driving that turns many people off. I also mentioned a few in a previous article, gas efficient driving, that included things like removing items from your trunk, inflating your tires, and keeping your engine in good condition with regular maintenance. But out of all the suggestions, there was only one thing that skyrocketed the mileage on my 2001 Civic from 32 to 47 mpg.

All I did was slow down.

I know that's a tall order for our fast-foward-instant-gratification lifestyle. But imagine getting an extra 15 miles per gallon (that's at least an extra 200 miles per tank). With current gas prices and our slowing economy, it just might be worth taking it easy on the gas pedal.

What exactly do I mean by slowing down? First, let's talk about highway speeds.

In a typical family sedan, every 10 miles per hour you drive over 60 is like the price of gasoline going up about 54 cents a gallon. That figure will be even higher for less fuel-efficient vehicles that go fewer miles on a gallon to start with. - CNNMoney.com

That is based on a $3.25 price per gallon.

In response to the oil crisis in 1973, a 55 mph national speed limit was imposed. 55 mph is still a car's "sweet spot" for fuel efficiency. What uses the most energy of a car at high speeds is the force of air. The increase in wind resistance is exponential, which means it rises more steeply between 70 and 80 mph than 50 to 60. That's why the mpg graph looks like this (from fueleconomy.gov).

ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW

I know we're all busy and we've all got places to go. But stop and consider just how much time you're saving by driving faster. If you need to go 30 miles, driving at 60 mph will get you there in 30 minutes. Whereas driving 75 mph will get you there a whole six minutes earlier. On top of that, you used up way more gas for going the same distance!

Increasing your highway cruising speed from 55mph (90km/h) to 75mph (120km/h) can raise fuel consumption as much as 20%. - eartheasy.com

What is six minutes worth to you?

In addition to slowing down on the highway, you can raise your mpg on city streets by doing the same thing. I don't mean driving 10-20 mph, but anticipating stops by taking your foot off the gas pedal to slow down. What uses the most gas when driving on city streets is accelerating. By coasting (taking your foot off the gas and letting your car's momentum move it forward) to a stoplight instead of driving right up to it and then slamming on the brakes does two things.

First, the light may turn green by the time you get there, so you would be accelerating from a coast than from a full stop. Second, you've already used up gas by accelerating to your current speed. If you coast to a stop, the gas the engine already ate up got you further than if you continue to make your engine burn gas just to have that momentum cut short by braking. Going further with less gas is the essence of fuel economy.

It takes a bit of getting used to, because everyone else seems to be zooming by. But if you pay attention, you'll realize that the guy who stepped on the gas just to get around you ended up stopped at the red light that you coasted up to. And if you're usually the guy who weaves in and out of lanes to get past slow cars, you probably never noticed those same cars were still right behind you a few miles later.

Increasing your mpg not only saves money on gas, it lowers our country's demand on oil. If you don't want to give up your SUV, at least make it go further on less gas. So give it shot. You've only got a few minutes to lose.

4.75
Average: 4.8 (4 votes)
Your rating: None
ShareThis

comments

62 discussions

Add New Comment

CAPTCHA
This test helps prevent automated spam submissions.
Paul Michael's picture

Nice one Lynn. I have been doing the same thing for the last two weeks and took my 2006 Passat from 30mpg to 42mpg, simply by slowing down, stopping the quick starts, and coasting more.

Guest's picture
rad

After reading a few articles about hypermiling, I decided to try it. I had two days to be somewhere. I kept the speed around 55, drove early in the day so no AC needed, kept windows up, etc. 38.5 mpg for the 600 miles in a car rated at 28 highway. It works. Next time, I'll shoot for 40.

rad

Guest's picture

That is something that is always overlooked. I recently had done a post dealing with saving on gasoline. That was one of the things I should of mentioned as well.

Guest's picture

I've read this before, probably in that linked-to CNN article, but I don't think I was really paying attention. I drive alot on highways, and I'm always above 55 mph. I'm going to give this a try starting this coming week to be attentive to 55, I'd love to see an (almost) 50% increase in the Charger.

Great post ;)
Mike

Guest's picture

My car is so old and decrepit the speedometer often doesn't work (actually, it doesn't work most of the time). The result of this is that I drive much more slowly, sometimes slower than those around me---and I used to be a bit of an impatient driver. Not being able to see the actual speed I'm going has made me more aware of the cars around me, and more cognizant of how fast (or slow) I'm going based on how it 'feels'.

Glad to hear that my lack of a speedometer is also benefiting my MPG!

Guest's picture
Guest

coasting to a stop light also reduces wear on your brakes, saving you money in the long run

Guest's picture
Dwight

You're right about the gas savings. To that, we can add the money we save because your car will last longer.

Less wear on the tires is another saving. This can really add up over the life of a car.

More importantly, sane driving will decrease your chances of being in a serious auto accident and it will increase your chance of survival if you do have a crash.

Lynn Truong's picture

@ Paul & Mike -- I was skeptical to say the least when I heard that I should be driving 55. I was the jerk who got annoyed whenever someone was driving 65 on the highway.

@ Finally Frugal -- Wow! It's great that you're still driving an old car that "mostly" works. Ever get into a bind when there are no cars to compare your speed to?

@ Dwight & guest -- That's right. Not only do you save on gas, brakes, and other wear and tear on your car, driving slower helps your blood pressure go down! No need to hurry and weave back and forth to get into the "fastest" lane.

Guest's picture
Obbop

I use a different tactic. The sooner we use all the petrochemicals and there are none left the sooner the we can tell OPEC and others to screw off and watch them eat sand.

So many sources of international troubles will be removed.

I believe it is our patriotic duty to use gas/oil/etc ad quickly as possible.

The USA has enough reserve to ensure farmer's tractors and trains have enough gas/diesel to get the food to the consumers.

Hit the road, citizens. Shove that throttle down. Drive early, drive late, drive often and as fast as it is safe to do so.

Have FUN!!!!!!! Get the biggest conveyance you can. Get the most humongous engine. 8 mpg? Great!!!!! You are a patriot!!!!

Hammer down!!!!!!!!!

Guest's picture

Even on the interstate or on long highway stretches, going much over 65 is basically a waste of time. I got reminded of that just yesterday, when I was going the speed limit on cruise control. I got passed by a little car that was absolutely flooring it.

Four miles down the road, a cop pulls out in front of me and turns on his flashers...

Guest's picture

That is good MPG I think our hybrid does about 45-50 MPG on average. Another tip I have heard in the past is to remove the roofrack - I can't imagine that this would make a massive difference unless you travelled a lot. %0 miles an hour is supposed to be the most efficient speed - did you find this to be the case.

Guest's picture
Lucille

It does depend on the roads you take too. I can either take county surface roads that have a 55mph speed limit or the interstate that has a 65mph speed limit on the section that goes through town. On the country road I have to stop every few miles for cross roads. On the freeway I am driving a bit faster but no stopping & starting. I did this each route for a week and noticed I used considerably less gas taking the interstate for most of my trip. But I try to follow the posted speed limit. I also get the free amusement of watching all the speeders that go whipping around me doing 80 frequently get pulled over by the highway patrol.

Guest's picture
Age Sharma

I live in Chicago and would frequently visit family in Rockford, one day I sat in the right lane going 60 mph just observed. Literally observed the people around me, you had cars whizzing pass you, breaking and swerving. I had thought wow I drive like that too. It was ever since then that I now drive in the right lane completely content, I seem to enjoy my music more and am more relaxed when I drive. I have a 2002 Nissan Altima, which has a 20 gallon tank, the most I was able to drive on a single tank was 565 miles on a trip to New York (all highway of course). Good job on the article, I wish more people would talk like this. One good upside is never worrying about getting a speeding ticket.

Guest's picture
Jon

I think you should double check your calculations on getting 47 MPG. I don't think even a hypermiler could get 47 in a 2001 Civic. Also, the graph from fueleconomy.gov is likely an average for all cars, including light trucks and SUVs. For a modern streamlined sedan the MPG penalty for exceeding 55 is much lower. My Mazda6 has a 5 speed automatic and the overdrive gear puts it around 2500 RPM at 70MPH, the sweet spot. I have no problem getting the stated highway fuel economy at 70MPH on the open highway. Obviously this all changes once you get into traffic, there your goal is go whatever speed you can without touching the brake. If you see brake lights a half mile ahead, start coasting now.

Guest's picture
Jessica

I am sure a hypermiler could get 47 mpg in a 2001 Civic. I have a 2001 Civic EX and routinely will get between 40-45 on long highway only trips (without ethanol, which really makes it drop). The trip I got 45 on was from Texas to Ohio with my car completely loaded down, as I was moving. Someone paying attention to gas mileage would likely do much better (not loading the car down, watching their speed etc). I went the speed limit on cruise control the whole time- so I was also above 55 mph.

Lynn Truong's picture

@ Rachel -- I've heard of taking down the roofrack, too. I'm guessing it has something to do with aerodynamics. The roofrack interrupts the wind resistance, which is the biggest factor to MPG on the highway.

@ Jon -- I wouldn't have believed the 47 MPG myself. A friend told me he was getting 50 on his manual Civic. But I documented the mileage through the experiment and it lived up. I filled up 9.986 gallons the other day, and I had gone 471.2 miles. My Civic has a listed MPG of 31 (average city & highway). I drive both equally so I can't say exactly what my highway MPG is. The fact that I can get an average of 47 MPG shows that the listed is definitely not its real potential.

Also, Hypermilers actually get way more (this is the most famous guy). And the CNN article I linked talks about the difference in lowered MPG for sedans versus bigger cars. The $0.54 per gallon savings is for sedans.

Guest's picture
Guest

I have a sports car, and I enjoy going fast, driving is recreational, not a means of transportation for me.

Guest's picture
TheEternalVortex

There is an error in your post. The increase in wind resistance is NOT exponential. It's actually quadratic (at least for large speeds).

Guest's picture
Colin

Hi -

I hit the link from JLP's AllFinancialMatters. Great article, but do the numbers really add up?

I was running some calcs. and have come to the conclusion that I would rather get somewhere faster at the sacrifice of $XX.

For example:
To see my family it is about 500 miles. My car (1993 Eclipse) gets about 27 MPG averaging 70 MPH so for estimation's sake I would assume I get around 31 MPG if I travel @ 55 mph. (an increase of 15%)

That is an extra travel time of 1.95 hours driving @ 55mph versus 70mph! Granted I would save $7.64 in gas (gas in San Antonio is right now is around $3.20/gal.) but an extra two hours of driving seems like a waste when compared with an extra two hours of seeing my family.

I guess it all boils down to where you are going and who are going to see when you get there. If I'm drive to training for work I'll slow WAY down! :)

Lynn Truong's picture

@ TheEternalVortex -- I got "exponential" from a few different articles, but I will do some serious digging into the most accurate calculation for wind resistance increase. The most important thing is that it's not linear. Wind resistance increases much more at 60-70 than 40-50 or 50-60.

@ Colin -- You're totally right. I think in the case of traveling 500 miles, 2 hours is a lot of extra time, and I for one would go insane going 55 for that long. But for most day to day traveling, taking a few extra minutes on each trip should be well worth the savings in dollars and gas consumption in the end.

Thanks for commenting!

Guest's picture

Here's a tip....dump that ugly Hummer and pick up a veichle that doesn't make you fill up on gas every other day. Seeing one of those things on the road makes me want to puke.

Guest's picture
Jason

I can believe the high MPG on the civic. I have a 94 sedan 4 dr, and on trips between Vegas and So Cal I average well over 40mpg, and that is with an average speed of over 85 through the desert. I couldn't see driving less than that during the hot summers.

Guest's picture
Peter Jeziorek

You should also try and minimize the amount of braking that you do. Anytime you brake your car, you are dissipating energy that would otherwise be propelling you forward.

I've been wondering recently if we changed all stop signs to yield signs in the United States, how much energy would we save annually? Of course this would have to be weighed in with the increase in number of collisions.

Guest's picture
BS

I often see large vehicles driven VERY fast on the highway. I am baffled from a safety and economy perspective. Safety wise, these vehicles are not the NASCARs they're impersonating, they will not stop as fast as the sedan they are tailgating. Economically, people are fooling themselves into thinking that the seemingly small number of miles per gallon they are losing is trivial because it's such a small number. As Lynn points out though, they're actually wasting more fuel for the number of miles driven.

Perhaps inverting the calculation and looking at gallons per hundred miles would make the difference more apparent to people?

And don't even get me started on how these are the people who seem to complain about the price of fuel...

Guest's picture
Taunto

Frankly, the extra money isn't worth it to me. Driving "slowly" does not interest me. I enjoy intimidating other drivers. Driving the highway aggressively is one of my favorite activities and I'm willing to pay for that– for the stress release alone.

Guest's picture
Julia

is a great thing. I discovered this last year when, in my frustration at dealing with people who don't know that the left lane is for passing on the highway, I slowed down 5km/h to avoid dealing with everyone. To my surprise, I saved almost a quarter of a tank of gas on a 200km road trip. I was quite surprised, and so started to experiment. Reducing my speed by only 5km/h would save me anywhere from 1/8 to 1/4 of a tank, definitely a good thing with gas prices where they are. (Of course I just traded in my SUV for a zippy Mazda 3, which has better fuel efficiency than my brick on wheels, so I'm quite happy now.)

Guest's picture
Guest

On some roads and at certain times in SoCal driving 55 is a danger to yourself and others (even in the far right). Great article though, thanks.

Guest's picture
MikeR

I've found that by coasting a lot in my manual Vibe I can average about 33mpg for a tank on mainly backroad driving, higher than the stated highway MPG rating (and that's with a roof rack).

It's all about driving style and the style that favors higher MPG also causes less wear and tear on the car.

@Jon - I used to get close to 50mpg in my 1994 Civic CX. 5-speed manual, no A/C, and manual steering. The only time I beat that was in a Prius rental: 50 mpg average for the tank.

Guest's picture
Jenny

My husband drives an RX8 and has seen a significant increase in gas mileage since he got done for speeding and started driving below the speed limit! Not to mention it means you get to work chilled out instead of all aggressive and angry...

Guest's picture

This very clearly illustrates the real cost of saving a few minutes’ driving time. Speed demon that I am, this has really got me reconsidering my driving habits. Thanks for the info!

Guest's picture

I made a nice post a week or two back about 10 ways on how to save quite a bit of money with 10 simple things you can do yourself. I think its a good companion to this article.

You can view it at workingmywayup.com or a direct link to the post is http://workingmywayup.com/2008/03/10-ways-to-save-money-with-your-automobile/

Guest's picture
Guest

Slowing down has been my pet peeve for many years! However, when driving on interstates where the speed limit is 65 or 75 mph, it can almost be unsafe to drive at 55!!! I try to stick to 60 and still get frightened at times! If states would reinstate the 55 mph and ENFORCE it with exhorbitant fines, many things positive things would ultimately happen! First, our oil/gas comsumption in the US would drop dramatically. The state coffers would increase tremendously from the fines. Accident rates would also drop dramatically. Perhaps people would wave to each other rather than honk the horn and give the finger!!!!! Anyway, I tell people to slow down whenever I can. Some have taken heed!
Bev

Guest's picture
Guest

Wind resistance isn't the only thing that increases exponentially with speed. Kinetic Energy also does.

A car traveling 75 mph has 186% of the kinetic energy of the same car traveling at 55 mph. This means you are almost twice as likely to be severely injured or to die in an accident at 75 mph versus 55 mph.

Insurance Institute survivability tests are ran at 40 mph

A car traveling at 55 mph has about 181% of the energy of a car traveling at 40 mph. At 75 mph the car has over 351% the energy of a car traveling 40 mph.

Slow down and you just might save both yourself and the planet.

Guest's picture
Guest

Coasting is illegal in some states, due to the inherent safety hazards. If you just take your foot off the gas pedal, those behind you will not know that you are slowing down until they run up on you (there is a reason for brake lights on vehicles). You could easily cause an accident this way. At the very least, one should lightly tap their brakes to alert others that they are slowing.

Using the coasting technique is also very inconciderate to other drivers. One poster mentioned the decreased wear and tear on your brakes. That may be true but you are creating even more wear and tear on the brakes of the vehicles stuck behind you.

Guest's picture
Guest

Your safety comment is stupid. If coasting were unsafe, the brake lights on cars would be made to come on any time people took their foot off the gas. The only time it is unsafe is if the guy behind you is not exercising his responsibilities as a driver properly.

Hitting the brakes just enough to cause the brake lights to come on is a courteous and safety oriented gesture that I use when letting off the gas, but only if I have some idiot like you tailgating me. I do it for my safety, not so much for the tailgating idiot.

Your having to gently apply your brakes earlier than you otherwise would (assuming you are not TOO close, and are paying attention to your responsibility not to hit that which is directly in your path of travel, moving or stopped) actually causes less wear to your brakes than continuing up to the light or stop sign and slowing down from full highway speed all at once.

There's only one thing worse than tailgaters, and that's tailgaters who refuse to take responsibility for the unsafe behavior they exhibit.

Luckily where I live all the highways are single lanes, and there are plenty of places to pull of and let people pass, which I often do.

However, for the inconsiderate, and even rude tailgaters that I occasionally encounter, I have installed a (highly illegal) switch that allows me to temporarily disable my brake lights entirely. It has allowed me to use my big pickup truck to remove highly unsafe tailgaters from the road twice now, and gotten me two free bumpers and a paint job to boot.

I don't use it often, but when someone puts my safety at risk by following so close that there is no way for them to stop without hitting me, and they are honking, or flashing their headlights when I haven't even had time to pull off so they can pass, I have no qualms about using my brakelight switch and removing them and their car from the road and letting THEIR insurance company pay for it.

One of the incidents in which my bumper was replaced, the guy who hit me got breathalyzered at .22% BAC, so his collision with, and subsequent replacement of my rear bumper probably saved his life, and quite possibly the lives of others.

Guest's picture
Andrea

So true! I got stuck in a miserable snowstorm on a 150-mile trip a couple of weeks ago, and was forced to drive at something like 30mph as opposed to the usual 70. The trip normally takes half a tank of gas - this time, it only took a quarter. Mind you, it took a hella long time, but it wasn't like I had a choice.

Guest's picture
Guest

Sadly, common sense like this will go nowhere with the vast majority of the population who are too scared of math to attempt understanding some basic physics. If what we want as a society is for every individual to have the ability to accelerate a ton of metal to 60mph in 10 seconds by just pushing a pedal, there's going to be a price to pay. We don't all NEED that kind of horsepower...we WANT it. The basic equation will never change until we learn to WANT LESS. Vehicle mileage ratings make a lot of assumptions...rather than be upset that the ratings are "not realistic based on actual driving habits", we can actually BEAT those ratings by using some simple logic. Sorry, but it is NOT illegal to take your foot off the gas and coast to a stop. But it is incredibly wasteful to accelerate for half a block, then hit the brakes for another half block just to stop. Topics for study: inertia and the Second Law Of Thermodynamics. When gas gets to $10/gallon, a little math won't seem so scary anymore!

Guest's picture
Guest

I live in the Midwest, and I have seen some road signs posted about trucks not being allowed to engine brake. For passenger cars, though, I think you'll be fine.

Recently I've taken to reducing my speed on the 18 mile drive I have to work, and I've noticed a definite improvement in fuel economy (I am not tracking the numbers, just how often and how much fuel I purchase).

I've also discovered that I am much more mellow when I leave 10 minutes early, get there with 4 minutes to spare, and realize I didn't have to mash the brakes or cut someone off in a rage. That alone is worth it to me.

Guest's picture
jon

i have a 01 accord and used to get around 380 miles per tank. now that i set my cruise control at 60mph i regularly get 470+ miles per tank(510 is my best thus far). that's an extra 2-3 days worth of driving to work for me. i used to be a "fast lane only" driver, always looking for a way around the driver ahead of me while constantly looking in my rear view for cops. now i am a peaceful and stress free driver firmly planted in the right(slow) lane.

Guest's picture
Satish

Hi, Thanks for this nice post. This is what I have been doing from the last 10 years of my driving, which includes riding motorcycle, driving car in India and here in the US. That too, without getting into lot of maths/plots of speed vs. mileage, it was observation and common sense (and some reading, of course).

I have been the one who does not really check mileage of the car, by taking notes of odometer/gas filled etc., but just drive as much required and combine errands to do everything in one trip so that I can relax for more time! I picked up this driving habit in India, to avoid stopping in traffic signal red lights or cross roads (there are too many of them) and to avoid on-coming vehicles on roads without a median, and keep coasting as far as possible!

When I started driving here in LA, it looked different (I am not talking about the side of road you drive on), the training that you need to speed up, etc. But once I was comfortable and confident on the freeway, I could put my kind of driving to practice again, and found that it works fine and is useful here too. I notice cars that weave through the lanes only to be yards ahead. It is also safer than slamming on the brakes at the last moment.

Thank you again,

Guest's picture
Guest

Directed to the poster of comment #34..."Sorry, but it is NOT illegal to take your foot off the gas and coast to a stop." You may be sorry....I don't know and don't care. However, your staement is wrong. At least it is in the state of Georgia. In Georgia, the law regarding stopping says "when stopping or slowing down suddenly, the proper hand, arm or brake operated stop signal MUST be given". If you just "take your foot off the gas and coast to a stop", then you are not giving the proper signal and, therefore, committing an illegal act. Make sure you know what you are talking about before you start talking.

Guest's picture
Guest

Well buddy, if you want to get technical, you just wrote "when stopping or slowing down SUDDENLY, the propper hand,arm or brake operated stop signal must be given" I dont know about your car, but every other car in the world doesn't just suddenly stop when you let up on the gas

Guest's picture
Guest

I tend to agree with #30 Bev except telling others how to drive and driving under the posted speed limit. Both are causes of road rage and other drivers tail gating and cutting you off to show you what an idiot "you" are. Saving money for gas isn't worth it compared to what could be a life threatening situation. I always try to get out of the way of other people speeding but sometimes you have to move to the left lane to allow merging traffic on the freeway, especially when these mergers are on a cell phone or just not paying attention. If you slow down the person behind you tail gates or worse because he is on a cell phone. Just can't win and with budget cuts there are not enough law enforcement officers available. I am always amazed when people zoom past me to get to a red light quicker but then I remember that no IQ test is given when you get a driver's license. We just have to pay attention and drive defensively because you never can tell how the other drivers will react. Thanks to all the sane drivers on the road although there are not enough of you. It's not a perfect world.

Guest's picture
Guest

Directed to comment #39....come on...get it right. "Stopping" and "slowing down suddenly" are two different things.

Guest's picture
Guest

Thanks Lynn, I wondered if I was the only one that realized this based on the lunatics on the road. I tested this out years ago while driving a cab. The time difference being so minimal and the gas saving being enourmous. Here's another secret too about the benefits in learning to coast to a stop, not tailgating (where those that do are constantly breaking)...the amount of money you will save on breaks jobs. My breaks (front I'm talking about, with front wheel drive) last anywhere from 100k plus miles and rear much more! Try it, you'll be amazed!

Guest's picture
Joe

It's fine and dandy to drive 55mph on the freeway. Just make sure that if you're slower than the flow of traffic, keep to the right lane. Nothing piss me off more than some guy gets on the freeway, then immediately cuts to the left lane and drives at 60-65mph. More often than not, they're the cause of accidents. It is actually illegal to hold up traffic, but the city makes more money from speeding tickets. Therefore, nothing is ever done about slow driver on the left lane.

Guest's picture
Save Gas

My 98 Nissan Altima gets great gas mileage, not because of it's year or any other aftermarket product, but by the simple fact of what you stated above. Looking all over the internet for the best products to save gas are a joke.

Thank you for this post. When i started slowing down on the highway and stayed in the right lane, I not only saw a gas mileage improvement, but also i noticed a more relaxed feeling while i drive. So your blog post has been two-fold without your even knowing it!

Thanks again,

Ryan

Guest's picture
Guest

Lynn,

I read your article on saving 54 cents a gallon, and CANNOT get it out of my head while driving.

I've found myself slowly accelerating, coasting before stop signs, andvery conscious of the gas pedal, especially when going down hills and slight declines.

My Volvo has one of those instant MPG monitors which also keeps my mind on this article. I'm testing all the theories in this article and will report back on my gas milage.

So far, so good :):)

TSmith
Creator,Smile-Therapy.com
http://www.smile-therapy.com

Guest's picture
Shane

There's a calculator at http://www.slowdowntosavegas.com/ to see how much you can really save yourself.

Guest's picture
Save Gas

Thanks for the tips. See this free technology to boost mpg

Guest's picture

I am glad that you wrote this and i will be keeping it in mind while driving since I drive a lot around my state.

Guest's picture
Guest
Guest's picture
Joanna

Let's just put a stop to the high gas prices altogether. We could boycott the oil companies and stop buying gas but we just can't do without our vehicles. You can convert your vehicle to a water hybrid. To learn more go to http://stoppayingatthepump.com

Guest's picture
Guest

I've been researching different ways to save gas. There is an excellent site that I was not aware of at http://www.gasbuddy.com. This will show you where to get the lowest gas prices in town. Also, there is site that is dedicated to new gas saving technologies at http://www.savegas4you.com. I definitely agree that simply slowing down is the easiest way to save gas :)

Guest's picture
UncleSim

I used to have a motorcycle that got 42mpg whether I went 60, 90, or 120mph on it. It saw 180 once, but not long enough to test mileage.

OK, I had a long highway drive to work at the time, and I did break the limit. Got caught once, too. But it shows how important wind is - the motorcycle has a fraction of the frontal area to push through the wind, so 55 was not its particular pivot point for fuel efficiency. I'm not sure exactly where this point was, but it shows that there are most definitely improvements to be made. Smaller vehicle, less weight, and less wind resistance, let an engine a fraction of the size of a small economy car's take the bike twice as fast as a car with twice the fuel efficiency.

Back to cars, I once saw pictures online of a Honda Civic that had been faired with panels to reduce its wind resistance, and the author claimed a near doubling of its fuel-efficiency to 75mpg or so, including practicing slower acceleration as this article advises. It may have looked ugly to bystanders, but it was beautiful for his gas budget.

Guest's picture
UncleSim

1. Drive a car with a manual transmission, requiring you to clutch.
2. Injure your left ankle, forcing you to minimize your clutching to avoid pain.
3. Slowing down long before red lights prevents the shifting necessary to regain lost acceleration, thus reducing left ankle pain.

Easy!

;-)

For you happy water-hybrid freaks, just remember, you still need gas (water doesn't burn) and now you'll need to fill up with gas AND water. You'll also need to keep your water supply from freezing/evaporating. Solve this, and you'll have to deal with reduced part life from the corrosive anti-freeze agent. Basically, if it was all so easy, there would be bolt-on kits available everywhere - it wouldn't be an internet secret.

Guest's picture
Logos

Someone just did a long haul test of a Hybrid that was rated at like 40 something MPG, and they got over 80 by just using this technique. I wish I had the link, but the DJ didn't give me one.

Last time I took a 300 mile trip over the rockies, I got 32 in my 94 Subaru wagon doing the speed limit of 75, next time I'll drop it to 65 and see what I get.

As far as being courteous to the driver behind you with regard to coasting, it is the person in back who is responsible for paying attention to their distance, and if that distance starts to decrease, it is their responsibility to maintain a safe following distance.

Regarding driving speed limits in the left lane, there is a law here that is posted on the freeways limiting your minimum speed in the left lane to 55 MPH. As long as someone is going that fast, they aren't breaking a law, just inconveniencing someone who wishes to go faster. It is a very rude thing to do however.

One other thing I'd like to mention is that using your cruise control on hills generally causes the accelerator to go further to the floor as your car comes under the load of defying gravity. A better technique if it is a short hill is to speed up slightly as you approach the hill then hold the accelerator in the same position allowing the car to slow back to the speed limit. If it is a steep hill, shift to a lower gear, your RPM's will be higher, but the engine will produce more power and lose less momentum. Save the cruise control for the flats.

Safe and happy motoring...

Guest's picture
Guest

I've known for years that cars are most efficient around 50-55 mph (I learned this from my father who is an engineer) but I've usually driven 65-70 mph. That is until gas shot up to $4.00 a gallon. At that point, while driving 40 miles a day traveling to and from work, I starting driving 53 mph. And it made an appreciable impact on my fuel economy. I have always driven vehicles with a standard transmission because 1) they beat automatics as far as gas mileage every time. . 2) They are considerably more reliable and require much less maintenance than an automatic. A standard transmission generally will outlast or last as long as the vehicle originally equipped with it.
As far as braking and coasting, I learned this technique from my father years ago. The motivating factor for him was saving on brake shoe/drum replacement (disc brakes were not common then) and he did well! I can attest: it will make an impact on fuel economy AND save on pad replacement and rotor maintenance.

A side note:
I was telling a friend about speed vs. fuel economy and he mentioned that he and a friend drove his Le Sabre from Cleveland to Chicago, going 100 mph on cruise control all the way (if you can imagine that!). He said the gas mileage worked out to about 12 mpg!! Lol !!!

Guest's picture
m65

After reading a few articles about hypermiling, I decided to try it. I had two days to be somewhere. I kept the speed around 55, drove early in the day so no AC needed, kept windows up, etc. 38.5 mpg for the 600 miles in a car rated at 28 highway. It works. Next time, I'll shoot for 40.

Guest's picture

One other thing that will save fuel. Combine trips. Instead of going to work, then coming home then going to the store to do shopping, combine those into one trip. It might not seem like much, but even at 2.5 miles to the store (distance from my house to the local store) a round trip costs miles miles of distance or about 1/5 of a gallon ($ 0.80). If that happens 3 or 4 times per week you've save close to the amount of a gallon of fuel alone in one week.

Guest's picture
MB3

Lynn you are absolutely right. Slowing down totally has saved me mpg's. Infact things had gotten so bad for me I would park my car on inclines at night so the gas would fall to the part of my tank to make sure it starts the next day. Unfortunately I have a suv and I found that for me I needed a little more than driving slower. My cousin informed of a product that she was using that was getting her a lot more miles to the tank. I was skeptical because I had tried other stuff and it never worked but I figured she wouldn't lie to me so I gave it a shot. I was amazed because I went from going to the gas station to fill up 2-3 times a week to 1 time out of 7days. Just to make sure I wasn't loosing my mind I convinced my brother to try it and he got 40mpgs more the first time he tried. I urge anybody looking to save money on gas to check these guys out.www.friendlygas.MySyntek.com

Guest's picture
Guest

I CANNOT DRIVE 55!!