The Price of Gas Informative - Steps To Getting Better Miles Per Gallon

Review by disgruntled on 2008-08-12
Are you thinking about purchasing a new car because of high gas prices? Consider keeping the car you have but make a few changes to increase your cars mileage. I have a 2001 Ford Expedition (4 wheel drive) with a 4.6 L V8 motor and automatic transmission. The government rated EPA mileage www.fueleconomy.gov was 17 mpg while driving on the highway. I recently made a two week vacation from Sierra Vista Arizona to Yellowstone (and back) and was able to achieve an average of 20.2 mpg. This is how I did it. I increased the tire pressure in all four tires to the maximum rated on the tire (not the car recommendation). At my regular scheduled oil change I had them put in synthetic oil. The cost is higher but you can actually go a longer distance between oil changes. I made some changes to my driving habits and will explain them here.

Keep in mind that many of these changes will depend on how many cars you have behind you; you don’t want to stir up trouble or cause an accident. When starting from a stand still I gradually accelerated up to my driving speed, not exceeding 2,000 rpm. If driving in town I refrain from driving over the posted speed limit and adjust my speed if faced with a red light ahead in hopes of it changing by the time I arrive. I coast to a stop whenever possible applying brakes at the last moment. Anytime my car will not be in motion for two or more minutes I turn off the ignition. This might be at a bank teller, construction zone, etc. I don’t open my windows and turn off your air conditioner. The drag on the car is higher with the windows opened. When I’m driving on the highway I keep my speed at 65 to 70 mph instead of 75 to 80mph.

I use the cruise control whenever on flat highway but just before coming to a hill I put my foot on the accelerator, turn off the cruise control and continue up the hill without giving the car more gas. The car will gradually slow down as it climbs the hill and only after my speed has dropped by 10mph do I apply more gas. On the downhill slopes I allow the car to coast but am careful not to let the momentum build up to where it will be dangerous. If need be I shift to a lower gear. If you have an automatic transmission do not attempt to take the care out of gear while coasting, especially while you have the cruise control enabled. I learned this the hard way. I had the cruise control enabled and while coasting I put the gear shift in neutral.

The cruise control caused the engine to rev up to such a high rpm that one of the water hoses burst. Allowing your car to coast in any situation that is safe will save you ton’s of gas in the long run. To better help me in learning how to drive the car more efficiently I purchased a device called “Scanguage II” from this web site. http://www.pureenergysystems.com/store/Scan_Gauge/
It simply plugs into the computer port under the steering column and tells you information about your car’s performance that you don’t normally get. It’s not necessary to have this device to achieve great mileage. I am always looking for cheap gas so here is a couple of web sites that I use to find those stations.

Comments:6 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-08-13
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-13:
Thanks for your advice. Those EPA mileage figures are based on ideal conditions that in reality don't exist outside of a lab.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-13:
thanks for posting this, disgruntled. I just saw a clip on the morning news yesterday of a guy who had just passed a million miles on his Cadillac somthing or other. He also mentioned mpg and said he could get around 20-22 by doing the things you mentioned.
Posted by MRM on 2008-08-13:
Informative article indeed.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-13:
hyper miling is a big deal right now. CNN did a blurb on it a few weeks ago, listing this info. The also talked about how drivers doing it can cause accidents if they suddenly slow down and "coast" to a red light. I doubt it, as these foks try to avoid braking, so coasting should not cause anythign other than possibly annoying folks behind you.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-08-13:
Life's too short to coast!
Posted by MRM on 2008-08-13:
When I head towards the stoplight, I only coast when theres no driver behind me.

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