Tuesday, June 17, 2008

WFMW - Hypermiling

So gas prices are THROUGH THE ROOF nowadays. It's ridiculous. When we bought our house out here in the sticks gas was hovering around $2.00 a gallon and we thought THAT was insane. Now, a mere 5 years later we've doubled that and then some.

We're a family of 5 and we're always carting a ton of stuff around so the super cute smart and the super fuel economic Prius just aren't an option for us right now. I drive a Chrysler Town & Country and we use just about every inch of space it has. Downsizing is not an option at this point in our lives. It gets relatively decent gas mileage under normal around town driving - about 17 to 18 miles per gallon.

Until recently.

Lately I've been fuel obsessed. I click reset on our little dash thing every time I go anywhere so I can see exactly how many miles it takes me to get everywhere I go on a regular basis. Then I can figure out exactly how much is COSTS to go everywhere. At 18 miles per gallon it costs $5 to go to my mom and dad's house and back. It costs about $8 to go to my mother-in-law's house and my favorite thrift store. My best friend's house is a whopping $14 there and back and my parents beach condo cost us $32 this weekend.

Something's got to give! So I've been learning about hypermiling. You can read more about it all over the Internet but the basics are as follows:

1. Keep your tires at least properly inflated if not overinflated to reduce drag.
2. Accelerate slowly.
3. Coast up to red lights. Let off the gas as far back as you can when you see a red light. If the light turns green before you get to it you'll save gas by not having to accelerate as much to get back up to speed.
4. Drive the speed limit. Use cruise control if possible.
5. Drive in the lane of least resistance. If you can, use lanes that people are less likely to put their brakes on in. If you have to slow down to wait for someone to turn, you're going to have to use gas to get back up to speed.
6. Take less crowded roads with less stop lights even if the speed limit is slower.
7. Leave early to give yourself more time.
8. Keep your vehicle's oil changed and keep it tuned up.
9. If you're doing a bunch of errands (and you should be planning to do as many as you can at a time), go to the furthest one first to help your car warm up as much as possible. Your car performs more efficiently when it's warm and you'll save gas.
10. Don't haul a bunch of stuff around. It takes gas to move that stuff.

There's a lot more tips out there if you want to spend the time reading. I've upped our gas mileage in the van to close to 22 and I've just started doing it. I'm positive with more practice and a tune up on the van I can get that mileage closer to 25. That's 112 MORE miles I can go on the same tank of gas.

That totally works for me.

For more Works for me Wednesday tips, check out Rocks In My Dryer!

Have you commented on my giveaway this week? I'm giving away a copy of Jane Green's novel, Bookends, this week. Go comment and maybe you'll win!


Judy said...[Reply to comment]

Anything that saves gas works for me, too - thanks for the tips!

Michelle@Life with Three said...[Reply to comment]

I've heard some of those tips before but didn't really know how much mileage they could save you. I'm so impressed that you improved your mileage by 4 mpg already. Can't wait to try it myself!

Karen said...[Reply to comment]

Really? Those little tips are making your gas mileage that much different! I'm in!
You are just full of good info this morning!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Those are some really good tips!!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Wow - I drive a T & C as well, so I am currently printing off these tips! Thank you!!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I drive a Honda Odyssey and just had a tune up - along with some work on the emissions system. Amazingly, I'm getting 26 miles to the gallon!!!! (I'm also following most of your suggestions!)

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

also, buy your gas when in the early morning or cool out as you get more gas when it's cold and park in the shade to avoid evaporation, make sure to use car cooling shades too!

Family O'Foxes said...[Reply to comment]

I have another one to add to your list:
turn off your engine when you're idling in gas lines or bank lines (we have long gas lines here). I just recently read up on it...if you are going to idle more than 30 seconds it is better to turn off your car (old school thinking about it ruining your starter and stuff).
Thanks for the tips.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Thanks for sharing. You got me thinking. :)