MSN Promotes Hypermiling for the Untrained, Unassisted

Justin Berkowitz
by Justin Berkowitz
msn promotes hypermiling for the untrained unassisted

We’ve got this website.

So let’s do something with it! I hear this hypermiling thing is big.

It sure is. What is it?

No idea. Some crap about getting great mileage without having a hybrid.

“When you first start hypermiling, I find, you really wish you had someone to ride along with you to show you the ropes. Sadly, that’s not yet an option for most people. Until then, we can learn from some of the best.” Rather than suggest you not play with fire (like turning off your car while coasting, thus killing your power brakes), MSN asks self-confessed “efficiency nerd” Darin Cosgrove some broad questions and calls it good. I repeat: the article does not contain a single tip (although you now know to avoid Darin Cosgrove at parties). Not only is the article useless, but it is part of the irresponsible practice of telling people they should do something dangerous without even understanding it completely, or having someone “show them the ropes.”

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4 of 23 comments
  • Chris724 Chris724 on Oct 06, 2008

    "even in 5th, there’s a good bit of engine braking that requires a light throttle (which is using that precious juice)." Actually, modern fuel injected cars usually shut off the fuel completely in an engine braking situations. Shifting to neutral while coasting will burn more gas than leaving it in gear. I will put it in neutral at a red light if I know it's a long one. And sometimes I'll shut off the engine too at the railroad crossing. But I'm always worried my starter will crap out, and wouldn't *that* be a false economy.

  • Jerseydevil Jerseydevil on Oct 06, 2008

    i do a few hypermiling things, like taking the 5 speed outa gear on downhills, taking it easy on starts, coasting to stoplights, keeping to the speedlimits, engine off at stoplights. I have improved my average milage from about 32 to almost 40... none too shabby. Of course there are those who are concerned that i do not drive like a knucklehead. i dont care.

  • RedStapler RedStapler on Oct 06, 2008
    RSG920: Also there was a great episode of Myth Busters where they checked out how much your mpg would improve trailing an 18 wheeler. Also an episode about what was more efficient, driving with the windows down or AC on. Cool on TV; a very bad idea in the real world. The 1st time the truck you are following blows a tire (many pool trailers for big long haul companies have absolute garbage tires that are neglected and abused) or you hit road debris that you could have avoided you have erased the savings from years of hypermiling. It seems to be much easier to hyper mile with a manual transmission. If I'm not in a hurry and my SO is not in the car I can eek out an extra 5-10% on the freeway with my Liberty CRD. Even at $4.50/gal its not worth the aggravation to me most of the time.

  • Yankinwaoz Yankinwaoz on Oct 07, 2008

    My hyper-miling trick? Simple. If I have a long road trip, I post it on the ride board on Craigs List. Then I get a passenger who usually kicks in 30% or more of the fuel cost. Just like that, I "double" my mileage.