Wednesday, April 6, 2011

It's all about the MPG

Gas is an astronomical $3.55 a gallon here. I know in some parts of the country it's higher, but seriously that's high enough!

And my car - a Buick Rendezvous - is not exactly gas-onomical. And while I would love something with  better gas mileage, the car is paid off and I'm not going to spend thousands in an effort to save right now. We just don't have it.

So I'm trying to be more green (and cheap) with my gas consumption. I'm driving less. I'm condensing trips...all the things everyone is doing. But I realized that the goal is to raise my miles to the gallon (MPG) as high as possible.

And I have. I'm managed to raise my average MPG from about 17.5 to 20.5. It's not significant. It's not 30 MPG... but it's a lot better than it was.

So how did I do this without changing my car, my gas, etc? I changed how I drive.
Most of my driving is in "the city" or on country roads. Most of the posted speed limits where I drive are either 35 or 55. I attain that speed, then I coast. I don't touch the gas pedal when I go downhill - and do you know what I see?

This is not my actual car... I neglected to take a pic, so I took someone else's...
Do you see that? 99.9 MPG. I see this all the time going downhill. There is no reason to apply the gas pedal when going downhill. At all. Unless you're being chased by something very scary... we don't need gas to cruise down a hill.
When I go uphill, I often see my MPG at a very pitiful 7.8mpg. Especially if I'm just getting going. That's terrible! If I'm moving pretty good to begin with, I can get about 14.5 MPG.
When I'm on a flat section of road, I coast again... I'd rather lose 5 MPH (miles an hour) and save my gas. I really don't care if the guy behind me gets irked. I'm talking $60 for a tank of gas. I'm going to make it last as long as I can. I can usually maintain about 25MPG on flat road with minimal pedal usage.

So that's how I'm efforting to save gas. What tips are you using?

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