Double Your Gas Mileage Without Silly Gimmicks

By: Dave Simpson

Just the other day, I had the pleasure of dropping the kids off at school - trouble is the school is way out of my way. The added an extra 20 miles onto my normal daily journey, taking it to a total trip of 30 miles. The problem was, my trip computer said I had enough fuel for 17 miles - just over half the distance. As usual, I was running late so stopping at a gas station was out of the question. I knew I should have enough spare to make it to school, but I had a feeling I might just be walking to work. In the end I actually made it to school, dropped them off safely, and then made it into work - all on the same tank of gas, all 17 miles worth!!

Now, before I explain how I did this, let me just say I don't drive a Prius or Smart car - I have a thirsty old Lexus IS200 - 50MPG - I don't think so!

With the rocketing gas price, everyone has some great advice on how to get the maximum number of miles to the gallon and I'm afraid none of it is really relevant. They say, for example, that you should remove your roof rack, but the last time I saw anyone use a roof rack was when a new cop show called Miami Vice was taking TV by storm!

You'll also hear that you should remove the spare wheel and jack. Yeah right, you'll be glad you shifted that weight when its hammering down with rain and your sitting at the side of the freeway with 3 kids in the back. Dispensing with the spare is as daft as dispensing with your left leg. One day, you're going to need it.

No friends, the way I doubled my mileage was really much simpler - to save fuel I had to think ahead; way, way ahead. for achieving this remarkable saving - trust me they work - and you don't have to fit water bottles under your engine or run your car on old cooking fat!




  • Anticipate change - if you see the lights ahead are red, take your foot off the throttle immediately. Remember every time you need to use your brakes you are simply wasting the fuel you used to achieve a speed you didn't need. Modern engines use no fuel at all when coasting in gear.







  • If your car has cruise control - turn it off. Cruise control was designed by evil oil barons in underground caves to maximise the amount of fuel you use. Come on, your already running the car when you could be cycling - how much lazier do you need to be!







  • Think carefully about what electrical appliances you need. Even Howard Stern takes a drip of power from the engine (although some times its worth every cent J). And that's power which is costing you $4.00 a gallon (or more).







  • Never use your heated rear window unless you can't see a thing. It's the same story with your headlights. And don't use the air conditioning either. Switch it off and in a normal family saloon, your fuel consumption will drop by as much as 12 per cent. Yes, folks that's 50cents a mile - or probably about $10 a week on average!







  • Speed. Wind it down. You don't need to do 25 mph, but instead of doing 70 on the freeway, try 65. Or if you normally do 120, try 110.







  • When going downhill, ease your throttle down and work with gravity to build up speed. Then, use that momentum to get you up the other side. Using the throttle going uphill is bad. In my Lexus I have a small dial that shows me how many MPG I am getting at that moment in time - when I open her up that needle just falls to the floor and I swear I can see dollar bills shooting out the tailpipe .







  • When moving from a standing start, accelerate smartly. Not like a bat out of hell. But don't dawdle. Get the car into top gear as quickly as is reasonable - it's the most efficient.




Anyway, as I said I easily managed to using these simple tips - no funny gadgets or gizmos, no making your car look like Docs DeLorean from Back to the Future, and guaranteed to work! And here's the really interesting bit. The journey back, in eco-friendly green mode, took only four minutes more than the journey there.

Mileage and Fuel
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