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Question of the Week: Have you tried hypermiling and what’s been your experience?

2008 August 4

Each week we ask a question related to the environment. Please let us know your thoughts as comments. Feel free to respond to earlier comments or post new ideas. Previous questions.

Several commenters on a previous question mentioned “hypermiling,” which refers to techniques some drivers use to try to increase their gas mileage. Techniques range from simple to complex, from things EPA recommends to the controversial.

Have you tried hypermiling and what’s been your experience?

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En español: Cada semana hacemos una pregunta relacionada al medio ambiente. Por favor comparta con nosotros sus pensamientos y comentarios. Siéntase en libertad de responder a comentarios anteriores o plantear nuevas ideas. Preguntas previas.

En respuesta a una pregunta anterior, algunos comentaristas mencionaron que practicaban el “hypermiling”, el cual se refiere a técnicas que varios conductores utilizan para tratar de aumentar el millaje de la gasolina. Las técnicas varían desde las simples a las complejas, así como las cosas que EPA recomienda hasta las controversiales.

¿Ha tratado de hacer el “hypermiling” y cuál ha sido su experiencia?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

152 Responses leave one →
  1. James Reaves permalink
    August 14, 2008

    I use a moderate hypermiling technique and never carry it to extremes. Even so I’ve improved my combined mileage from 21 to 23 mpg (about 10%). When I’m alone on the road my hypermiling is greater than in heavy traffic.

    My major techniques are: inflating tires to 40 psi, trying to never let the car stop, coasting when possible, and only accelerating when going downhill (in trafffic I maintain uphill speed, but when alone on the road I let the car slow down going up hills).

  2. James Reaves permalink
    August 14, 2008

    This is incorrect except for certain hybrids or electric cars. In 99.9% of cars the A/C compressor is run by a belt that is turned by the engine directly. The compressor is hard to turn, so it takes engine power to do it. That is the reason mileage goes down when the A/C is on.

  3. Barbara in Denver permalink
    August 18, 2008

    I use a plug-in electric lawnmower because it is non-polluting and does not use gasoline, and because of these: EPA420-F-07-032 and http://www.epa.gov/otaq/consumer/19-yard.pdf

  4. Kate permalink
    August 19, 2008

    I use several gas mowers I have about 8 hours of grass cutting a week at home. I need power and need to be about to ride on a mower. The mower I have doesn’t seem to use much gas, but at 4:00 a gal it is still too much.

  5. jim permalink
    August 19, 2008

    used simple and complex drafting techiques…stay at 55

  6. Mary permalink
    August 25, 2008

    Hi! Unfortunately we still use a gas mower most of the time, but there are more eco-friendly powermowers now. I will certainly look into buying one when we need a new mower.

    In the meantime, we keep trying to reduce the amount of yard that has to be mowed by increasing the size of our vegetable and flower gardens, planting bushes, blackberry plants, and trees. Next on the list is to plant a large plot in wildflowers. I have one friend who planted the whole yard in wildflowers.

  7. Leigh permalink
    October 14, 2008

    I was always taught to turn off all lights not in use at time plus use natural light whenever possible. Also, I turn up the thermostat when not at home when weather is warm and turn it down when weather is cooler. There is no reason to over run the AC/heat and waste energy plus think about the cost savings.

  8. Derrick permalink
    October 14, 2008

    There are a lot of things.
    1. Changed from a 3 gallon/minute shower head to a shower head that flows at 1.25 gpm

    2. Changed from T-12 linear bulbs to T-8 bulbs. I get the same light from 32 watt bulb than I did from a 40 watt old style bulb. Use compact flourescent bulbs when I can

    3. Added insulation to the outside of my house and than added new siding.

    4. I am using 3 pane windows with argon/krypton. These windows never even fog up even at really cold temps outside

    5. I have an arctic entry

    6. I installed a wood stove and use it when it is below 0 F.

    7. Installed outside combustion air for my oil fired boiler

    8. Try to use the stove on cold days to cook roasts etc.

    9. Added roof and floor insulation

    10. Wash clothes in cold water

    11. Usually take showers rather than baths. A shower at 1.25 gpm uses around 10 gallons of water vs. a 40 gallons of water for a bath.
    If I take a bath a let the water set in there for a while to capture the heat and when cooler drain the tub.

    12. Weatherstrip the doors.

  9. Misty Munoz permalink
    October 15, 2008

    One thing of many my little family do to save energy in the winter and summer: we challenge ourselves to see how many days through the summer and winter we can go without or minimal heating or cooling. How we accomplish this during the summer is we open all windows and doors as soon as the air temp is to our liking and leave them open all night until we leave for work in the morning. Then in the morning we close all windows and doors then all the blinds to keep sun rays from heating our home up. It works great and we were happy with our energy bill which ran around 55-60 dollars a month due to our efforts. In middle of winter we run our heating to around 67-70 degrees, when we need it, and bundle up in our favorite pagamas and socks for the evening with hot beverages like tea or cocoa. We also keep heavy blankets out on our couch to snuggle up in when working on the computer or watching a movie. We love the challenge because we save money and resources for our daughter and her future!

  10. Utah Chris permalink
    October 20, 2008

    I inflated my tires. I hear we can increase our mileage by doing that.

  11. S.L. Bradish permalink
    October 27, 2008

    I thought this was supposed to be about energy vampires. So I’ll speak to that instead of “hypermiling.” The biggest energy vampire around is Al Gore. The Democrat party is a very close second.

  12. Jill permalink
    October 28, 2008

    This is the first I’ve heard of hypermiling…is that the new age term for drive slower?

    Back in the 70′s, my dad taught me how to calculate the gas savings when you drive 55 rather than 65, and also compare the difference in time in getting to your destination. The difference tended to be around 10-15 minutes. The gas mileage and gas savings is significant. If the driver is taking a longer trip, what’s 10-15 minutes difference in arrival time?

    I think we should LOWER the speed limit again, as was done in the 70′s. Yes, it’s unpopular. But I don’t see people wanting to slow down voluntarily. And we all need to make sacrifices in order to bring our energy consumption into check.

  13. Patti permalink
    November 3, 2008

    Do we really want to see what happens if we continue to take from the environment and give nothing back?

  14. Conan O'Harrow permalink
    November 3, 2008

    I would like to see a national population goal of 100 million people.
    We could reach that goal in several generations if we had a policy of allowing a family a maximum of 2 children.

  15. Betty permalink
    November 3, 2008

    What would you have the EPA do to help the environment and human health?

  16. Dave permalink
    November 3, 2008

    if you look at soda bottles, they can only be recycled in about 7 or 8 states for cash, and not even in the District of Columbia….which means that potentially millions of soda bottles, beer bottles, and cans are going to landfills each year in the USA….WHY CAN’T EPA REQUIRE MANDATORY RECYLCING OF GLASS, STEEL, PAPER, CARDBOARD, ALUMINUM AND OTHER RECYCLABLE PRODUCTS BY ALL 50 STATES, THE DISTIRCT OF COLUMBIA AND ALL US TERRITORIES???

  17. Natalie permalink
    November 3, 2008

    What are the EPA’s updated EPP criteria for products?

  18. jeetendra solanki chandkheda Ahmedabad India permalink
    November 4, 2008

    Question about environment to public and to all of us those who care about it:

    Do we really worked, working for protection of environment? and all measures taken byall of us(including developed countries) are enough to protect environment?

  19. mariaelena permalink
    November 15, 2008

    Have you ever though that industries of the big countries make up their minds to accept the culpability in the destroy of the environment?

  20. Betty permalink
    November 17, 2008

    I have to agree that this is nearly impossible in the Baltimore/DC metro area. Even at 60 MPH drivers on I-95 and both beltways are ready to run you off the road for going too slow.

  21. jaghnane permalink
    November 17, 2008

    thank you

  22. Sharon permalink
    November 18, 2008

    Doing anything quickly or consistently in Los Angeles is a joke. It’s stop and go all the time. One never gets to use cruise control, if you have it, nor shift to third if you have that.

  23. Yvonika,Filipe permalink
    November 29, 2008

    We have to work more to take care of the than is our

  24. Beth permalink
    December 2, 2008

    Because it’s regulated by state, not the federal government.

  25. Jude permalink
    December 20, 2008

    I’ve been coasting in neutral for years, and I have always been the envy of all my friends when it comes to gas savings. In city traffic, if you stay about 3/4 car length behind the guy in front, you can switch to neutral and coast along with slow traffic. I now live in San Francisco, and it even works in this traffic disaster.

  26. Jude permalink
    December 20, 2008

    Also get your tires filled with nitrogen rather than at an air pump. It costs about $4 per tire, but is incredible in keeping your tires at max for long periods of time. I am saving about 6% extra –on top of everything else I do.

  27. Jude permalink
    December 21, 2008

    I met a really old guy who was a mechanic who advised me that 38psi would increase my gas mileage considerably. The man was absolutely right. I get 38 mpg highway in my 2000 Ford Zx2 Escort.

  28. Jude permalink
    December 21, 2008

    I LOVE hypermiling. I have a 2000 Ford Escort ZX3 6-cylinder. With care this vehicle gets 38 mpg on the highway, and I have to admit that I do about 3-5 mi. over speedlimits on long trips. But I keep my tires close to the highest inflation rates, have them filled with nitrogen, have my fuel line blown out regularly (amazing round town savings on that one), coast whenever possible. I also have fooled around with different brands of gasoline and find that I get much better mileage with certain brands. Unfortunately, one of those is EXXon, and I have issues with that company; so I struggle with the tradeoffs. Also, at speed limit, do not brake before curves…take your foot off the gas and let the car coast into the curve at which point you slowly accelerate again. I learned this from a race car driver. It’s a great safety tip as well as you will never “lose it” or drift over even on sharp curves. BTW, I am partially disabled now and have to use an automatic, but standard shifts have amazing gas savings.
    Happy driving and saving!

  29. Fred permalink
    February 7, 2009

    I was trying this back in the summer when gas was $4.00 a gallon.
    But a have to be honest and say I forgot all about it when gas came back down. I need to start back working on it.

    Good Luck,

  30. Rebecca permalink
    March 31, 2009

    Mike, can you tell us WHICH device you got? I’ve heard some of them aren’t much good, or that the cost outweighs the benefit. It would sure be nice to know the one I’m getting will work!

    Thanks very much!

  31. discount auto parts permalink
    July 22, 2009

    i owned a hybrid car!

  32. Matt permalink
    November 21, 2009

    Mike,

    All that caught my eye throughout your entire comment was “(even if it may irritate others).” People and not the gas efficiency of your car will ultimately determine how safely you get from Point A to Point B. So while you’re consumed by your greedy, self interested desires to save $.05 per mile think of others, because while you’re on the road, a frustrated driver will not only impact your driving habits but they’ll impact your and other people’s safety as well.

  33. Powerlifting Workouts permalink
    July 26, 2010

    Doing anything quickly or consistently in Los Angeles is a joke. It’s stop and go all the time. One never gets to use cruise control, if you have it, nor shift to third if you have that.

  34. Priciayna permalink
    October 19, 2010

    I love hypermiling, it maximize fuel economy and attempt to maximize gas mileage by making fuel-conserving adjustments to one’s vehicle and one’s driving techniques. I tried it with my Dodge, and it gives me good response.

  35. nada bluebook permalink
    November 17, 2010

    I think i have but too shy to tell my experience…

  36. BaryG permalink
    December 3, 2010

    Hypermilling sounds like too much effort, but I’ve done hyper plenty. I did once get stuck behind a big fat RV and rather than getting pissed, I just rode a yard or 2 behind him for 30 miles. I don’t know what gas mileage I got, but I also could not tell if the gas needle moved in all that time.

  37. January 2, 2011

    I’m driving a 2002 G500 mercedes with terrible gas mileage and have been “kind of” hypermilling (when not in a hurry) for the last year and my gas mileage has definitely gone up.
    I’ve been able to raise my city mileage by 2mpgs on average in the city, but find it hard to stay on or below the speed limit on the highways, so I tend to cruise-control it to speed limit plus 7 mph. The hypermilling techniques that I do use are:
    keeping my rpms below 2500
    keeping a 3-4 car distance from others in front
    anticipating red lights and stop signs, and laying off the gas pedal well ahead of them
    using the brakes as little as rationally possible
    turning off the car when idling
    not warming up the car, just going real slow until it warms up

  38. why cant i get pregnant permalink
    January 27, 2011

    when I tried to access the description of your latest beautiful work – I received the following…I just had to share…while it may be a circuit/server issue…it could also be folks rushing to see your work. Thank you for sharing.

  39. Michael permalink
    March 3, 2011

    Hypermiling? I have to ride within a car length of the person in front of me to prevent persons in the lane next to me flying up to cut me off.
    LOL

  40. Declanto permalink
    March 26, 2011

    I have hypermiled since before it was called hypermiling. One of my own “tricks” is to take my foot off the gas pedal before depressing the clutch when shifting gear. The timing here is important, if you still are holding on the gas when you depress the clutch, you get an rpm surge that is like pouring expensive fuel right out the window.

  41. the human tool permalink
    March 30, 2011

    How can you save 6% after investing $16 towards nitrogen while there isn’t any investment at all, except in the tires’ life, to check and adjust tire pressure accordingly. By the way, how often do your
    tires need adjustment and at what cost for a gas with approximately 30% percent purity over an air pump.

  42. the human tool permalink
    March 30, 2011

    I’m sure my car would save time and gas at 110 mph. JUST CANT PROVE IT WITHOUT A COST!

  43. the human tool permalink
    March 30, 2011

    I’m lost with your formula about savings.

  44. the human tool permalink
    March 30, 2011

    I’d get better mileage at one hundred ten. I cant prove it to the cop though.

  45. November 7, 2011

    I normaly fall asleep behind the wheel at low speed (low concertration), therefore slow speeds aren’t for me. Good luck though

  46. alt permalink
    December 4, 2013

    Use cruise control and stick to the right lane. I do 45mph during rush hour every evening

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