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Cheaper Than Cheap Tip Of The Week #2 – Hypermiling

by The Happy Rock on July 30, 2007

“Cheaper Than Cheap” is a recurring tip series about frugality. The idea is to provide helpful frugality tips that border on fanatical to the point of being humorous. Love them or hate them, let’s hear what you think.

Cheaper Than Cheap Tip #2 – Hypermiling

honda_concept_insight.jpgIn the age of $3.00 /gallon gas we are bombarded with tips for increasing our fuel economy. I have mentioned how keeping your tires inflated can increase safety and fuel consumption. Other common tips for better gas mileage include using cruise control, avoiding traffic, and driving less aggressively. Hypermiling takes getting the best MPG to the extreme. Take the HybridFest 2007 in Madison Wisconsin as an example. The contest has competitors drive the same course and compete for the highest MPG. The winner Wayne Gerdes had an astounding MPG of 180 over the whole course. Hypermiling was started by hybrid car owners, but the tips are easily transferable to ‘regular’ cars. I am a novice hypemiler, but have learned a good deal through some simple research.

This article from May about hypermiling highlighted some of the most well known techniques. Some of my favorites are :

  • Ride on the paint to save from friction
  • Over inflate your tires
  • Place cardboard over your radiator, because a cold engine uses more energy
  • Drive with your windows closed and your AC off
  • Park at the highest spot in parking lots, so you can coast out of the spot
  • Shift into neutral or shut off the engine at stoplights or even on large downhills

Check out the full article for some other creative ways to save gas. Note that the safety and usefulness of some of these tips is definitely under debate.

Here is the list of other great resources I came across during my research.

  1. Two news articles about the phenomenon @ CNN and Washington Post
  2. Six steps to better fuel consumption @ hypermiling.com
  3. Popular hypermiling sites : CleanMPG, GreenHybrid, and InsightCentral

Let us know what you think of hypermiling by taking part in the Cheaper Than Cheap poll.

Opinion Polls & Market Research

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

Will July 31, 2007 at 1:34 pm

Rock,
I have to say that not only are the tips great for saving on gas mileage but think of the weight you would lose driving around with the windows up and the ac off! That’s a great weight loss tip! Just think about it, every pound you lose will lighten the load and help with the gas mileage.

Just remember that next time Kelly yells at me for driving on the paint I’m blaming it on you.

Reply

The Happy Rock August 1, 2007 at 4:37 pm

@Will – Nice ingenuity with the weight loss idea! Windows closed and no ac on a 95 and humid day is like an instant sauna. Feel free to blame away bro!

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Dan August 28, 2007 at 11:04 am

Rock,
Cool post. I was at Hybrid Fest this year and competed in the MPG Challenge. Here are the official results with various makes and models. The winner of the SUV class scored 60 MPG in a Ford Escape.
http://www.hybridfest.com/mpg.htm

-Dan

Reply

The Happy Rock August 28, 2007 at 4:43 pm

@Dan, Wow, I bet that was a blast. How did you fair?

Was this you in 2nd place?

Dan Bryant, Prius: 106 MPG (130% over EPA estimate of 46 MPG)

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Dan August 28, 2007 at 11:58 pm

Yep, that’s me. It was a real blast. It certainly gets some quizzical looks when people ask “what kinda mileage does that get?”

-Dan

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Fire Chief September 28, 2007 at 12:51 am

I have read the topic “Cheaper Than Cheap Tip Of The Week #2”. It was a wonderful topic of how save some fuel on the car and have seen the pictures of the car. It was quiet interesting one. Beautiful models, I like those very much. Thank you for giving the tips. Any more tips will be appreciated.

Reply

The Happy Rock September 28, 2007 at 5:24 pm

@Fire Cheif – I am glad you enjoyed it, and I will try and post some more tips in the future.

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