The national average retail price of a gallon of regular gasoline in March 2011 was $3.63. In 2000 it was $1.60. Ouch! Did you know it’s possible to improve fuel economy by 38% just by changing the way you drive and by maintaining your vehicle?
Hypermilers know that. (Hypermiling is driving using techniques that maximize fuel economy).
“Hypermilers” practice the following to minimize gas costs:
- Follow recommended maintenance: Even a clean air filter benefits gas mileage by 10%.
- Properly inflated tires: Improve gas mileage by up to 3.3% by keeping your tires at the proper pressure.
- Drive sensibly: Speeding, rapid acceleration and braking waste gas. They can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town.
- Cruise control. Using cruise control on a highway helps maintain a constant speed and in most cases will save gas. The accelerate button speeds up gradually over a greater distance. The longer it takes to achieve a speed, the less fuel it requires.
- Avoid excessive idling: Shut down your vehicle if stopped for more than a minute or two. It only takes a minimum amount of fuel to restart a modern engine. However, stopping and starting frequently cause extra wear. It’s your call.
- Observe speed limits: Each 5 mph driven over 60 mph equals an additional $.24 or more per gallon of gas. Even at 65 mph, fuel economy drops by nearly 10% compared to 55 mph.
- Air conditioning: Operating the a/c on maximum reduces mpg by roughly 5-30% compared to not using it; but open windows increase drag, also bad for fuel consumption. If you’re hot, turn it on low.
- Find the best gas price in your neighborhood at Gasbuddy.com.
- Buy gas three days before a holiday. Gas prices almost always go up for holidays.
- Taking off slowly from a full stop will have dramatic effects on your gas mileage.
This mobility safety update has been brought to you by NMEDA – the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association. Need some information on how to make your vehicle wheelchair accessible or upgraded with the latest and most convenient features? Contact a NMEDA dealer in your local area. Your local NMEDA member is an expert in mobility equipment and accessibility!