Well, it was more like “vigorous” miling, not quite hyper.
Today, I took the family to Syracuse, which is about a 70 mile trip. I figured it was the perfect opportunity to try out some hypermiling tactics on the freeway.
In about the 5 or so miles of city driving I’d done since filling up, I had averaged (according to the meter on my car) about 19.5 mpg, quite a bit of that being spent sitting at red lights. It was interesting to watch the meter drop every time I stopped at a red light. Every few seconds, the mpg rating would drop a tenth of an mpg.
After hopping on the freeway, my main strategy was to maintain a consistent speed of 70 mph without any slow downs, and thus no gas-wasting acceleration.
First thing I did though was pump the tires up to 42 psi, just short of the max.
After hitting the freeway, the mpg meter began slowly but surely crawling upward. It didn’t take long for it to break 30 mpg. There were a couple of times I drafted off a semi-truck, but because they drove slower than I wanted (and their speed wasn’t very consistent) I didn’t spend more than a few miles drafting.
I had a couple of opportunities to pop it into neutral, which I noticed bumped the mileage up pretty quickly. Just as I rolled onto my exit, the mpg meter clicked over from 34.9 to 35 mpg. Not too shabby for a car with an EPA estimated 30 mpg freeway — though with the new 2008 EPA estimates, it drops to 27 mpg. A 16% and 30% improvement over the old and new EPA standards respectively.
I drove around the city for about 30 minutes, where I was able to maintain 33.6 mpg, thanks mostly to driving on back roads where traffic was very light. On the way home I flipped on the A/C, where mileage dropped below 30 in the city, and climbed back to 33.4 by the time I got home.
It’s not quite 50 mpg like some Honda drivers I’ve heard from, but it’s a start, and not bad for a 235 hp 3.3L V6. And it shows that even with very minor adjustments, anybody can get substantial gains in their vehicle’s mileage.
To be continued…