So, we all know that we have to do all we can to save the planet... And lets be honest, with the ludicrous expense of fuel these days, who couldn't do with stretching their MPG that bit more?
Here's a small tip to save the fuel - itchy toes!
To start off with, if you want to increase MPG with no effort, it can be done. You don't necessarily need to inflate the tyres to the perfect PSI twice daily, remove every nut and bolt from the car to reduce every bit of weight to make it lighter, and you don't need to run only half a tank, or drive like a granny.
The way to look at maximum MPG is not to think "how do I sit constantly at a lesser speed", but instead to ask yourself "how slowly can I lose speed"
All you need is itchy toes!
Every time you reach speed develop itchy toes. Leave the ball of your foot on the pedal and reach your toes up to the top of your shoe and rub your toes on your shoe. This movement will save you a couple of MPG. Now, the distance that you moved your toes up, lift the ball of your foot about the same amount (keep your heel firmly on the floor). You should find that your MPG increases (instant).
Its a technique I have devised over the last year or so, and it does work!
The logic is this... If you sit there trying to force yourself to stay at 70MPH you are constantly blipping your foot up and down on the throttle, as we all know cars don't like to do any more work and so it reduces MPG. However, with Itchy Toes, you can increase your MPG whilst dropping your speed in a barely noticable manner!
So here's my example. Sitting and plodding along at 70MPH on the motorway, if I 'maintain' this speed I might be using say 50% throttle. This is constantly up and down to maintain and gets me about 37MPG holding steady. I develop itchy toes, and scratch it on my shoe. My MPG goes up to about 40MPG, my speed doesnt change, or it changes so little that the needle barely moves. I have just dropped my throttle use from about 50% to about 47% and still maintain speed. So the car is having less fuel demanded of it.
So I move my foot about 1mm off the throttle, my MPG shoots up to 50, and I am still maintaining 70 for about a half mile. I then move my foot a little more, and now, my MPG shoots to 63-67MPG. The car really starts to gain MPG and now over a half mile, I might have lost 1-2mph. so I blip the throttle by 1mm and maintain the speed, until I get to another flat / decent on the motorway, my MPG drops to about 52, and the car maintains. I then drop back by another mm and then get my MPG back to the 60's. I estimate that I am using about 8-12% less of the throttle pedal at this point but can still generally maintain my speed whilst losing it very slowly.
Using this technique after a service, I have managed to get more MPG out of the car. My average fuel use across a tank has gone up by as much as 7mpg. Now, I know that its not conclusive (weather, humidity, air density, back wind etc) all of these will play a part, however I know that the instant MPG on the car is not an actual indicator of what is happening (we all know its a rough calculation) but I use it as a general guide for my efficiency. If I can get it up to the 60's I might not be doing that, but I know my fuel use is less than when I have it maintaining mid 30's.
Give it a try and let me know your success. I know that someone here has recently done this and it worked for them, so give it a go and let me know how well it worked for you.
Don't expect instant results, it takes a lot of practice to have the little movement of your foot, in the first place you will probably drop a few MPH quickly but with practice you will see the improvement :)