What You Know
Most parents have instructed their children on the proper don’ts of driving: don’t idle lengthily, don’t brake unnecessarily, don’t accelerate quickly and don’t speed. Almost perfect: one should idle 2-3 minutes to warm an engine in extremely cold weather.
What You Don’t
The following driving techniques were likely not included in your parents’ speech, “Driving Is a Privilege, Not a Right.”
To achieve maximum gas mileage, use the following hypermiling routines.
Pulse And Glide:
Smoothly accelerate five mph past your target speed, then coast until you are five mph below your optimal speed, and repeat.
Select a benevolent semi-truck cruising nearby and draft behind it.
Unless absolutely necessary – meaning that jail or death is a distinct possibility – do not brake!
For fuel economy purposes, cleanliness is next to godliness. A clean air filter, spark plugs and oil sump can increase fuel efficiency 5-30%. Use synthetic oil and replace it every 3,000 miles or per manufacturer’s recommendation.
If cash is more important than comfort, reduce the use of air conditioning, entertainment systems and all power accessories.
Inflate your tires regularly to the manufacturer’s recommended PSI, which balances rolling resistance, ride comfort and traction. This can improve fuel efficiency 3-10%.
Install smooth hubcabs, side skirts, a grille block and other cosmetic alterations to improve aerodynamics and increase fuel efficiency.
Only use cruise control on flat terrain.
Feed your fuel tank like it's a baby. Fill it slowly, do so in the morning or evening, do not top it off, never run the vehicle on empty, and do not use high-octane fuel unless recommended by the manufacturer.
Here are four extra tips for the unhealthily desperate.
Bribe your gas station attendant.
Eliminate all teenagers from driving your car.
Build your own refinery.
Okay, so those last three ideas aren't going to happen...but they are something to think about and I bet at least one of them made you crack a smile!