Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hypermiling Tips

Hello everyone!

Say, has the price of gasoline ruined your summer vacation plans?

Are you finding it difficult to make ends meet each month due to the ever-increasing cost of putting fuel in the tank of your Giant SUV?

Do the various forms of computer-mediated communication found throughout today's modern world (particularly internet slang acronyms) confuse and frighten you? Well, kmhba. Rob Dow's World can't help you there.

I can tell you, however, that if you see gas prices like these... just means the gas is very expensive.

So now that there has been a sharp decrease in federal revenue brought on by the tax cuts for the wealthy coupled with ever-increasing expenses, often due to waste and corruption, during the so-called War on Terror quagmire, the government has had to resort to excessive borrowing, mainly from the communist Chinese government, which in turn has led to a devaluation of the dollar, causing the the price of just about everything to skyrocket, and since Congress is too spineless to regulate anything but our civil liberties

So now that the confusing invisible hand of the free-market has somehow inexplicably raised the price of gas, some people may have the blues. But fret not--help is on the way, and it's Frankenoid's compendium of hypermiling tips! What's hypermiling? Simple: it's using specific driving techniques to help conserve every possible ounce of gasoline in your tank and raise your mileage. Here's the compendium, pilfered word for word from the Daily Kos:
1. Your increased mileage is the most important consideration. Pay no attention to the speed limit, timing of lights, inconvenience you may cause to other drivers, and the over-all wrench you throw into the smooth flow of traffic.

2. Look ahead to see the color of the next half-dozen traffic signals and any other condition that may cause you to have to vary your speed. You're driving a huge SUV and can see that far — that's why you have to be so goddamned fucking concerned about your gas mileage.

3. Leave precisely a half-block of space between you and the vehicle in front of you. It must be — and remain — precisely a half-block: that’s enough room so you can properly maneuver, creep, crawl, and otherwise claim the entire roadway as your own to accomplish your "hypermiling" maneuvers, but not enough room for other drivers to be able to enter traffic, perhaps causing you to put your foot on the brake (see #4 below below).

4. Avoid braking: every time you step on the brake, you're throwing away the momentum you paid good money to achieve. It's a hard habit to break (hah!). It is helpful to wire the brake pedal to the electrical system of your car so as to deliver a strong shock every time you touch the brake. Negative reinforcement will soon train you to be constantly vigilant to any situation where a normal person would apply the brakes. Instead, you'll drive so slowly that coasting to a stop will be possible in almost any situation and, if not — well, just run over the goddamned cat. It shouldn't be in the street anyway.

5. Always time it so to never stop at a red light: when your car's in idle, you're getting zero miles per gallon! Further, when you stop your car all the way you waste precious fuel to get it rolling again. When you see a light 3 blocks away is red (see 2 above), remove your foot from the gas and coast, creeping every more slowly towards the light. Pay no attention to the fact that you're keeping vehicles behind you from the left-turn lane where the signal is green, or blocking access to a right-turn only lane.

6. Pay no attention to the speed limit, and do not concern yourself with the fact that lights are timed in accordance with that speed limit. If you need to go slower than the speed limit and/or the prevailing flow of traffic to achieve the optimum mileage in your car — do it. If the cars behind you miss green lights because of the extreme amount of space you leave between your vehicle and the one in front of you, or because you have crept out so slowly from a stop light as to impede the flow of traffic, too fucking bad! You're getting a gajillion miles per gallon!

7. Take shortcuts: if you can avoid a stop-sign or traffic light by cutting through a parking lot, or the neighbor's yard, do it. You may cause a little property damage, but what's that compared to the price of wasted gas? Besides, it's not like it's your property.

8. Avoid stopping at stop signs. Look ahead (damned but that extra height in a giant-assed SUV comes in handy!) and, if cars are lined up at a 4-way stop in front of you, slowly coast up until the last car in the line has moved through the stop sign. You can then coast through on their tail, paying absolutely no attention to the cross-traffic vehicles that have patiently been waiting their turn. What are they going to do, hit you? You're driving a giant-assed SUV!

9. If you've fucked up and have had to come to a complete stop — and it happens to the best of us — accelerate verrrryy veeerrrry slowly. Take your foot off the brake and don't touch the gas at all — the idle on your automatic transmission will likely be enough to get the car moving. If you're really lucky you'll be facing down a hill and, barring that, if you wait long enough, the frustrated driver behind you may become angry enough to "nudge" your bumper and give you a little free momentum. Alternatively, if you have children in the car, have them get out of the car and push — it's good exercise for them and, as slow as you'll be going, they'll easily be able to jump back in.

10. When turning onto an arterial from a stop sign at a side street, you must both (a) avoid rapid acceleration and (b) not spend a second of excess amount of time idling at the stop sign. Thus, it is critical that you take the absolute first opportunity to proceed with your turn, even if you do so directly in front of the only vehicle visible for a dozen blocks. But, you must not immediately accelerate, even if you force the other driver to slam on his or her brakes to avoid hitting you. If the other driver had been as eternally vigilant to the art of hypermiling as you, he or she would never be in a position where they have to slam on their brakes. Too bad for them (and even if they do hit you, see #7 above).

11. Get rid of "dead weight": anything you carry in your car decreases your gas mileage. I mean, really — how often have you actually needed that jack and spare tire in the trunk? Or the carpet — merely there for aesthetic value. Those child car seats — have you ever lifted one of those fucking things? They weigh a ton! Strap a bike helmet on the little darlings instead: if it's good enough to protect them when riding a bike, it must be good enough to protect them in a car. Chrome trim, seat covers, music systems, excess fluid for the windshield washer, passenger seat, maps, proof of insurance, registration, anything that is not directly connected to getting from here to there just hinders your fuel efficiency and decreases your gas mileage — get rid of it.

12. Calculate exactly how much gas you'll need for your planned trip, and then buy a little less. Gas is a liquid, and is very, very heavy. Not only will you decrease excess weight (see 11 above), but walking home a few times will give your motivation to be hyper-vigilant to hypermiling and improve your performance. What satisfaction you'll feel as you coast into your driveway on fumes, day after day!

13. Don't use the air conditioner or drive with the windows open: it's murder on your mileage. Instead, drive naked — it will keep you cool, and is one more step for 11 above. Also make sure all of your passengers disrobe before entering the car — if your children end up needing to push to get you rolling at a stop sign or traffic light, nudity will give them proper motivation to really get moving.

14. Plan your parking: whenever possible, park heading downhill and turn your front wheels out — even if the so-called safety "experts" contend that you should crank your front wheels towards the curb. If there's a light at the bottom of the hill, time leaving your parking place so that you can just release the parking brake and roll lickety-split through the light without ever turning on your engine — ignore the flow of traffic which also will be timed for that light. Just bull your way out (see #10 above) — remember, you're in a giant-ass SUV and they can't hurt you.

15. When parking in a parking lot, always park head-out so as to avoid having to back up, stop, then go forward when leaving — that means you're accelerating twice, the bane of a hypermiler. Of course to reap gas savings, you can't back into a space — you must find two open slots in a line, so you can drive through the first slot and be head-out in the second slot. If you must wait for another car to leave to obtain such an arrangement, simply stop and turn off your engine wherever it is convenient for you until the magic space appears. Although you may be inconveniencing others by blocking the traffic lane, that's not your problem.

16. When parallel parking, always park in the middle of two parking spaces, so as make it easy for you to get out of your parking space. Never mind if it's an urban neighborhood where on-street parking is scarce. And remember — your first try is good enough. It doesn't matter if you're parked crooked, with the ass-end of your car extending into the traffic lane, or a foot and a half from the curb: you'd negatively affect your mileage by making any further attempts to do a decent job of parking.

17. To truly achieve great savings fucking leave your goddamned SUV parked. Ride the bus, ride a bike, car-pool — just fucking get off the goddamned road. You're driving me absolutely batshit insane.
How about those tips! Now, I agree that this is not a good long-term solution, but it's something to help us until a viable alternative transportation source is perfected, such as this prototype:

And to those of you who who'd rather do nothing but fuel up your SUV gas tank and then later bitch to me about how expensive it is, I've got five words for you:


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