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Hypermiling Pushes the Limits

As gas prices continue to soar in California, it seems like a great time to talk about the widespread phenomenon known as “hypermiling”. Hypermiling is a term that was created to describe the measures drivers take to try and improve their gas mileage. In fact, the word was voted the best new word of 2008 by New Oxford American Dictionary. Hypermiling has become somewhat of a controversial issue as the movement gains more momentum during periods of peak gas prices. It has become a game of sorts, where people compete to milk the most MPG out of their cars and then post on blogs and online forums for bragging rights. Seems relatively harmless, but the darker side of hypermiling reveals that drivers sometimes go to extreme lengths, even breaking the law, to try and squeeze a couple more miles out of their tank.

Let it be known, that neither I, nor BuyAutoParts.com in anyway condone the illegal methods of hypermiling. If you try any of these methods, it is at your own accord-- any damage or injury that results is your own fault.

The more acceptable forms of hypermiling include making modifications to make a car more aerodynamic, coasting to a stop instead of using the brakes, and never driving above the speed limit. According to hypermiling experts, every 5 miles an hour that you travel over the speed limit equates to about 20 cents more per gallon that you spend at the pump. You mean that traveling the speed limit is not only safer, but is actually a more efficient means of driving? My mind is blown.

At this point, I’m completely on board with hypermilers and their nontraditional driving methods. I wouldn’t mind saving a few dollars at the pump by making some small tweaks to the way that I drive. One of the world’s most renowned hypermilers, Darin Cosgrove, drives a 1998 Geo Metro and averages 69 mpg in a car that got 40mpg off the showroom floor. While most of us wouldn’t be caught dead in a 1998 Geo Metro, you still have to admit that’s pretty impressive.

However, where hypermiling veers off course into what some would call a moral gray area is when drivers begin to implement techniques that are illegal and dangerous to themselves and other motorists. Many hypermilers implement a method known as “pulse and glide” where the driver turns the engine off and coasts while driving. When your engine is off you lose your ability to steer and brake effectively. The pulse and glide method has already been made illegal in some states. Some hypermilers take it a step further by tailgating large trucks on the freeway and even running red lights to avoid coming to a stop. At a certain point, you have to ask yourself if risking your life to save for an extreme form of penny pinching is really worth it. I strongly believe that there is no place for these practices on our roads. I think people like this have lost sight of the reason why hypermiling started in the first place. These are the blood-dopers of the hypermiling world. The object is to push your gas tank to the limit, not the law.

At BuyAutoParts we only support legal measures to increase your car’s gas mileage. Regular maintenance of your car is one the best ways to keep your MPGs up. If you are looking for replacement parts give us a call at 1-888-907-7225.

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