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Extending Your Vehicle’s Driving Range, Without Cost

by Steven B, Survival Blog:

A while back, I remember reading a tantalizingly titled but substantively misleading news article about a group of junior high school students who built a “car” that attained a fuel efficiency of 150 mpg. After reading the story, my skepticism was confirmed that a bunch of junior high school students “out-engineered” those who engineer automobiles for a living, or more succinctly for profit. The vehicle they built was little more than a soap box racer with a Briggs and Stratton lawn mower engine; more of a go-cart instead of a practical conveyance.

What I did discover in reading the article was that the efficiency was much more attributable to simple driving techniques rather than technological innovation. I immediately saw the opportunity to save a few dollars. When I practiced and developed these driving techniques, it was no longer a matter of saving a few dollars. Upon extrapolating it out over the course of one year, it was over $300 which is quite substantive to me.

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2 comments to Extending Your Vehicle’s Driving Range, Without Cost

  • MPG Guy

    When oil hit a high in 2008 I started following cleanmpg.com. What this article is talking about is called hypermiling.

  • Ed_B

    Most of the advice in this article is good common sense driving techniques. I take exception to the following, however:

    “Using an engine to slow your vehicle is not very effective and puts additional mechanical stress on your engine.”

    This is not true for a diesel engine. Engine braking is very common in diesel trucks and for excellent reasons. Long haul truckers would not be doing it if it wasn’t a mechanically sound idea. Also, while fuel efficiency is important, safety is a lot more important, so if engine braking can take the heat stress off of your brakes and prevent them from fading at a critical time, it is well worth doing. If that causes a diesel engine to “only” get 900,000 miles between rebuilds instead of a million, so be it.

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