What is hypermiling and how to get into it.
In today’s age with fluctuating gas prices, it’s pretty hard to save a dollar at the pumps. Most of us, car enthusiasts, love to drive our pride and joy on the weekend and rely on cheap, daily driver cars for work and other trips during the week.
But car and truck enthusiasts aren’t all about speed, ground clearance, racing or making smoke shows. Apparently, there’s a part of the car culture that’s into saving fuel. Fascinating (*Jeremy Clarkson voice*).
No, seriously. Imagine you’re with a group of your car friends and you’re all just hanging around the parking lot, talking about how to increase your mpg’s and what mods are next for your small, economy cars. That is hypermiling. The idea is to go as far as you can with as little fuel used as possible. It’s a really cool idea and helps both your pocket and our planet. This is a real thing and it’s getting increasingly popular with the more gas prices go up, the cheaper used cars become and the more we feel the consequences of climate change.
So, how does one get into hypermiling? Well, like I’ve posted before in my “How to save gas” article, it’s pretty simple: you start modifying your car to save some serious fuel and you join an online community and share your ideas and thoughts. This is an ever evolving sector of the automotive industry hence it’s constantly being updated and developed with new tricks, hacks, tips and theories on how to get more out of your car. In my article, I offered up ideas to give better fuel economy without really changing the exterior of the car. But with hypermiling, the options are limitless. Cargo racks, spoilers, bug deflectors and more are all removed in order to create as smooth of an exterior outline as possible for the least amount of wind resistance. The vehicles also receive other serious cosmetic changes including covering the rims with “moon disc” hubcaps and many, many other modifications.
All of this is great, but what are the numbers? How much of a change does hypermiling do to your average fuel economy? Well, let’s see.
A first generation Toyota Yaris with it’s 1.5 litre engine can get anywhere from 45 to 60+ miles per gallon on average with eco mods and hypermiling. Not a bad average at all. A third generation Dodge Ram with a 4.7 Magnum can go up to 24 Miles to the gallon. A new generation Volkswagen Jetta reaches an mpg rating in the mid 30’s and can get up to the low 40’s. All these vehicles are the gas variants for the sake of the article as most car buyers still buy gasoline powered cars.
So, how much does it cost to get into hypermiling? Well, as mentioned above, the mods are pretty much limitless. Cost wise, most of the mods can be performed for under 50$ each, which in the car world, is an insane bargain. I wrote a quick cost breakdown below for a few mods you can easily do.
Fill up your tires as close to the limit as possible – under 2$
Remove bug deflector – Free if you have tools or 5$ for a screwdriver to get it off.
“Pizza pan” or “moon disc” hubcaps – about 30$ a piece if you’re looking for some 16 inch, stainless steel, pop on hubcaps
and the list goes on.
The real benefit, though, is the savings. Some hypermilers have reported savings of up to a few hundred dollars every month. Ofcourse, these guys drive over 200 miles a week, which for a lot of people, is much more than their average. But the point is, in the hypermiling world, the more you dish out up front, the more you save later on as the miles start racking up. Heck, you might like your car so much after modding it, you’ll want to go on a trip somewhere, just for the sake of “calculating your mpg’s”.
Have fun with your car and see where it might take you.
I have copy/pasted a link to my previous article below about how to save fuel in an effort to help you better understand your car and the basics of hypermiling. If this subject interests you, feel free to research it online. There’s a plethora of information available and you might get itchy on wrenching on your own car.
Categories: Gear Grinding