Normal people in normal cars can achieve gains in fuel economy. This is not rocket science or some miraculous product. It is a change in thinking that requires a change in behavior behind the wheel. With many cars today coming with a mpg gauge (see attached list) you can see how these changes are working in real time. For all cars after 1996 a scangauge can be used for getting an accurate reading. Best of all these solutions are free or part of normal maintenance. There are websites popping up with hundreds of members providing ideas and feedback as well in forums. Tracking your mpg is the fastest start to having it improve. Mileage logs are available online at http://www.gassavers.org.
Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) wastes gas. It can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town. Sensible driving is also safer for you and others, so you may save more than gas money.
Hypermiler?s: Take driving sensible to the next level, some techniques used are driving without using brakes, coasting in neutral, avoiding jack rabbit starts or using quick starts to get to cruising speed and always traveling in the slow lane.
Pulse and Glide Technique is used in hybrids and other cars as well. On a stretch of road that is relatively flat, your target speed is 60 mph. When you get to 60 mph you begin to coast down to 55 mph. We then start speeding up to our 60 mph target. But we do it very slow. You repeat this over and over. This is a very repetitive driving style and not for the faint at heart. It takes concentration and throttle control. There are many variables that can be played with for diff. cars and over all driving styles. Used on hwy's and in city driving.
Fuel Economy Benefit: 5-33%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: $0.15-$0.96/gallon
Observe the Speed Limit
While each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at a different speed (or range of speeds), gas mileage usually decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph.
As a rule of thumb, you can assume that each 5 mph you drive over 60 mph is like paying an additional $0.20 per gallon for gas.
Observing the speed limit is also safer.
Hypermiler?s: Are usually the slowest cars on the road doing the speed limit. They also coast whenever possible.
Remove Excess Weight
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your vehicle, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 pounds in your vehicle could reduce your MPG by up to 2%. The reduction is based on the percentage of extra weight relative to the vehicle's weight and affects smaller vehicles more than larger ones. Golf clubs, business materials are just some of the items that add up quickly.
Hypermiler?s: May elect to remove spare tire (instead carrying fix a flat, plug kit), jack, some of the extra seating, as well as changing body panels, such as hoods to a lighter materials.
Avoid Excessive Idling
Idling gets 0 miles per gallon. Cars with larger engines typically waste more gas at idle than do cars with smaller engines.
Hypermiler?s: Turn off the engine any chance they get.
Use Cruise Control
Using cruise control on the highway helps you maintain a constant speed and, in most cases, will save gas.
Hypermiler?s: Use a combination of cruise control and pulse and glide to achieve constant speeds.
Use Overdrive Gears
When you use overdrive gearing, your car's engine speed goes down. This saves gas and reduces engine wear.
Keep Your Engine Properly Tuned
Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, though results vary based on the kind of repair and how well it is done.
Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent.
Hypermiler?s: May use different ECU?s or other modifications to air flow, timing or other systems for their particular vehicles.
Check & Replace Air Filters Regularly
Replacing a clogged air filter can improve your car's gas mileage by as much as 10 percent. Your car's air filter keeps impurities from damaging the inside of your engine. Not only will replacing a dirty air filter save gas, it will protect your engine.
Hypermiler?s: Sometimes make changes to the air intakes which induce warm air into the system, this causes the car?s computer to run a leaner mixture. The opposite effect of a cold air intake.
Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 10%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: up to $0.29/gallon
Keep Tires Properly Inflated
You can improve your gas mileage by around 3.3% by keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure. Under-inflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1 psi drop in pressure of all four tires. Properly inflated tires are safer and last longer. Regularly scheduled tire rotations can be beneficial as well.
Hypermiler?s: Set their tire pressures to what the sidewall pressure is on the tire, in some cases above that.
Fuel Economy Benefit: up to 3%
Equivalent Gasoline Savings: up to $0.09/gallon
Use the Recommended Grade of Motor Oil
You can improve your gas mileage by 1-2 percent by using the manufacturer's recommended grade of motor oil. For example, using 10W-30 motor oil in an engine designed to use 5W-30 can lower your gas mileage by 1-2 percent. Using 5W-30 in an engine designed for 5W-20 can lower your gas mileage by 1-1.5 percent. Also, look for motor oil that says "Energy Conserving" on the API performance symbol to be sure it contains friction-reducing additives.
Hypermiler?s: A trend in the higher mpg community is the use of synthetic motor oils. Mobil 1, AMSoil, and Synlube to name a few.
Note: Cost savings are based on an assumed fuel price of $2.91/gallon.
Estimates for fuel savings from sensible driving are based on studies and literature reviews performed by Energy and Environmental Analysis, Inc., Washington, DC. Estimates for the effect of speed on MPG are based on a study by West, B.H., R.N. McGill, J.W. Hodgson, S.S. Sluder, and D.E. Smith, Development and Verification of Light-Duty Modal Emissions and Fuel Consumption Values for Traffic Models, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee, March 1999.
Is this an annotated version of the epa's list? I like it!
Yes because no one reads the epa list except us. funny that the people who need to read it will never find it. I am thinking about giving this away on ebay for .01, no shipping auctions and posting it on several blogs, that get a fair bit of traffic. I figure it can be edited etc. here. I have tried it out on some around me with a printed version, the hypermiler stuff already threw them and I left out turning off the car on purpose.
But anyway, if you wish I could add my part and place it on my site.
It's in your FAQ, I edited it a bit.
Feel free, normal cars and normal people need to see the light. Maybe we take some of the cars on here less known for high mpg and give examples of increases at the top of the document. Diamondlarry's vehilcles would make great ones IMO as would JanGeo's XB.