Just out of curiousity, I drove my last tank with NO hypermiling. No coasting, no engine off at lights etc. to see how it would compare to my hypermiling. My drive is not conducive to lot's of coasting etc. and I was wondering what my effort to savings ratio was. I compared this week with the previous week (which was actually higher than my average). With hypermiling I got 54.87 mpg, this week with NO hypermiling I averaged 52.00 mpg (pretty damn good for a Festiva !!) I divided these numbers into the 37,000 miles I have driven the car in less than two years, and figured that hypermiling is saving me less than 40 cents a day! Is it worth the effort and wear and tear on my starter and ignition switch to save less than 2 bucks a week?
To help with the concern with the ware on the starter, I learned one thing about hyper milling in my case (I would try it in yours) that if you are coasting to the next starting point, you can start your car by first just slightly turn the key slightly engaging the electronic info to the computer but not starting the motor. This in my case will enable the motor to start with letting the clutch out just a little , but not leaving it out as the motor comes to life. then operate the clutch as normal. This process takes some practice to get it correctly what gear to use. Took me along time to figure it out. I can usually double the distance traveled, but everybody is different. Have fun!
Also keep in mind hypermiling is more than just coasting with the engine off. After using the advanced techniques for awhile, a person likely couldn't go cold turkey to none. They would probably use the basic ones out of have habit.
For those that are worried about engine off problems, driving with load can be effective.
Yes there is more than just coasting with the motor off. Planning ahead is the greatest thing. It takes a lot of practice, but once you get good at it it becomes automatic to me. Also the engine off causes in my case for the power steering needing a lot of force. That is why I am thinking about getting a newer car with electric power steering
I agree with the OP that squeezing 2-3mpg more FE (5% less fuel) when you are already at 52mpg may not be worth it IF you damage your starter.
It seems to me however, that driving efficiently (ie conservatively) has several benefits:
- Obviously, less fuel cost for same trip distance**
- Driving posted speed --> no speeding tickets, less chance of accident and lower insurance rates.
- Less wear on the vehicle drivetrain, brakes, suspension etc. --> less maintenance and depreciation costs
- Fewer stops at gas stations --> less chance to buy junk food too
- Minimizing stops/braking --> avoid drive thru restaurants --> avoid food $ and generally poor calories
** If you are really concerned with lower total cost of using the vehicle, just drive less and consider taking the routes that consume the least fuel and distance. These may not be the ones that give the "best" mpg or l/100km numbers.