Saving Money on Fuel.
The price of fuel is down but will it stay that way, will we be prepared for the next increase, can we improve our miles per gallon?
Do you know what hypermiling is? Hypermiling is doing things that save on fuel. Many hypermiling techniques can cost you a lot more than they save. Drafting trucks can improve your MPG but also get you a very large ticket, increase your insurance and you lose time while the ticket is being written, which is money. You may also have to pay a big price, the big sacrifice, if it causes an accident. Doing 45 mph on the freeway can produce the same negative results as drafting. If someone wants to hypermile at 45, it would be best to do it on a back road or alternative route.
I’ve toured, raced and done a lot of recreational bicycle riding. Riding on the white line reduces friction and can slightly improve MPG in cars. It also causes a lot of flats and ruins a lot of tires. Cars and trucks blow debris off the normal paths on the highway. Usually, the debris doesn’t make it completely off the road and ends up on the white line or shoulder. If anyone pulls onto, or drives, on the shoulder, that debris is pushed back onto the white line. How many MPG do you have to save to pay for a tire? What if it’s necessary to call a tow truck or if a blowout or flat causes you to slide off the road, what’s the cost involved and what about inconvenience and lost time?
Coasting downhill can save on fuel but, you can be in trouble if you shut off the engine or coast in neutral. If you rely on power steering, you won’t have any with the engine off. If you get a little over your head in a corner, for whatever reason, and need to steer into a slide, you can’t if the vehicle is in neutral, and things can happen too quickly to engage the transmission. Having very successfully raced front wheel drive cars, it became obvious if you wanted to finish, you had to have drive on the front wheels in the corners. Applying the brakes in a corner, in a front wheel drive car, is probably the quickest way to end up in the ditch.
Statistics and testing have proven that for every 5 mph above 55 you lose 10 percent of your fuel economy.
If you have a real time fuel consumption meter, use it. We have a ScanGauge® and it’s proven worthwhile. The biggest complaint I have is, I don’t care about most of the superfluous stuff that comes included. I’d like a bigger display that only tells me the important things, like real time MPG, trip MPG, throttle opening percentage and engine RPM (if you don’t have a tachometer), and it should be large enough so you can read it without taking your attention off the road or having someone else riding shotgun to read the tiny display for you. Some vehicles come equipped with real time readouts in miles-per-gallon and are more user friendly than the after market models.
Just about everyone knows maintaining recommended tire pressure and removing excess junk from the trunk can save on fuel. Sludgy oil has increased viscosity (thickness) and increased viscosity causes more drag on internal engine parts which reduces efficiency.
Before we left on our summer trip, our mileage began fluctuating. It would be excellent one time and normal or poor the next. There was no set pattern, which is one sign of a bad 02 sensor. I replaced it and our mileage was consistently good for about 1500 miles, when it started doing the same thing again. I replaced the new sensor with another new one while at our son’s in Oregon, and we haven’t had the problem since.
In a vehicle that gets 30 MPG on the highway, it can get as little as 10 MPG in town and on short trips. Brakes and the labor to replace them, especially if the rotors have to be surfaced or replaced and cylinders have to be rebuilt or renewed, can cost hundreds of dollars. Some people get 100,000 miles out of their brakes and others get 20,000 or less. I’d bet their fuel economy figures run in concert with their brake life.
Tags: Mpg , Miles Per Gallon , Hypermiling , Fuel Economy
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