How to Improve the MPG of a Toyota Camry Hybridby Carla Boulianne
Gasoline electric hybrid engines like the one found in the Toyota Camry hybrid promise drivers better gas mileage, but actual MPG reflects driver usage. Proper driving techniques and maintenance help drivers improve the actual MPG of the Toyota Camry hybrid.
Allow a proper break-in period. When Toyota Camry Hybrid owners complain to the dealership that they aren't seeing the advertised MPG, a common response is to wait until after the first 10,000 miles for the engine and hybrid components to reach peak efficiency.
Avoid rapid acceleration. A lead foot is an expensive habit as rapid acceleration wastes fuel. Transition gradually from a stop to top speed.
Minimize stops during the first 5 to 10 minutes after a cold start. Gasoline engine fuel economy is lower during the warm-up and according to HybridCars.com the Toyota Camry Hybrid's auto-stop mechanism does not trigger when the gasoline engine is still cold. Stop at the last espresso stand on the way to work rather than the first to improve miles per gallon.
Use the Toyota Camry Hybrid's cruise control feature whenever possible, as cruise control increases fuel economy.
Coast whenever possible to maximize electric battery charge regeneration.
Plan routes to maximize hybrid efficiency. Unlike a standard gasoline engine, hybrid electric cars get the best MPG in stop and go traffic and the worst on highways. Take the scenic route with rolling hills rather than the expressway.
Keep tires properly inflated. Whether a driver is in a Toyota Camry Hybrid or traditional gasoline motor car, tires maintained at the proper pressure reduce drag and are essential for achieving optimal MPG.
Use energy hungry accessories like air conditioning as little as possible.
During a tune-up, ask the Toyota dealer to maximize gas mileage rather than horsepower. Unfortunately, a lot of the extra energy achieved by a hybrid engine is diverted to increasing power in U.S. models.
In Toyota Camry Hybrid models offering electric-only mode, use this setting for most in-town travel. Most drivers can make their complete daily commute and run errands without needing gasoline power. Reserve gasoline usage for longer trips.
Pay close intention to the instantaneous miles per gallon indicated on the Toyota Camry Hybrid's display. Notice how driving behavior and various routes to common destinations affect MPG. Adjust your driving to maximize this value.
Don't leave the Toyota Camry Hybrid idling while getting ready to go or sitting in a drive-through. Although the Toyota Camry Hybrid's auto-stop will turn off the gasoline engine, valuable electric battery charge is still wasted. Maximize use of the Toyota Camry Hybrid's electric capabilities for improving gas mileage while driving, not powering the car at a standstill.
- Put pressure on Toyota's Research and Development to offer a plug-in electric model. Call 800-331-4331. Plug-in electric models would allow owners to run their hybrid vehicles solely on electricity while preserving the option of gasoline for cross-country trips. If an owner installs a solar panel system to charge a plug-in electric hybrid's battery, driving costs and environmental impacts are reduced to the lowest levels. HybridCars.com says that low octane fuel is best. The additives in high-octane fuel actually decrease fuel economy despite reductions in emissions.
- Tracking the instantaneous miles per gallon can be addictive. Watch the road while driving.
Items you will need
- Tire pressure gauge
- Matthew Hull, Jane Sawyer, and Daniel Yara @morgueFile.com