Greetings from the garden state. I just wanted to say hello. I've been reading the forums for several months and finally decided to join in.
I've always been a bit of a native hypermiler (You can take that to mean I've been called Grand Pa while driving by my wife and others) but now I'm trying to be hyper-aware of what I'm doing and I'm getting good results.
I commute about 90 miles round trip a day so rising gas prices are especially painful to me. My commute is about 95% highway so by timing my commute I can avoid stop and go traffic. I average between 50 and 60 MPH Actually some reasonably heavy traffic causing the road to slow down to 45 MPH is my ideal. I love making better time that the lane changers by just knowing the road and avoiding excess acceleration.
I prefer to drive older used cars. Aside from the savings in purchase price, it saves a lot of waste from going into the environment and stretches the energy used to produce the car over a longer lifetime. I use them until they literally crumble and have to be towed away.
My latest car is a 1996 Toyota Tercel that I bought from the wife of a co-worker. This car was originally purchased with no options. It has a manual 4 speed transmission and no AC. Some of the stranger missing items are no cup holders, no tenths on the odometer and no intermittent wipers. It is a fun car to drive and is light as a feather.
My first tank got better than 41 MPG without even trying. I thought it might be a bad measurement but the second tank was over 46MPG. Next I took out about 30 lbs. of tools and junk from the trunk, changed the air filter and PCV valve, and inflated the tires just below maximum sidewall pressure.
My last tank was near 54 MPG. So far I have only used some of the simpler techniques discussed here like gliding on long hills, engine braking, knowing the timing of lights on my route and having a longer horizon for traffic flow awareness. Most importantly I NEVER EVER DRIVE OVER THE SPEED LIMIT!
My goal is 60 MPG by the end of summer. I've got some more tricks up my sleeve and being an engineer I want to try them one at a time to see which are effective. I'll keep you posted and I look forward to learning what everyone else is doing too.
Lately I've been getting the feeling that what we are all trying to do now might seem a little weird to most people but I sense a change in attitude is on the horizon.