Friday, January 13, 2012

Casual Hypermiling

If you live in southern Wisconsin you are probably familiar with the steep decline on I-94 as you approach Milwaukee.  Last year on our annual pilgrimage to Ham Fest (don't ask) both my husband and I said the same thing as we descended "put the car in neutral to save money".  For those who know us, this is not a surprise.

We do not own a hybrid vehicle, although we like to pretend we do.  How?  We use a casual hypermiling approach with both cars, a 2005 Honda Civic and a 2003 Mazda. 

Hypermiling consists of various techniques used by drivers to gain better fuel efficiency.  On the extreme end are those who drive with the windows up, never use the air conditioning, and turn the car off before stopping.  My husband is closer to that end than me.  My main hypermiling technique is to put the car in neutral and coast.  Why?  Coasting does not require your foot on the gas pedal, which means you're using less fuel.  It takes a little getting used to, but becomes second hand in no time.  This is especially true if you drive a stick shift and are used to changing gears.

Other approaches I follow are making sure the tires are properly inflated and to avoid caring extra weight in the car.  With two small children I have a double stroller.  It is on the light end, weighing about 30 pounds.  Unless I need it, it stays parked in the garage.  No need to cart it around town.

Are there any other casual hypermilers out there?  If so, what is your favorite way to increase fuel efficiency?

Photo credit: www.sxc.hu - free image

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