Gas-Saving Moment of the Day: Hypermiling

Hypermiling

We've written before about driving techniques that can save you gas, but there's a school of thought that takes an adjustment of driving habits to the extreme. They're called hypermilers, and they basically gear every driving technique toward conserving fuel.

This includes coasting down all hills or driving with no right shoe so the foot is more sensitive to the gas pedal. It also means always parking in a space where the vehicle can face out because backing up uses more gas. More controversial practices include rolling through stop signs without braking all the way, otherwise known as an illegal rolling stop. We do not advocate a majority of the practices associated with hypermiling, and your local constable may not either. Check the laws and regulations governing such actions in your area.

Would you ever consider hypermiling? Let us know your thoughts on this gas-saving driving style.

'Hypermilers': Squeezing Out Every Mile Per Gallon (Morning Edition)

Related:
More Gas-Saving Moments of the Day (KickingTires)

By Stephen Markley | June 10, 2008 | Comments (12)

Comments 

Anthony

breaking->braking

DL

1. the risks of questionable practices such as rolling stops probably will end up costing you more -- a ticket, an accident (i dare say that gasoline should NEVER literally cost an arm and a leg), etc. I applaud the spouse who was mentioned on the show to only driver her own car as opposed to riding with the hypermiler. IMHO it's always better to be alive and to keep all 4 limbs. one guy even said his eyes are "glued" to the mpg meter. hmm, i always thought looking out the windshield for things like traffic lights and cars and such was kinda important ...

2. the difference between extreme hypermiling vs. common sense -- driving gently and at the speed limit, minimizing start and stop situations by anticipating what's going on in front of you so you don't rush up to stopped traffic or a red light, just to slam on your brake, etc -- would like be be a negligible 1 or 2 mpg.

The irony is the measures taken in extreme hypermiling are what "Smart Highways" seeks to accomplish but with technology. Unlike human drivers who can become tired or distracted, computer systems that operate our cars and talk with traffic systems and each other take the risky, unreliable human element out of the loop. That is what is needed.

At one time the definition of a hypermiler was anyone who simply achieved better than EPA mileage. Now that community awards 'titles' based upon individual driving performance. But the greatest irony has been the number of hypermiler exhibitions performed using hybrid-electric cars and then claiming the hybrid-electric car had nothing to do with it.

We need "smart highways" for safety and efficiency. 'Hypermiler' stunts have as much to with "smart highways" as Cirque du Soleil has to do with walking.

Joe

If people think backing out of a parking space or driveway in reverse is going to have any noticable impact on fuel economy, short or long term, they really need to get a clue.

Yes, gas prices are high. Yes, the high prices are a contributing factor to our economy, along side all the butt-heads who bought homes they can't afford and are now crying about it ... but this garbage isn't even worth the time it took to post it.

Stick with the relevants posts - leave the pointless fluff to the 'others'.

J

They even turn off the engine while coasting.

DL

Joe, i think the topic was relevant.

Troy S.

I'd like to see manufacturers create more efficient vehicles. Then we wouldn't have to hypermile.

Six

I'm just beginning to hypermile my old beater. This is a real trend even if it is more in the category of hobby than practical.

George

Turning off the engine while coasting is not only dangerous, but it can also damage the automatic transmission. The owner's manual cautions one never to do that.

Amuro Ray

Being a hypermiler myself lately, I don't really go to the "EXTREME" like rolling stop (illegal), and definitely not turning off engine while going downhill. That's just downright DANGEROUS! By turing off the engine, u lose immediately
- power brakes (with or w/o ABS);
- power steering (so drive like a Geo Metro/Suzuki Firefly from the 90's);
The 2 most important component of driving are gone! It can also create big damage when your transmission (which is spinning extremely fast now) has to hook up with you engine (not running/so gear not spinning).
Just drive slow, make sure u plan to stop (no hard acceleration/brake), and no lead foot at the stop lights!

Red

The Toyota Prius allows you to coast without either the gas engine or the electric motor turning, and the whole thing is controlled by the gas pedal. All you do is get up to about 40 mph or faster, and back off on the gas pedal, but not all the way. It shuts off everything and lets you coast, and you can go for a mile if you are in the right place. The minute you take your foot completely off the gas, it goes into regenerative braking mode and scrubs off your speed. Using this technique, hypermilers have recorded more than 120 miles per gallon in a stock Prius (documented under test conditions). Another example of how remarkable a vehicle the Prius really is, and how it will do things no other car can.

Edward Hamilton

hypermilers --- what a notion . the bottom line is all these little tricks done over a year lets say.. saves five, six ok mabey ten gallons.
Saving gas is easier than people think.
First don't drive just to be driving. Go where you are heading. Make a plan when in town (only pass one place once).
Second MAnTAINCE.
Regular oil and filter changes. Air fiters. Trans service. Gas filters. Trans fluid and filters. TIRE PRESSURE. tune up etc...
Third don't hate your nieghbor if you are going to same place ride together.
Fourth. TIME. If you know you are going to have to deal with traffic leave the house alittle earlier. Then you would noy have to rush so bad. speed waste gas.
I have a 90 chevy 4x4 long bed with v-8 I live in a very hilly place. but i agveerage 24 miles to the gallon.

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