How I Save Money on Gas with Hypermiling (Wealth, Money & Life Network group project)

I recently wrote How I Save Money on Buying Gas and I mentioned Hypermiling , which caused a reader to ask me what that was. Hypermiling is simply a method of using various techniques to get the best gas mileage you possibly can.

According to Hypermiling.com there are six basic steps that you can use to achieve hypermiling but I do not use all of them, which is why I said I practice a mild form of hypermiling.

One step I do not use is the Cruise Control method…because my car does not have cruise control!!!!!

Here are the steps I use when I Hypermile:

  1. Know Gas Mileage
  2. Don’t Drive Aggressively
  3. Coast
  4. Accelerate Slowly
  5. Neutral Shifts

Know Gas Mileage

The first thing I do when I hypermile to save money is to check out my actual gas mileage. I use Gas Buddy to measure my fuel purchases and the site calculates my gas mileage based on the information I input.

I am averaging 27.6 miles per gallon right now…up from 26.3 miles per gallon since I started to hypermile.

It is very easy to get this figure from Gas Buddy because there is a section called the Fuel Logbook. You keep your receipt and copy the information from the receipt, along with the odometer reading each time you fill up and the site spits out your mileage. I always keep a pen and notepad in my car so every time I fill up I can just grab the pen and write the odometer reading.

Don’t Drive Aggressively

According to many articles on hypermiling, most people apply their brakes way too much when driving. This results in more gas being needed to push the car again when you are ready to move. I always leave a good amount of space between me and the vehicle in front of me so that I can clearly see the road.

This allows me to see when the other person is braking or turning and gives me time to make a decision to either move into the next lane or apply my brakes as well. Usually I can coast to a slow roll behind the person if they are making a turn and then resume my speed without ever having to touch my brakes.

Coast

I coast a lot. If I am driving towards a light and I see that it has turned orange I take my foot off the gas and coast to the light. There are a few lights on my route that I have timed well and by the time I get to the light it has turned green so I can continue moving.

What is the point of the drivers who rush past you when the light is orange only to come to a stop at the red light….right in front of you? Go ahead and honk if you want, but I see no point in speeding up only to slam on the brakes at the red light.

It is very easy to coast and once you start to do it you will find that it becomes more natural the more you do it. So if you see me driving slowly in front of you just know that the light ahead is either orange or red and I will not be speeding up.

Accelerate Slowly

If I do have to come to a stop at a red light I also see no point in burning rubber to move on to my destination. I accelerate slowly as this burns less fuel than accelerating quickly.

Neutral Shifts

Some people who hypermile (like Baz , who says that I drive like an old lady ) tend to shift into neutral when coasting to save even more money on gas. I have not gotten the hang of that as yet but I do shift into neutral when I am stuck at a long red light. I also do it on the occasion that I happen to get stuck behind the train lines as there are train crossings in my area. The train takes a good few minutes to go by but if I can see the end of the train I will shift into neutral.

If I get stuck when the train is just coming then I will shut off the engine. This usually happens on the narrow road where there is no place to turn and one million three or four vehicles behind me so I have no choice but to wait for the train.

There are a few other tips you can use for hypermiling but I do not practice them, for example drafting. I think drafting is too dangerous so I will not do it at any time.

Do you hypermile?

Have you been taking steps to reduce your fuel consumption?

How do you save money on gas?

Author: Lulu

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14 Comments

  1. Hypermiling is great. I have been using most of these techniques ever since I started driving, because my dad taught them to me. It is sadly great to see that more people are consider or taking advantage of these techniques as it will hopefully make our roads more safe and lessen the amount of gas we use.

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  2. When hypermiling, just be aware of other motorists on the road, and be careful not to affect the flow of traffic, as that can result in you being the subject of road rage…

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  3. I enjoyed watching a video on CNN about Hypermiling and also wrote a post about it. It was amazing to see the effort the man put into driving and it appears to be more impressive than watching Nascar or the races. He really worked at getting better mpg out of his car. Very impressive! I have started to turn off my engine if I’m going to be at a stop light for more than a couple minutes. We also have a Toyota Prius, and it has been fantastic. Engine turns off automatically when stopped. I should try some of the other hypermiling suggestions with the Prius too.

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  4. @ Martin
    Yes I am careful to not get into a situation that angers other drivers. I keep to the right since I am driving slower and so far people have just passed me without even honking or giving me the finger. 🙂

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  5. Very interesting post. I am going to plan on keeping track of my gas mileage going forward. I am very curious as to what an Orange light is? I also thought they were yellow, but am I missing something?

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  6. I’ve been trying to cut down on my driving…but I haven’t taken steps to increase my mileage…I’ll have to try a few of these ideas!

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  7. @ Passive:
    Thanks for calling me out on the orange lights. I am referring to the yellow lights…but they don’t really look yellow to me. I have never seen a truly ‘yellow’ looking light..they look closer to orange color to me.
    🙂

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  8. Have you ever heard about reward credit cards? Just take your time and compare different rewards programs.
    Doesn’t it sound appealing to open a reward card account and get points toward free gas?

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  9. Actually I use rewards credit cards Lillian, but thanks for bringing it up again.

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  10. My favorite is coasting. I love being on the freeway and coming down a hill and puttin the car in nuetral…it makes me feel so so free.

    I’ve heard and read about hypermiling and some people I think take it a bit to far…but if you just keep it in mind all the techniques you talk about are simple and easy.

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  11. I need to get a book to track the gas and mileage since I tried to do it with just the receipts on my trip last weekend and failed miserably.

    However, since I drive a stick-shift, I enjoy shifting into neutral whenever I can, simply because of the feel of coasting. It does seem to add more miles per gallon.

    Something I have noticed to be a big difference between automatic and standard.

    I wonder if driving during cooler hours helps too?

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  12. @ Mark:
    I use Gas Buddy to track my mileage. I keep my receipts and write the total miles on the receipt and then when I log in I just enter all the information and it gives me a MPG rating.

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  13. This is a great way to save gas especially now that we are in recession. Every penny counts nowadays and as much as possible we should be wise enough to cut our expenses in order to survive. I have a feeling that this recession will last longer than expected and it’s good to start cutting our costs.

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  14. Some say opening your windows will increase the turbulence’s and eventually cost you fuel. If you can, use only the ventilation system of your car.

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