What Is Hypermiling? 4 Driving Techniques That Save You Money on Gas

Do this if you want to maximize your car's MPG and go beyond even the manufacturer's fuel economy claims.

By Ryan Kh

This story originally appeared on blue & green tomorrow

One of the best ways to go green is to travel in an electric vehicle. But while EVs are more popular than ever, most people still can't afford the hefty price tag.

For those who still drive combustion-engine cars, there are still ways to maximize your mileage for less money.

This technique is called hypermiling, a strategy to get every last mile out of a gallon of fuel. It is a prime example of eco-friendly driving in action.

Here are four hypermiling strategies you can use right now.

Related: The 5 Most Luxurious Electric Cars on the Market That Will Make You Want To Skip On Gas

1. Keep your engine tuned

The first step to hypermiling is getting your car set up for maximum efficiency. Using driving techniques will certainly help save fuel, but you're only halfway there if your vehicle is not maintained well.

First, have the car tuned up. This involves changing the sparkplugs, so this is an excellent opportunity to go with iridium-tipped "performance" ones that will be very efficient as creating the combustion. The result is more power while using less fuel for it and contributing fewer emissions.

You should also have an oil change done and switch to using synthetic motor oil if you aren't already. Synthetic oil is long-lasting so it will cost less over time, but, more importantly, it will increase the motor's efficiency and use less fuel as a result. Also, look for lightweight motor oil as it is easier for the engine to pump it, making for greater efficiency.

2. Maintain the tires

One of the most critical aspects of hypermiling is the condition of your tires. The key is how much of the rubber is in contact with the road.

They should be aligned properly so they wear evenly and have the proper contact with the road. Next, they should be properly inflated. You can improve your gas mileage by up to 3.3 percent by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

When they are underinflated, too much contact with the road and friction will reduce fuel efficiency. On the other hand, overinflated tires cause a lot of drag and are dangerous when driving, in addition to reduced efficiency.

3. Drive steady

Constantly slowing down and speeding up is one of the worst ways to drive from fuel efficiency. Instead, try to use a steady speed without much variation. If you have cruise control, then using it when it makes sense will help.

You should also try to use your brakes less and just coast when you need to slow down. When you accelerate from a slow speed rather than a full stop, then you increase your efficiency. Keep your distance between other cars so you can roll at a slow pace rather than stop altogether.

4. Pack lightly

Keep unnecessary items out of your vehicle, especially the heavy stuff that can weigh you down. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2 percent, says the U.S. Department of Energy.

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