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How To Maximize The Mileage On Your Hybrid

Aug 17, 2007
Owners of hybrid cars are taking the plunge for those of us still driving the regular gas-only engine cars. Although they are getting some perks for having these electric/gas hybrids, they still want to improve their gas mileage. In fact, although some drivers have reported much better gas mileage than they had with their regular cars, they are finding that their expectations have not been met quite the way they imagined they would be. In these cases, some hybrid owners have actually made it something of a game to try and get better and better mileage.

It appears that the expectations are high with hybrids. Some models of hybrids are getting in the 60 mpg range for cities and highways. For some owners, however, the expectations are not being met because regular consumers are not driving like a trained tester. Experts on hybrid cars and driving in general are trying to consult with the owners to show them that the mileage guides were not deceiving them after all. After some workshops done with hybrid drivers, owners have reported much better mileage after taking advice from the experts. The added bonus from mileage tips for hybrids is that they also work for those of us who have not yet been able to make the switch over to these mileage makers.

For certain hybrid cars, the term "pulse and glide" is becoming popular. This basically translates to finding the zone with the hybrid where energy use leveled off between the electric and gas engines. Lexus and Toyota get to claim use of the pulse and glide which is best found when driving somewhere between 30 to 40 miles per hour. Getting into this mode requires a little bit of fancy foot work which involves gradually getting to the speed (within the 30's to 40's range) which you want, and then once there, pressing quickly on the gas pedal. After this quick press, a Toyota or Lexus hybrid driver will get a clean screen on their dashboard which shows all black arrows. This indicates that energy use has stabilized. When this tactic is used properly, it is possible to double or triple your mileage. This process takes a little time to get used to but is probably a lot easier than driving a manual transmission or parallel parking.

Another top tip for saving on gas mileage will be a little harder to hear. The key is to take the rushing around out of driving. Slowing down and driving at the speed limit for a change is one of the best ways to save on gas. Although this tip might require some organization and lifestyle changes, it will also save you the most money. A dime saved on every gallon is the estimate by energy agencies when you stay slow and steady. A hybrid, or any car for that matter, does not like a lot of stop and go, either. Luckily, driving a little slower will give you more opportunities to see which lane will keep you from slowing down up ahead, so hopefully, you will not need to make a lot of sudden stops. Keep in mind the word "glide" as much as possible. This will keep you from having to continually accelerate and break to get where you are going. When drivers get into that mode, they also tend to speed to get out of whatever cluster they are in and get into more accidents on top of that. Accelerating to get through a yellow light may save you 15 seconds, but it will not save you any mileage on your hybrid.

One of the other top tips for adding mileage to your hybrid is to pay a little more attention to your tire pressure. Under-inflated tires can reduce the mileage performance on a hybrid by at least 10%. This is large enough of a number to inspire a trip to the auto shop for a tire pressure gauge. The trick is to stay just under the maximum recommended tire pressure and make sure that you are checking the pressure once or week. Slow tires make a car drag, so let your hybrid become the super-mileage maker that they aim to be by making a note on the calendar to check them.
About the Author
Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. Get patented car care products for your car at http://www.stopwaxing.com
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