Coffee heat rising

Report: Does hypermiling work for a Toyota Sienna?

In a word: Yes.

Last night on the way home from work, I heard on the news that the price of oil had jumped another $10 a barrel, and that gas prices are expected to reach $5 a gallon by July 4. Even though I was down only a quarter-tank of gas, I figured I’d better stop by Costco to top off at a price we’ll likely never see again.

At $3.939 a gallon, Costco’s gas had jumped since SDXB filled up five hours earlier. The lines stretched to the street; 25 other drivers had conceived the fill-up idea before I did.

My car took 4.6 gallons. That amount had carried it 118.8 miles, for an average 25.8 miles per gallon.

Not bad, for a lumbering minivan whose year 2000 EPA estimate was 18 mpg in town-a figure we know to have erred on the high side. The gummint’s revised estimate is now 16 in the city and 22 on the highway, for a combined 19 mpg. Since about half the 118.8 driving miles took place on the surface streets, we might take the EPA’s combined mpg as what we could expect. So, using a very basic seven frugal driving techniques gleaned from the hypermiling set, I managed to squeeze an extra 6.8 miles per gallon out of the old tank without much practice or expertise.

Next steps:

  • Check tire pressure; inflate to maximum
  • Use lowest recommended weight oil for next oil change
  • Change air filter