Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hypermiling Part *&!@#$

WTF? What am I doing wrong? I’m driving at the posted speed limits (ticking off everyone around me); I’m coasting to stop lights. I’m cavorting around 90 degree Northern Virginia with no air conditioning, which believe me, is no fun when it starts to rain and you have to close your windows. Last night I even shut my engine off at a light that I clocked at 4 minutes long.

I’m a bit disappointed. Better than that; I’m bordering on bitter. I achieved 40.07263 mpg this week. My first focused week utilizing hypermiling techniques and I’ve clocked a loss! I wasn’t even trying last week and got 40.58797. This week’s numbers represent a decrease of 1.27%. Unacceptable. If I’m not going to see an improvement, I’m going back to zipping up to lights and passing people because I’ll tell you right now, this whole coasting thing is just irritating the junk out of me.
I know, I know. Getting 40+ mpg driving a run of the mill Honda Civic, in suburban road conditions and in nightmare commuter traffic second only to Los Angeles shouldn’t rouse feelings of hostility. I should be proud of what I have achieved. :P Eff that. Whatever. I want more. And I want it now.
Unwilling yet to throw the baby out with the bathwater, I will see if I can get my car in and change the oil, and I will definitely check the psi in my tires. Soon, very soon, I will be enlisting the assistance of my mathy-brained brother-in-law who will calculate how much money I’m actually saving through my efforts. If its not significant, stick a fork in me Lefty Tree Huggin' Folk, I’m done.
In case you are interested; here are some of the techniques I've been using (colored green for the money I want in my pocket, not for some eco-carbon-footprint-decrease-PR-junkhead-poo):
  • Drive slooooooowly - drive at the minimum allowed speed limit
  • Never accelerate from a stop - always allow your car to start rolling on it’s own and accelerate as slowly as possible
  • Avoid traffic if at all possible
  • Learn to read stoplights so you can try to make it through all green lights
  • Learn to use your cruise control as much as possible - not just for highway driving
  • Learn to use the cruise control instead of your foot
  • Keep your foot off the gas
  • Keep your foot off the brake
  • Learn how to make turns without braking
  • No sleeping at the wheel - this will take conscious effort and you need to stay alert
  • Ridding your trunk of junk
  • Keep constant track of your mpg with every fill-up


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