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Thread: How to get the highest mpg possible out of a vehicle

  1. #1
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    Default How to get the highest mpg possible out of a vehicle

    You never know when or where you will be when SHTF. As posted in another thread, you may be 1,000 miles away from your BOL so you need to maximize the fuel economy of what ever vehicle you are in. It doesn't matter if it is a truck, a car, or a van as the same principles apply. So, here is a list of dos and don'ts to get the absolute highest fuel economy possible.

    Don't run the a/c. the air conditioner compressor can take up to 7 horsepower to run and that can make a substantial hit on the fuel economy from running it.

    Do lower the windows on one side of the vehicle about 1" down from the top in the summer time. By only cracking the front and back windows only on one side it promotes the air to swirl in the vehicle which will make it bareable even in 100 degree weather.


    Don't try to modify the vehicle to get better fuel economy, especially if it is a newer vehicle. Most newer vehicles will go into a "limp" mode if any of the emissions devices are modified thus severely limiting your speed and in most cases the computer also forces the motor to use more fuel when this happens.


    Do slow down. A typical vehicle will get half the gas mileage of you cruise at 90 mph vs. cruising at 50 mph. Most vehicles get the best fuel economy at about 50 mph.

    Don't drive at night. Running the headlights put a bigger load on the alternator which will in turn use more fuel. Not only that, but it is much harder to see road blocks or problems ahead at night. It is also very easy for others to see you well in advance at night vs. the day.


    Don't hit the brakes. You need to prepare for a stop as far in advance as possible. Let the vehicle coast to the stop. Hitting the brakes is nothing but a waste of fuel.


    Do use gravity to your advantage. Accelerate when going downhill and ease off the gas as you go uphill.

    Do go easy on the gas pedal. Sudden changes in throttle input can cause the computer (or carb) to suddenly inject a lot of fuel.



    On most vehicles in the winter time you can block off most of the grill opening. This improves aerodynamics and helps to save fuel, but you need to be careful as to not overdo it and cause the engine to overheat.



    with doing the above tricks, I have gotten 34 mpg out of my old 2006 Chevy Colorado pickup. With a 19 gallon tank, this would have yielded 646 mile range.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  2. #2
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    good stuff.

    With a 19 gallon tank, this would have yielded 646 mile range.
    Just a reminder few of us would start a bug out situation with a nicely topped off gas tank in many situations.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by explo72 View Post
    good stuff.

    Just a reminder few of us would start a bug out situation with a nicely topped off gas tank in many situations.
    that is why I keep a syphon in my car.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

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    Also if you will be stopped for more than a minute always shut off the vehicle to save fuel.
    One of the best ways that I have found to save gas is to ask to ride with a friend or relative

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiwall View Post
    Also if you will be stopped for more than a minute always shut off the vehicle to save fuel.
    One of the best ways that I have found to save gas is to ask to ride with a friend or relative
    it depends on the vehicle. on my 2005 and 2003 Dodge Neons, when you start the car up it runs rich for 2 minutes even if the motor is hot. the best way to save fuel when stopped for a short period of time is to put it in nuetral and let it idle. same thing for coasting. just pop it in nuetral when you plan on coasting.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  6. #6
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    Yes I leave my vehicle running more often than not. 45 -50 is the sweet spot, don't use cruise control and on a pickup a net type tailgate improves mpg over no tailgate. Good advice except the Windows, you can kiss my big toe I'm not riding around in an easy bake oven. I'll gladly give up that mile or two lol, I think.
    Don't bring skittles to a gun fight.

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    I have a beater, 89 Honda Civic. It's only got 130 some thousand miles on it, but has been in a bad hail storm and looks like crap. It's a 5 speed and I have been practicing hypermiling with it for a few years now. I can get 38-42mpg depending on weather and traffic. My top tips I've found that works best is to coast in neutral as much as possible. Coast to redlights and stop signs. Try to time redlights to where you never actually have to stop rolling. If you use AC, turn it off for stretches, up hills and pulling out from a stop in particular. Keep weight down to the extent you can.
    My 08 Tundra is an automatic and doesn't lend itself as well to hypermiling, but by practicing similar methods I can get nearly 20 mpg out of it.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by bacpacker1513 View Post
    I have a beater, 89 Honda Civic. It's only got 130 some thousand miles on it, but has been in a bad hail storm and looks like crap. It's a 5 speed and I have been practicing hypermiling with it for a few years now. I can get 38-42mpg depending on weather and traffic. My top tips I've found that works best is to coast in neutral as much as possible. Coast to redlights and stop signs. Try to time redlights to where you never actually have to stop rolling. If you use AC, turn it off for stretches, up hills and pulling out from a stop in particular. Keep weight down to the extent you can.
    My 08 Tundra is an automatic and doesn't lend itself as well to hypermiling, but by practicing similar methods I can get nearly 20 mpg out of it.
    There is a guy that i have seen online with a T100 that he has done a lot of aerodynamic improvements on and the last time I checked he was getting 32 mpg at 75 mph! It can be done but it takes a lot of work and modifications.
    Prepare for the worst, hope for the best

  9. #9
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    That is very good. My tundra is stock. 5.7 pulls my trailers very well, but like plenty of fuel to perform. I have considered getting a programmer and see what I can do for performance vs economy.
    Greater love hath no man than this, That a man lay down his life for a friend.
    John 15:13

  10. #10
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    I can easily get 700+ from the 12.6 gallon tank in my Cruze CTD without much effort. Some drivers can push it over 900 miles to a tank.


    Just turning off the AC does NOT keep the compressor from running. Putting the system to defrost will run the AC compressor to help dehumidify the air.


    Open windows can reduce economy by around 20% by increasing drag.
    Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:

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