3 Tips for Driving Your Hybrid Car More Efficiently

With gas prices on the rise again, many consumers are buying hybrid vehicles to save some money at the pump. However, what many hybrid car drivers might not know is that there are other ways to save money in between fill-ups by driving their cars more efficiently. Here are three tips that can make driving a hybrid car more effective.

1. Properly maintain your hybrid vehicle

A Toyota Prius drives along highway 101
A Toyota Prius drives along highway 101 on November 30, 2010 in Sausalito, California. | (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Hybrid vehicles need routine maintenance just like their gas-only counterparts. After all, there is a gas engine underneath the hood as well. As such, if you own a hybrid car, then it’s important to keep up with the car’s scheduled maintenance. That means ensuring the car has fresh fluids regularly, in addition to the air filter and other maintenance items.

Additionally, hybrid car maintenance also includes keeping the tires inflated at the proper pressure to optimize the car’s fuel economy and cleaning out the trunk. That’s right, having all that stuff in your car adds more weight, which leads to it using more fuel over time. Also, if you have anything strapped to the roof of the car, like a storage box or a roof rack, try removing it for better aerodynamics.

2. The pulse and glide technique can yield more miles per gallon

Democrats Senator Lyn Allison driving her hybrid-electric car
Democrats Senator Lyn Allison driving her hybrid-electric car in Canberra, 3 December 2004. | (Getty Images/Fairfax Media)

Once the car is cleaned out and properly maintained, it’s time to learn how to drive it properly. Of course, you can always drive a hybrid car like any other normal car, however, using the “pulse and glide technique” could yield more efficient results. According to Autoblog, the pulse and glide technique starts with the driver pulsing the accelerator to get the car up to the desired speed.

When it’s up to speed, the driver can lay off the throttle and let the car “glide” or cruise at that speed until it’s time to pulse the accelerator again. By using this technique, the car won’t use as much gas since there’s no constant pressure on the throttle when cruising. This technique also takes advantage of the hybrid vehicle’s regenerative braking feature, which charges the hybrid battery when decelerating and braking.

3. Use your hybrid car’s accessories sparingly

A man driving a hybrid car along the streets of Islamabad
A man driving a hybrid car along the streets of Islamabad. | (AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

The last tip is to use your hybrid car’s accessories as sparingly as possible. No, this doesn’t mean that you need to keep the air conditioning off all Summer or the heater off all Winter and torture yourself and your passengers. However, as Green Car Reports notes, “every little bit counts.”

That means putting the car into “eco mode” as much as possible and turning off the heater or AC when you don’t really need it. Also, if your hybrid vehicle is equipped with heated seats, then use those instead of turning up the heater to the max, it will help the car save fuel.

Driving a hybrid car is easy, but it can benefit from the finer details

While hybrid car drivers can drive their cars just like they would any other car, they can also save money on gas by paying attention to the finer details while driving. By using these techniques and keeping the car clean, hybrid car drivers can spend less time and money at the pump and more time on the road.

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