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want to save gas? slow down!

April 3, 2007

I finally had to fill up for the first time since ramping up my drive for significantly-improved fuel consumption. When I reset my trip meter, it read 790km – the distance I got out of that tank of fuel. According to my fuel log book, this vehicle has never seen over 630km before. I’ve just managed to increase my fuel economy by more than 30%, and that includes a number of short in-town trips made by my wife who was just driving normally. I managed to go from a rough average of 8.3L/100km down to 6.5L/100km. Wow!

And as much as I like the numbers behind pulse-and-glide, that is not how I got such a drastic change. Yes, I tried it a bit, and I’ve been shifting a lot sooner than I normally would, and I maximize the amount of in-neutral coasting I do, but the builk of that difference simply comes from driving slower. Instead of driving at 100km/h (or even 110 in spots) along the country route I take, I’ve kept it to 95km/hr as a maximum, and typically aim for 90km/hr, allowing myself to go as low as 80 if I have no traffic behind me. I don’t feel that I’m getting to work any later, and I’m all pumped up about having instantly reduced my fuel consumption based purely on driving style.

So, if you want to save fuel – slow down! And if your vehicle doesn’t have a trip computer that tells you your average and/or instant fuel economy, you can always install one.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 5, 2007 5:51 am

    OMG that is amazing. I drive automatic, so I don’t know that I can do the ‘pulse and glide’ thing you are talking about, but 8.3 to 6.5 is phenomenal. I can certainly slow down. I didn’t realize that made such a difference.

    Good stuff.

  2. April 5, 2007 5:55 am

    Duhhh… Just reread your ‘pulse and glide’ tutorial and realized it *does* apply to automatic cars.

    Awesome. I will give this a try. I drive a LOT on my job, and it’s my personal sin that I keep wishing I could do something about.

  3. Andy permalink
    April 12, 2007 2:56 pm

    That’s pretty good Andrew, but if you want a better way to increase your fuel consumption, follow my advice:

    Run extreamely low tire pressures.
    Yup, it sounds counter-intuituve to what the APA, CAA, EPA and the OEM tell you do – but here’s the logic:
    By deflating my tires (alot, like down to 3psi), I effectively decrease my overall tire radius about 20% Therefore, for a given linear velocity, my odometer zings around 20% faster than it should with the decreased radius. So, for a given quantity of fuel consumed, my registered milege increases. Now THAT’S savings you can take to the bank son!

    Speaking of driving, I miss car-pooling with you to Woodstock.
    Love Andy

  4. April 12, 2007 7:05 pm

    Actually, Andy, unless your tire tread is folding over on itself your tires will still be providing a rolling circumference pretty much equal to what they would be fully inflated, but your rolling resistance will be… um… higher. But boy, you won’t be able to beat the traction you’ll be getting!

    Anyone wishing to try Andy’s technique should contact me for a prescribed dose of sodium chloride. 🙂

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