The MPG Fuel Economy Challenge

Last month I posted several driving tips that get me excellent gas mileage and also posted about why you probably don’t get your EPA rated fuel economy on your vehicle.  At the very end of the EPA fuel economy post, I issued a challenge for people to try the tips and report the results.  George has responded, and his results deserve a post of their own!

I drive a 1998 Toyota 4Runner SR5 V6, which is a mid-sized SUV. It currently has 246,600 on the odometer. Like most big-city drivers, I had a lead-foot and tended to drive aggressively. I don’t know what my fuel economy was, but it wasn’t great. I was filling up the 18.5 gallon tank every 6 or 7 days before having to fill-up again.

I read your article and began researching hypermiling. I then started my own experiment by filling up the car to the tip-top. Then I changed my air filter and began driving 55mph on the highway and using cruise control wherever possible. I also avoided braking, stop light, stop signs, idling, etc. whenever feasible.

Guess what happened? I went 12 DAYS before I had to fill-up, doing the exact same commute everyday. I got 429.3 miles out of my last fill-up and calculated that I was averaging 23 miles per gallon on my mileage. I’m quite pleased with this as that is 2 mpg ABOVE the EPA’s highway rating for this vehicle.

Way to go, George!  That is very close to DOUBLING your miles per gallon, and if you keep it up, it could cut your gas expenses almost in half!

George rose to the challenge, and sounds rather pleased with his results.  Further in his comment he says: “What amazes me is that so few people seem to be trying this. It’s almost as if everyone is screaming about the price of gas, but are not willing to change their behavior to save money.”  That’s an interesting observation, especially with gasoline prices still climbing for summer and crude oil prices going back up near their record highs … which means gasoline prices aren’t coming down any time soon.

How many others have tried this MPG challenge?

I wanna hear from you!  Even if your results aren’t as dramatic as George’s, it still saves you money over the long haul … so what do you have to lose?  If you haven’t tried these tips yet, or just haven’t kept track of the results, grab a notepad and pen and let’s hear the success stories!  Also, I’m curious if anyone can beat George’s results…?