(PHOTO AND STORY: KHQ.COM)
You may not notice, but gas prices in the Inland Northwest are up a dollar year-to-date.
According to gasbuddy.com the average price of a gallon of gas in Spokane is $2.67.
With summer travel quickly creeping up on us, we thought it would be a good idea to help you stop feeling so much pain at the pump using a driving technique called “hypermiling.” It’s a phenomenon drivers use to stretch as many miles out of their vehicles gas tank as possible.
Hypermiling can be achieved fairly easily with just a few tactical adjustments to one's driving behavior.
- Drive smoothly: Stay below the speed limits, keep low RPMs and coast toward red lights.
- Brake less: Brake as little as possible. Don’t rush to junctions and anticipate traffic by looking three cars ahead.
- Keep your distance: Tailgating is inefficient. Leave a gap of 7 to 10 seconds from the vehicle ahead on the highway and maintain momentum.
- Avoid air conditioning: A/C uses fuel to cool your car. Under 40 mph, keep your windows open.
- Check your tire pressure: The correct pressure will save fuel and make your tires last longer.
- Remove dead weight: Keep only what you need in the car. Even a little weight can waste fuel in the long run.
Most techniques listed above are mainly common sense, but when compounded into a habit they can provide tangible results.
For example, in 2015, two men drove a car through all 48 contiguous U.S. states on less than $300 of diesel fuel, or just eight tankfuls.
During the 8,233 mile trip they achieved a fuel economy of 81.17 miles per gallon.
KHQ Local News reporter Joe McHale put hypermiling to the test and noticed he got five more MPGs when doing things like coasting, using cruise control, and braking less.
His 47-mile route from Spokane to Chewelah would save him $600 each year if he made the commute five times a week.
Other widely accepted hypermiling tips include shifting up as soon as possible (generally at 2,500 rpm or below), an immaculate maintenance of the vehicle, and even driving shoeless to achieve maximum finesse over acceleration and braking.