How to be a Hyper Miler

How to get even better gas mileage out of your vehicle

Are you concerned with smog forming emissions causing health problems for you and your family? Are you worried about global warming? Are you concerned with global security? Or are you simply excited by the notion of saving more money? If so, then perhaps you should become a hypermiler. Of course the best hypermilers are those that consider walking, biking, riding public transportation before ever turning the key of an automobile. But with Toyota’s full line of affordable hybrids, you can still drive and save fuel and the environment.

Here are some great ways to stretch your fuel efficiency to the max:

Do not accelerate quickly or brake heavily: This reduces fuel economy by as much as 33 percent at highway speeds and 5 percent around town.

Do not idle if not necessary: Decreases average FE. Consider shutting down your vehicle if stopped for more than 7-seconds as that is all the fuel it takes to restart a modern day, fuel-inject engine.

Avoid driving at higher speeds: This increases aerodynamic drag and mechanical friction which reduces fuel economy. Remember- speed destroys fuel efficiency!

Cold weather and frequent short trips reduce fuel economy, since your engine doesn’t operate efficiently until it is warmed up. In colder weather, it takes longer for your engine to warm, and on short trips, your vehicle operates a smaller percentage of time at the desired temperature. Note: Letting your car idle to warm-up does not help your fuel economy, it actually uses more fuel and creates more pollution. Drive to your farthest destination first and then as you are heading home, stop at the closer destinations in order from furthest to closest as the car is warmed up for longer portions of your drive.

Remove cargo or cargo racks: Cargo and/or racks on top of your vehicle (e.g., cargo boxes, canoes, etc.) increase aerodynamic drag and lower FE.

Do not tow unless absolutely necessary: Towing a trailer or carrying excessive weight decreases fuel economy. Vehicles are assumed to carry three hundred pounds of passengers and cargo in most EPA tests.

Minimize running mechanical and electrical accessories: Running mechanical and electrical accessories (e.g., air conditioner) decreases fuel economy. Operating the air conditioner on “Max” can reduce MPG by roughly 5-30% compared to not using it.

Avoid driving on hilly or mountainous terrain if possible: Driving on hilly or mountainous terrain or on unpaved roads reduces fuel economy most of the time.

Do not use 4-wheel drive if it is not needed: 4-Wheel drive reduces fuel economy. Engaging all four wheels makes the engine work harder and increases crankcase losses.

A poorly tuned engine burns more fuel, so fuel economy will suffer if it is not in tune. Improperly aligned or under inflated tires can lower fuel economy, as can a dirty air filter or brake drag. So always maintain your vehicle!

Engine Break-In: New vehicles will not obtain their optimal fuel economy until the engine has broken in. This may take 3 to 5 thousand miles.

So how much will you save on fuel?

Find out here with CAA’s Driving Costs Calculator.