Smart Hypermilers

Smarties concerned about the price of gas and mileage. Invite your friends to join.

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Members: 53
Latest Activity: Aug 11, 2011

What is Hypermiling?

Hypermiler is a term coined by Wayne Gerdes to describe a driver who strives to exceed their vehicle's EPA fuel economy rating. In conventional vehicles they can often match the mileage of an average person driving an equivalent hybrid. Hypermilers driving hybrids tend to achieve tremendous mileage, with some even exceeding 100 MPG . That being said, anyone can learn a wide variety of these skills. This site is dedicated to educating the driver of these techniques, so that they can raise their vehicles fuel economy no matter what they drive.

While Hypermiling is about a variety of techniques to improve a vehicles fuel economy, Hypermiling should not be equated with dangerous driving. While some hypermilers favor certain advanced practices that entail some risk and are in some areas illegal, these are not required nor encouraged. There are many basic techniques that are safe and actually make you a better driver, it is up to you, as a driver, to find your own particular level of comfort and fuel economy.

Hypermilers find it just as important to be safe around other traffic as they do about getting the best mileage. In fact these drivers are many times more aware of their surroundings and their car’s capabilities than an average driver, and are far safer then the average speeder or person driving while engaging in other activities, like talking on their cell phone.
The 2008 EPA ratings have been lowered for many vehicles so beating these numbers is now much easier. This means that achieving 40% above the 2008 ratings is no harder than achieving 20% over the ratings prior to 2008. Most hypermilers of course, push for pulling out all the stops and the dedicated often achieve 50% or better than the posted EPA mileage figures.

The best article on Hypermiling can be found in the thread "Beating the EPA - the Why's and How to Hypermile" by Wayne Gerdes. This article describes many of the basic and advanced techniques. Please read it and try at least one or two techniques in your daily commute. You will be surprised at how effectively they can reduce your fuel consumption and save yourself some money, while helping out the environment, while making you a calmer, more effective driver in the process!

Discussion Forum

Things to do to improve MPG

Started by John C. Waterman. Last reply by mucsmarti Jun 26, 2008. 5 Replies

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Comment by james g on July 23, 2011 at 9:38pm
i get over 50mpgs as soon as the ambient temp gets to be 75F and over, and i have fat/heavy wheels and tires. (18lb alloy wheels and 18lb tires at each corner)
Comment by Vector on February 12, 2009 at 6:04pm
I'll bet your SMART center didn't REALLY tell you NOT to check your tire pressure, unless the idiot light goes ON>
What they probably thought/said was "Don't worry your pretty little head about the complicated stuff, honey, Let your husband take care of it"... Even some of the folks at our beloved SMART dealerships are cave-men. I'm only kidding,[about the pretty little girl part, not the cave-man part] Don't e-bomb me with flames...OK.

Here's the story on tire pressures.
1> the dash light allows too much pressure drop. IF the light comes ON, you are WAY past TOO low.
2> Go to any place that sells discount auto parts... those stores or Wal-Mart, will do. Buy a tire guage. This is a major expense, but you can afford it. probably cheaper than the cost of 4 tires...... maybe even cheaper than the 5 quarters you'll plug into the air-pump at the gas station... [ cost about $1.00, really]

3> READ the side wall of your TIRES. They will tell you lots of gooble-de-goop info, but you will find MAX Pressure. On a light weight car like our SMARTs, that pressure is a bit / very harsh "riding". I'm finding 40psi is about right, not the 45 listed as MAX. Please don't run the car with MAX air, you won't save that much gas, but the car could handle oddly. Too low is actually WORSE, not because of the drag on milage[ that's bad too] but the tires are unsafe, Not too high or too low, Goldilocks.

4> take your tire gauge and ask someone how to read the tire pressures. Even 16 y/o hot-rodder boys had to be shown how to do this once. Don't be intimidated. Ask co-workers in the office. Get the "hawt" guy you are too shy to talk too to do it. You'll get to see his hands in action. Dad, brothers.. geez, you can go to any tire retailer and do the "helpless princess" act and let them show you. [I'm in trouble again, right?] You aren't BUYING anything, you just want to know HOW to do it.

5> Here's the important part------> just DO it... with or without the HAWT guy. You should check pressure once a month.... More if the outside weather / temperatures are up and down... cold AM and up to 70 in the afternoons, like we get in Florida, this time of year. [and fall]

6> If you do the above, you don't need to spend $$$$ on nitrogen filled tires......
Are you curious WHY they sell nitrogen filled tires? You can be the "know it all" in your office and impress the HAWT guy, with this one.
They sell Nitrogen "filling" for tires..... because they can charge for it.... !!! That isn't REALLY why, [BUT they will charge you... ain't cheap either.] The real reason Nitrogen is used in SOME tires is that it is less prone to heat.... good old fashioned "air" gets warm and expands, just like in the Jr High science experiment. Nitrogen expands "substanually less.
In race cars where tire pressures REALLY matter, teams make planned "pit-stop" changes to tire pressures in measurements of 1/4 lb/pressure. You don't race, have pit-stops, or 8 guys to jumping on you every time you stop for gas.... I hope.
There are other reasons why some cars/tires MIGHT need / want nitrogen filling, but you don't care about race cars and high performance tires on Porsches / Ferrari's / BMW and other specialty stuff.

------> Bottom line... go buy a tire gauge... learn how to use it... then actually USE IT. If you do this you will be ahead of 80% on the cars on the road, right now.
... and the HAWT guy will want you to come over and check his tires.
Comment by Mike 5 on February 9, 2009 at 7:59am
I'm considering the purchase of a Scan Guage, to "learn" how to drive my smart for maximum mileage. However, I am skeptical about exaggerated posted claims of high mileage, based simply on a few instantaneous readouts from same. I'm averaging 38.9 urban mpg over 11K miles, as measured simply by miles driven divided by gallons pumped. While commuting I drive moderately. When the mood and topless weather strike, I drive briskly. What is this group's experience with Scan Gauges?
Comment by rozz on September 7, 2008 at 6:40pm
I finally broke 50 mpg. Now, to install cruise control.
Comment by Debra Hensley on July 12, 2008 at 10:35am
I was advised by the smart service center that there is no need to check the tire pressure unless the light comes on. They also thought it would be a good idea to fill the tires with nitrogen. They have not purchased the equipment yet but the Lexus Dealership has the same owner and it has nitrogen. Is there another forum that discusses this nitrogen usage? I read below that it was over rated and other places I have read that people swear by it.
Comment by John C. Waterman on June 28, 2008 at 10:45pm
HyperMiling: 101 The Basics
Comment by mucsmarti on June 26, 2008 at 12:51am
I just copied my comment I gaved before:

"I never check the tire pressure!
For a small price I have my tires filled with a gas they use in airplane tires. So it keeps a constant pressure all year long. I understand, your tire dealer in the US can offer it too."
Comment by Stuart Berman on June 26, 2008 at 12:33am
My goals:
50 mpg (getting 40-45 MPG now) without risky techniques or being a nuisance to other motorists.

Hitting 200 miles before guage shows 1/2 tank without topping up fuel tank. (pretty close on this one)

One effective change in our roads might be to replace ordinary 4 way stops with more 'roundabouts' to that the country will save more fuel from needless stops. Studies I have seen show that roundabouts and 'softening' the edge between street and sidewalk improve safety.

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