Hypermiling is the use of proven fuel-saving techniques to minimise the amount of fuel a vehicle uses no matter what car you drive.
Characterised by smooth driving and thinking ahead, getWorth GM Wesley Procter says hypermiling is all about the relationship you have with your accelerator and brake pedals and reducing both actions.
“Cars are heavy and it takes a lot of energy to get them moving, so when you brake, you waste that energy,” he says. “So brake as little as possible by keeping a decent following distance in traffic, coasting up to traffic lights, stop-signs and turns, and keep an eye far ahead for potential impediments,” he says.
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“Accelerate smoothly and steadily and as little as possible and lift your foot off the pedal as soon as you see you’re going to need to slow down or stop.”
Granted, hypermiling certainly takes the thrill out of driving, but it’s worth the money you’ll save on petrol costs.
From using hills to your advantage by free-wheeling to slowing down your speed, here a few other fuel saving techniques to try out:
- Set your display to show real-time fuel consumption – watching that number fly up when you accelerate is the quickest way to figure out why you are burning fuel
- Inflate your tyres regularly to the upper end of the safe pressure recommended by the manufacturer (the correct tyre pressure will also make your tyres last longer)
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- Use the lowest-viscosity (lowest weight) engine oil for your vehicle (the thicker the oil, the harder the engine must work to move its parts)
- Turn off your engine when you’re going to be stopped for more than a minute
- Air-conditioning uses fuel so only so only use when absolutely necessary
- Avoid tail-gating as it is inefficient. Leave a gap of 7 to 10 seconds from the vehicle ahead on the highway and maintain momentum
- Remove dead weight and take anything you don’t need out of the car, as this can save fuel in the long run