15 hypermiling hints for long road trips

Crazy fuel prices got you down?  Feel like you can’t afford to take those awesome extended road trips like you used to?

What if you made an adventure out of that actual driving part?  Try hypermiling in combination with a road trip!

You have to have some extra time on your hands because hypermiling will get you there slower – but you could save almost 40% on fuel costs by changing how you drive.  That means you can go almost twice as far for however much money you choose to spend!  And if you travel with someone you love, you’ll have more time to hang around together during the drive and grow to love one another more.

Maintenance hints for hypermiling

Regular car maintenance is not just a scheme for the mechanics to make more money off of you.  Maintaining your car regularly can make it run more efficiently and save you on fuel costs.

  • Lighten up – reduce the weight that the engine has to move, including less fuel, ultralight packing, fewer and lighter passengers.  The less weight the vehicle has to move, the more efficiently it can operate.
  • Reduce drag – remove roof racks, etc when not in use.  And while we’re talking about drag – did you know that a clean car is actually measurably more aerodynamic than a dirty car – so washing your vehicle can translate into fuel savings.
  • Regular maintenance – Keep tires properly inflated.  Tire rotation and balancing and clean air and oil filters can also improve mileage.
  • Lower-weight oil – Consider using a lower weight oil because heavier, thicker oil creates greater internal resistance for the engine to have to overcome.

Planning for hypermiling

Someone famous once said, “If you fail to plan then you are planning to fail.”  By planning the details of your trip carefully, you can save a good bit in fuel costs.

  • Start early so you’re not rushed.  Much of hypermiling involves not driving like a maniac, driving a little more slowly, not constantly accelerating and braking.  If you are feeling rushed then these hypermiling strategies are right out the window.
  • Minimize A.C and keep the windows up.  This might be difficult or impossible in the southern US or during the summer – but both air conditioning and open windows are a huge drag on the engine.
  • Avoid idling.  When you are sitting still with the engine running you are using gasoline and getting zero miles per gallon.  Don’t crank the car and walk off to get something else.  Crank up and drive off immediately without idling.
  • Time your trip and plan your route to avoid traffic.
  • Plan your route to avoid elevation changes

Driving hints for hypermiling

This is the part that most folks think about when they think of hypermiling – changing how you drive in order to save fuel.

  • Drive slower – but watch for minimum speed limits
  • Accelerate slower – accelerate downhill when you can
  • Keep RPMs as low as possible – the engine burns fuel in order to increase RPMs.
  • Brake slower – or coast to a stop
  • Track your efficiency – you can’t control what you don’t measure

 

 

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