The blog Christian Personal Finance just today posted on some reasons why rising gas prices are good for us. I wholeheartedly agree with his list:

  1. RIP for the internal-combustion engine 
  2. Economic stimulus 
  3. Wither the Middle East’s clout 
  4. Deflating oil potentates 
  5. Mass-transit development 
  6. An antidote to sprawl
  7. Restoration of financial discipline
  8. Easing global tensions

Maybe it’s good for me, but it’s still tough on the wallet. So, what can a person do to get the most out of every drop of gas? Try hypermiling. Hypermiling is a fun way to describe the lengths people go to in order to get the highest gas mileage out of their cars. Last week Daily Money Hack turned me on to a good article from Wired.com that includes some tips (a few great, a few strange and dangerous) to hypermile with the best of them. The basics:

  • Go easy on the accelerator and follow the speed limit. Fuel economy drops like a stone above 60 mph, so slow down. You’ll bump your fuel economy by 7 to 23 percent. My husband and I had a “strong discussion” (we don’t argue, we just strongly discuss, haha) about this one. He says that going 59 on the highway will hold up traffic, and he refuses. I disagree, and plan on testing out this theory when I go into Anchorage next week. 
  • Take all the junk out of your trunk. Why are you hauling those tire chains in July? Every 100 pounds of stuff you’re needlessly hauling around drops your fuel economy by 1 to 2 percent.  While you’re at it, lose the roof rack and gain another 5 percent.
  • Get a tune-up and use the lightest viscosity oil your engine will live with. A well-tuned engine is an efficient engine, and lighter weight oil reduces drag. Can’t remember the last time you had a tune-up? Getting one could raise your fuel economy as much as 10 percent.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. The softer the tire, the greater the rolling resistance – and the more gas you burn. Being 10 pounds under pressure can cut fuel efficiency by 4 percent. Pump those babies up!
  • Don’t idle. How many miles per gallon do you get sitting in the drive through? Zero, that’s how many. If you’re going to be stationary for more than 30 seconds, turn off the engine.
For more advanced hypermilers, the article recommends such tactics as turning off the engine and coasting down hills, and drafting behind big rigs. Crazy people. 
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