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The Green Life: Max Your MPG

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June 19, 2008

Max Your MPG

Surfrack_3

Today's gas prices make many of us think about driving more efficiently. "Hypermilers" go to extremes, eking out up to 100 miles on a gallon of gas. They may take cues from Granny (50 miles per hour in a 65 zone, anyone?), but Web sites like greenhybrid.com and cleanmpg.com now lend gas-sipping efforts a competitive spirit. Join the fray with these tips:

Travel light
An extra 100 pounds of cargo can reduce your mpg by up to 2 percent. Remove that surf rack when the waves are flat, and take the rock collection out of your trunk.

Face out
Back into parking spaces. Cold engines use more fuel, so three-point maneuvering is more efficient at the end of a trip.

Use cruise control
Pressing the accel button lets you speed up in smaller increments (and burn less gas) than even a feather-weight foot on the pedal.

Brake (very) gently
Skilled hypermilers coast to a crawl with hardly a touch on the brakes to avoid wasting an ounce of fuel at traffic lights.

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