4 gas-saving 'tips' that don't work
Advice such as buying gasoline in the cool of the morning or leaving the tailgate down has been tried -- with disappointing results.
This post comes from Matt Brownell at partner site MainStreet.
There are a lot of smart ways to save on gas. For instance, you can use a website such as GasBuddy to find cheaper gas stations in your area, buy a more fuel-efficient vehicle or drive less aggressively so your car uses less gas.
These are all proven methods for reducing how much you need to budget for gas, but there are other widely used methods that don't pass the smell test. Here are a few. (Post continues below.)
Buy gas early in the morning.
Gasoline is denser at colder temperatures, so the theory here is that if you fill up early in the morning while it's still cool out, you'll get more bang for your buck -- a gallon of gas bought cold will expand to be a little more than a gallon when it gets warmer. But as we explained in our look at common car myths, gas at gas stations is stored in underground tanks, where the temperature varies a lot less than it does on the surface. As such, there's going to be little to no perceptible difference in the density of the gasoline whether you buy it in the morning or at night.
With that said, it still might be worth it to fill up in the morning because, given how quickly gas prices have been rising, you might find that the price has gone up by a few cents by the time you get back to the station that evening.
Overinflate your tires.
Yes, it's true underinflated tires lead to decreased mileage, so you should make sure your tires are properly inflated for fuel efficiency and safety reasons. But some people have taken that to the logical extreme by inflating their tires beyond the recommended pressure, the theory being that an overinflated tire will have a smaller contact patch with the pavement and thus less resistance. Alas, it turns out that's not really the case: Popular Mechanics tested this one out and found almost no difference in gas mileage between 32 psi inflation and 45 psi.
- MSN Autos:Find the cheapest gas near you
Turn off the air conditioning and lower the windows.
The theory here is that air conditioning draws energy from the engine, and that lowering the windows reduces drag. Thus, on a warm day you should turn off the air conditioning and lower the windows to boost your gas mileage. Unfortunately, there appears to be little truth to this method: Edmunds tested it back in 2005 and found that the mileage was the same no matter which method they used to cool themselves. If it's hot out, don't hesitate to blast the A/C.
Leave your tailgate down.
Many pickup truck drivers will leave the tailgate down, the idea being that having it up will "catch" the air flowing over the truck, acting as a sail that increases drag and makes you burn more gas. But the Discovery Channel's hit show "MythBusters" tested this one and then retested it and found that fuel efficiency was actually a little better with the tailgate up. That's right, keeping your tailgate open actually made things worse, and putting a cover on the pickup truck's bed had no real impact on fuel efficiency.
More on MainStreet and MSN Money:
So true. The wind resistance over 60MPH starts to really suck the gas, that doesn't stop them from doing 80. I have to disagree with starting off slow, not that I think you should gun it. You need to know the torque curve of your engine and accelerate at the proper rpm range. If 20% of us would drive motorcycles we would eliminate traffic, at least thats what the computerized study showed. Most of us waste too much gas in traffic. I wish they could save us some money by timing the lights better, and not let them turn red when NOBODY else is even around.
Keeping tire pressure at the manufacturer's recommended setting is a big deal. Over inflated tires can be just as hazardous as under inflated tires, degrading the handling characteristics of the vehicle. It can make the difference between successfully negotiating an emergency situation and losing control of the car.
Everybody loves a good conspiracy theory, and would like to think that auto manufacturers are somehow in cahoots with big oil companies to get consumers to burn more fuel. Even if car makers were conspiring, they would still have to build cars that satisfied their customers' needs, or they'd lose market share to their competitors. Conspiracies never work because there is always somebody that sees the opportunity to gain by not following the pack. Even OPEC can't keep all its members in line to fix prices.
So, keep your tires at the recommended pressure setting and enjoy the optimum handling and most comfortable ride characteristics for your car. Quit worrying whether or not you could be getting 1/100th MPG better economy.
In the article the writer writes that "Turn off the air conditioning and lower the windows" makes no difference in gas mileage.
Here again, the writer should refer to "mythbusters", who did a test on their show that showed that running your vehicle with the AC off did indeed make a 'noticeable' difference in fuel consumption. This writer really should investigate more thoroughly before posting such articles. (Or maybe they "want" us to use more fuel. to deepen our dependence.
Our Government is the biggest waste of gas that we have, no I’m not kidding around. Ethanol is the one biggest waste of gas mileage; on my Honda CRV it cost me in mileage. When I can find gas without Ethanol I average 27 miles per gallon but the rest of the time with Ethanol in my gas I only get 17 miles per gallon. Of course it does affect my 2010 Toyota Tundra 4 wheel drive but it is not as measureable because of the fact it only gets 15 per gallon with Ethanol as compared to 16.75 without. Ethanol other than creating a huge increase in food prices I don’t see any benefits! This was removed from our tanks back in the 80’s because of the fact that it had absolutely no benefit other than increasing food prices and reducing fuel efficiency.
#1 Gas saving tip for all! GET RID IF THE ETHANOL!!! WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN NOW!
I have two vehicle that have 5.7L Hemi engines with MDS in them. I get 20% to 25% BETTER GAS MILEAGE using NON-ETHANOL FUEL. My '09 Challenger has gotten as much as 31mpg highway not running the ac. The best it ever did with ethanol fules was 23-24mpg. Not many gas stations have it. Look for it and see the DIFFERENCE! Then write your congressman to ban ethanol fuels that are making your grocery bill skyrocket. I have read article that say it takes a gallon of diesel fuel to grow enough corn to produce a gallon of ehtanol. Where is that benefiting our dependence on foreign oil.
AGAIN,WRITE YOUR CONGRESSMAN!
Gas prices are controlled by the price of oil, day traders at the stock market control the price of oil, as they do with McDonalds stock, etc. No President has the power to tell you or anyone else what commodity or stock you can buy or sell in the stock market. Thats like blaming the sales clerk for the price of your new shoes. Maybe you should learn how the commodity market works??
I can not say what works for people on gas saving driving but do know for a fact several things that do for me. Keeping my tires at a certain pressure does and regularly check them to see their at that pressure. Shell gas and I have no idea why gets me more miles out of a gallon. I experimented with Irving,Mobil,Exxon,Texaco,Gulf and Citco. A can of dry gas every month or two in the winter months since I drive less then most and keeping my car regularly checked twice a year at a good garage what used to be a tune-up and now they do not call it that,where the oil and filter are changed,air filter if needed and what ever is needed including fluid and grease wise. A complete car check. One at inspection time and the other six months later. During winter keeping my car full or close to full helps my car run better as well as water out of the gas tank, filters and line.
As I said I do not know what works for other autos or what wive's tales they claim work or not. But I feel it has to do with a lot of things,from what type of auto,where in the country one lives and the type of driving long or short distances etc..
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