by Anthony Williams
I’ve been looking around for gas saving tips and hypermiling techniques lately, and whereas you can find some good ones, I must say that there are a lot of “tips” around which frankly I find useless.
One of the hypermiling tips I ran across recently was, “take advantage of the wind.” I.e., when possible, take advantage of strong tailwinds. Avoid setting out into strong headwinds/crosswinds.
Looks nice on paper, however in the real world, I still have to get to work every morning. Driving the opposite direction in order to take advantage of the wind is not going to save me any money. The usefulness of this hypermiling tip is a little questionable, to say the least.
Another one of these “really useful” hypermiling tips is “watch for the Crosswind Barrier: Headwinds aren’t the only winds that increase fuel consumption – cross winds can have a negative effect on your gas mileage too. In crosswind conditions, choosing a route with a barrier (trees or buildings) along the edge will save fuel compared to roads in the open.”
Yet again, it leaves me thinking, “so how do I use this?”
I’m all for hypermiling and saving money on fuel, myself. That’s really not in question. But at the same time, I don’t want to be driving down the road like a paranoid, worrying whether or not I’ve got a strong headwind or crosswind, and figuring out how to re-plan my trip each time the wind shifts.
On a more practical note, a good hypermiling tip related to wind is as follows: “You can minimize the effect the winds have on your vehicle, by removing unused roof racks or bike racks from your vehicle, if you have them”. Roof and bike racks do increase drag, forcing your engine to work harder and thus consume more fuel. Removing them when they are not needed is easy. You don’t have to do any crosswind or headwind calculations to be considered a hypermiler or to save money on gas.
Better Gas Mileage, Hypermiling, Gas Saving Tips, Gas