---------- Post added at 08:57 AM ---------- Previous post was at 08:57 AM ----------
My first ten or so tanks were terrible until I learned a few tricks:
- First off, keep the tires inflated just below or at maximum PSI. Ignore the sticker on the door jam. Low rolling resistance is key here.
- Empty or just the emergency supplies in your trunk = more mpg.
- Change your air filter every 6 months. The OEM one cleans the air better, and less dirt in your engine = less grit in your oil/friction overall. If they made a HEPA filter for my car, I'd buy it. This is also why changing your oil every 3-4K is a good idea. Really dirty oil robs power.
- If you have manual, always drop out of gear when coming to a stop. If there is a hill or a freeway stretch that is downhill, do the same. Neutral in the V6 models is an astounding 39-44mpg from what I can tell.
- Double-clutch always if you can and slide gently into the next gear. While power shifting is fun and I do it occasionally, the rule is to shift it as cleanly as possible. I drive my Mustang just like I drove my 1960s Mercedes. Don't beat up the gears - wait until it is safely in gear and then put the hammer down if you absolutely have to. First gear is key here. I rev up in first gear and then actually coast or slightly slow down as I double clutch into 2nd. I don't do ANY acceleration to speak of until I'm at about 15mph in 2nd. Then I let it slowly wind up like a rubber band. First gear is the MPG grim reaper and is good for creeping up driveways.
( interesting note - all manuals are tested 0-60 for decades now by power launching then from 2nd. You can imagine how hard that is on the clutch . First gear is something you want to get out of as quickly and efficiently as possible or if you are rolling along at 10-15mph, don't drop into at all)
- You don't want to hit the brakes if at all possible. Let the car coast or roll along. From 70mph in neutral, it will take the car almost a mile to drop to 45mph on level ground. Now, on a long hill, yes, you have to brake, but the idea of trying to drive it like an automatic and maintain the same distance is wrong. You want to keep the speed as smooth and uniform as possible and if that means small gaps open up, ignore them.
- Learn to accelerate downhill and coast uphill for small variations in elevation. Often a tiny tap on the gas will get you going 5mph faster downhill. The only downside is it can be frustrating for the drivers behind you as you go between 30 and 40 mph around town instead of maintaining a steady 35.
Here is a good site to get started:
100+ Hypermiling / ecodriving tips & tactics for better mpg - EcoModder.com