IT Pilgrimage

A Journey From IT to Freedom

Hypermiling Is It Worth It? Part One

Posted by IT Pilgrim on June 3, 2008

Hypermiling, the idea sounded great, so I thought I would give it a try. Lots of the personal finance bloggers have been talking about it off and on for a couple of months, so it seemed worth an attempt. I have broken it up into two parts.

Part One:

To start with, I read a lot of the info at, and to be frank, some of it was just too extreme for me. First I measured my original gas mileage, and on a 2004 Mazda 3, it was running about 24 miles per gallon. I measured over three months and this remained pretty consistent. Then, I changed a few things, and here is what I changed:

  • No more racing to keep up with the pack, set your cruise control below 70 and use it as much as possible.
  • No tailgating ever! Forget a car length, leave 3 or 4 car lengths between you and the person in front of you
  • Let off the gas as soon as you see brake lights
  • Let off the gas as soon as you see a light turn red
  • Clean out the car

That was it that is all I did. These five things brought my gas mileage up to approximately 33 miles per gallon. So, monetarily, it’s worth it, but mentally, now of that I am not so sure. Really, the only true answer is, it depends. It’s all a matter of using your brakes as little as possible. Truthfully though, its not quite that easy, so let’s break it down one point at a time.

Don’t Be a Pack Animal

This one sounds a lot easier than it really is because the problem here is really an emotional one. This took me almost two months to master, and I still break my own rules sometime. The theory here is that you go as fast as you go, and who cares about everyone else. All those people racing ahead at 75 for half a mile until they hit traffic, you will catch up to them again soon enough.

No Tailgating

Tailgating has become a way of life on America highways. Drivers are rude and inconsiderate of each other. They clearly do not consider the consequences of their actions, or the effect they have on others. Every time one person cuts off someone else, three or four other people get to slam on their brakes too. So how do you avoid it? That too is a problem, and also a purely emotional one. The only way to avoid their little games is to leave AT LEAST 3 to 5 car lengths space. The smaller the car in front of you, or if you cannot see over or around the vehicle, the more space you need to leave. This is because you now care, not just about the car in front of you, but traffic as a whole. Now, be aware, you will get cut off. You will get cut off every couple of seconds, but you have to learn not to care. That is definitely easier said than done.

See Part Two for the conclusion.


6 Responses to “Hypermiling Is It Worth It? Part One”

  1. Tim Weaver said

    very interesting- i had no clue how much you can save by changing the WAY you drive.

  2. BrandonA said

    Interesting post. I always find it difficult to explain to people different ways to save fuel. the most common that I get in arguments is over speed. People don’t understand that it takes more fuel to drive 75, than it does 65. Its a matter of RPM’s!

  3. IT Pilgrim said

    I was pretty surprised by the difference it made myself.

    Part Two to appear tomorrow.


  4. […] This is part two of my personal attempt at Hypermiling. […]

  5. […] hypermiling you are forced to plan ahead and continually revise your plan to match road conditions. That car in […]

  6. Amber said

    So, I actually did try the barefoot approach yesterday–and I did find I was alot more sensitive to speed and acceleration. Thanks for the tip.

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