I recently listened to an interesting interview on NPR Talk of the Nation (URL below), that discusses ways to save mileage. One of its premises is that, many tips have been repeated so many times over decades even though car technology has changed significantly. The guy from Edmunds.com and the lady from AskPatty.com (an automative website for women) gave some interesting tips that (in)validate some of what I've know so far.
Here's the link...
And here's the summary...
a) Know your car mileage, both in the city and highway
b) Avoid aggresive driving, i.e. slamming on brakes frequently and the re-accelearating, since this uses more fuel and wears out the brake pads -- $$$
c) On the highway, using cruise control saves gas. Someone did an experiment by driving on I-95 for couple thousand miles on a cruise control and managed to increase her mileage by about 15 mpg.
d) On the highway, there is NO difference in mileage whether one uses the air-conditioning (A/C) or not -- if it is a modern car you're driving. Modern cars are much more aerodynamic.
e) Since modern A/C is much more efficient, they don't consume that much more gas, although it is still noticeable
f) Since combustion requires both air and fuel, make sure you get high-quality air. Hence, check your air filter regularly. Someone mentioned K&N lifetime air filter that does not need replacement (perhaps this is the link)
Here's another cool article from MSN Money... with specific mileage tips... from my friend Yury. We are having a competition to see who gets more mileage from our (non-hybrid) Honda Civic.
At its fueleconomy.gov Web site, the U.S. Department of Energy says that by following the speed limit and swearing off aggressive driving (rapid acceleration and deceleration), drivers can improve mpg by anywhere from 12% to 55%. An additional 19% improvement can be achieved, it is claimed, merely by keeping a car properly maintained.
Editors at Edmunds.com achieved similar results when they put to the test some widely accepted driving tips. On average, fuel efficiency improved 12% when speed limits were followed, 31% when aggressive driving tactics were avoided and an additional 7% when cruise control was used. Limiting the time spent idling also led to improvements of up to 19%.