How to Reduce Fuel Consumption Through Hypermiling
With the cost of fuel only seemingly on the rise, it’s no wonder many drivers are looking for more economical ways to save money. One of the best ways to save money when driving is to reduce your fuel consumption, this will help you drive for longer and cheaper!
Follow our simple guide to reduce your fuel consumption through a little something called ‘hypermiling’.
What is Hypermiling?
The term ‘hypermiling’ isn’t particularly difficult to wrap your head around, it’s simply the act of minimising fuel consumption when driving. These techniques that save on fuel consumption are called ‘hypermilers’.
While ‘hypermiling’ can sometimes be a somewhat extreme way to reduce fuel consumption, the term is quite encompassing and can help you to find simple solutions to save money - without damaging your vehicle.
Why is it Important to Reduce Fuel Consumption?
There are a handful of reasons why reducing fuel consumption is a good decision to make, from saving the environment to cutting costs. The obvious benefit of reducing your fuel consumption is to save you money, the more bang you can get for your buck or the more driving you can get out of your fuel - the better.
The other benefits while less specific to yourself are vital to the sustainability of the environment. By reducing your fuel consumption you are contributing less harmful gases into the atmosphere, working to reduce oil dependence costs and allowing the time to find other more sustainable means of fuel.
If those aren’t reasons enough to start cutting down, see how simple our hypermiling tips are on how to reduce your fuel consumption and start saving money, today!
How to Reduce your Fuel Consumption
1) Remove Excess Weight
While this may seem like a fairly obvious way to reduce fuel consumption, it can sometimes be overlooked due to inconvenience, travel etc. So the advice we’re giving isn’t to never carry anything in your car - that would be near impossible - we’re advising that you consider what items can be left out.
For a lot of families, doing a big shop every week is just part of your routine and heavy shopping bags are just part of the package. However, there are things to consider when packing your car for trips or even just an everyday drive.
If you don’t need it, don’t pack it - we’re all guilty of hauling a cesspit of what can only be described as ‘things you might need later’ in the boots of our cars. Start making cuts; get rid of that bag that has been holding your gym stuff for over a year and start tidying up - hypermiling-style.
It may seem rather redundant to do so, but the EPA states that for every 100 pounds (or 45kg for us English), the fuel consumption is increased by 1 to 2 percent. So, why not give it a try?
2) Avoid Idling
Again, this is all something we’re guilty of - “I’ll only be a minute” says your friend, which quickly turns into more of an amalgamation of fift...sev...nineteen minutes. A vehicle should be idle for no longer than a minute because a car that is idle emits just as much gas as one that is on the road.
To put things into perspective, for a standard passenger vehicle, the cost of being idle can equate to half a litre to more than two litres of fuel per hour. Meaning your car is literally costing you money by just sitting there, which is very much against what hypermiling is trying to achieve.
Sometimes even though it’s cold and you want your heating on, or your new favourite song is playing, it saves money to simply turn the engine off and restart it when you are ready to drive again.
3) Make Your Car More Aerodynamic
By this, we do not mean become an automotive engineer and take matters into your own hands. What we mean is to remove anything that could be interrupting how streamlined your car is such as roof boxes or roof bars.
This is because anything that sticks out on your car will create more resistance and thus your car needs to work harder to drive against the wind. In fact, according to Energy Saving Trust, an empty roof rack adds 16% drag when driving at 75mph. With the roof box also adding 39%, this leads your car to be much less efficient.
This also includes keeping your windows closed, another hypermiling tip. When you’re driving at 35mph or less you should be fine, but when driving at high speeds particularly on the motorway keep your windows shut at all times. Having your windows open increases the drag resistance of your car, which is only amplified at high speeds.
4) Choose a Car With a Good Fuel Economy
Of course, investing in a hybrid or electric car is going to reduce your fuel economy considerably or altogether - but they can be quite expensive to begin with.
What you’re looking for when buying or leasing a car is ‘fuel consumption’ which is measured in MPG (or miles per gallon). The lower this number the more money you will be saving on fuel. This number can range from 0mpg all the way to over 200mpg.
A lot of the Toyota, Honda and Hyundai models are particularly fuel-efficient, however, if you’re looking for a few stand out models to keep an eye on these are the ones.
The Vauxhall Astra is a standout performer for fuel economy when compared with its competitors. The Astra is a win-win for cost as it is cheap to purchase and cheap to run. With a new face, it now has low CO2 emissions which meet the latest RDE2 emissions standards.
The Ford Fiesta Hatchback is a car that has not only stolen our hearts as a nation but is also one that is making our bank accounts proud. The new EcoBoost petrol engine works wonders to reduce fuel consumption with mild-hybrid assistance and low CO2 emissions.
It’s important to consider not only the look and feel of the car but also the fuel consumption or ‘hypermiling’ potential of it too.
5) Limit How Much You Drive
This hypermiling tip is good in theory but in practicality, it may not always be feasible to start cutting down how much you drive. There is work and the weekly shopping, and picking the kids up from school, visiting your parents and… you get the idea.
While it’s not always possible to restrain what you plan to do in the car, if you’re running multiple errands why not combine them into one trip. After all, a warm engine is a happy engine. This can help the engine to work economically and perform at its best.
Another hypermiling suggestion is to also consider not only when you’re driving but where and what route. Is the school route packed full of zebra crossings, lollypop men, junctions, traffic etc. then maybe it’s time to consider a different route? If you’re having to constantly stop you’re wasting fuel that you could be using driving.
6) Have a Steady Foot - Softer Acceleration and Braking
This one is for those that are heavy-handed, or in this case, heavy-footed? Either way, being too trigger happy with the accelerator can increase your fuel consumption quite drastically.
Of course, you will need to tap the accelerator at some point in your journey - that’s a given. But keep in mind hypermiling during your drive, only apply as much acceleration as you need and slowly ease on the brake in plenty of time. No last-minute accelerating and braking - after all, you’re going to Tesco, not competing in Formula 1.
Another hypermiling tip to consider is to always aim to be in the highest gear for the speed limit. When driving through urban areas it’s advisable to gear up as quickly as possible, as when your engine is working in a lower gear at higher speeds it’s working much harder - you can tell this from how loud the engine is.
7) Keep Up With Car Maintenance
Keeping up with the maintenance of your car is key to keeping your fuel consumption low. Any little thing wrong with your car could be making it work harder and eating through your fuel much quicker.
Make sure you’re checking your tyre pressure and inflating said tyres - as an underinflated tyre can contribute to rolling resistance and contribute to fuel consumption. The same being said for checking your car’s engine oil and topping up; if your car is not in near-perfect working condition there will always be room for improvement in the fuel department.
8) Use Cruise Control on Motorways
We know what you’re thinking, “not all cars have cruise control”. Yes, that is correct but a lot of modern cars now have cruise control as standard, some of which come with a speed limiter.
When picking out your next car, as well as looking at its fuel consumption, it may also be worth considering whether the car has cruise control. This can be a big money saver on long journeys.
Cruise control is a hypermiler’s best friend. It actually works to reduce your fuel consumption by driving at a constant speed, which is perfect for the motorway. However, this is less prevalent on urban roads as conditions change quickly and cruise control won’t be quick enough to act.
Also, you’re lying if you say you haven’t experienced foot cramp from your foot being pressed on the accelerator for miles. So this one is a win-win to save your fuel and your foot’s comfort.
9) Lay Off The Air Conditioning and Heating
Air conditioning in summer and heating in winter can be the difference between shivering or sweating in your brand-new car. Modern cars are fitted with all new technology to keep you comfortable; heated seats, electronic air temperature control (EATC), quick-clear windscreen, you name it.
And even though these features are there to be used to help save money, it’s best if you keep both the air conditioning and heating to a minimum. Having the air conditioning on full blast is going to eat through your fuel like there’s no tomorrow, so cutting back will contribute to a saving in fuel.
If it’s a hot summer’s day and you’re travelling down the motorway, and have the choice between having your windows open or the AC on - choose the AC. Your windows being open will only contribute to the drag of your car, so have the AC on low if you need to.
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