Hypermile with an automatic



There are plenty of advice on the web on how to save gas by using hypermiling techniques. One of the basics is getting the car up to speed and then shutting the engine off and gliding.

This works fine with manual transmission, and the engine can be re-started without using the starter by putting the car in gear. But I have a 2002 Civic with automatic transmission, and I am paranoid about shutting the engine off because I don’t know enough about cars to figure out whether I will wear something out prematurely. Can anyone advise?

P.S. Make sure to research hypermiling before trying it. With the engine off you have no power steering and your power brakes are only good for two or three brake pumps. I.e. you have got to be careful!


As you stated the car won’t have power steering and power assist brakes. This is NOT a good/safe idea. In fact in many states it’s illegal. Yes you’ll be wearing something out prematurely…YOUR LIFE…and possibly someone else’s.


I agree with Mike. Shutting off the engine while driving is idiotic and suicidal.


Coasting with the engine off will wear out your starter and will wear out drivetrain components that take a jolt every time you shift into and out of drive. Your car is already relatively fuel efficient. What you propose is penny wise and pound foolish.


I hope there aren’t a bunch of people on the road doing something this stupid. No brakes, no steering, no power is a recipe for disaster.



Works even worse uphill.

I just wanted to make a (serious) comment that in nearly every instance, the best thing we can do as individuals to be ecologically-sound and economically-frugal is avoidance. If we can avoid a trip then we make ground on both fronts. If we avoid an ecologically poorly packaged
product it is a win.

I’m in the throes of a company start up effort that is based on a Hybrid Virtual model. Instead of office space, desks, file cabinets, utilities, cleaning crews and all the rest, this business
uses a technical platform to work off of. There is no need to drive to the office because it is on the web - accessible from anywhere in the world. The receptionist is virtual (and quite a bit more charming than the last) and if it gets in a fax, the fax is converted to PDF and sent by email. Results: a decidely “green” company with low overhead (I pay about $500 monthy for all services versus about $9,000 monthy to support an office) producing savings which in turn may be passed through to the client. Avoidance. Simplicity. Efficiency. Joy.


It will not work for all cars and those cars that get the best mileage (the best ones to own if you are interested in high mileage) will be the ones less likely to show any improvement.

My real issue would be the fact that few drives the the opportunity to do this safely. When you start passing other cars on the road, then slowing up, forcing them to pass you REPEAT Time and Time again. you are creating a very very dangerous situation!


Is the idea to save some gas or save some money? I can look at my budget and easily come up with so many safe ways to save money that I dont have to resort to these unsafe hypermiling techniques. In a situation where I have poorly planed my fueling stops and run the risk of running out of gas I will do what I have to (with limits)I stopped buying Snap-on and switched to Craftsman this savings will buy alot of gas. And no morning paper thers $25.00 per month


Back to the Future?
Early 30’s cars had free wheeling.
Too many deaths and it was stopped.