The Facts and Fictions of Saving Gas

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Common gas myths debunked, to help you save money at the pump

With the rising cost of gasoline today, many people look for ways to save money on fuel. Certain tips, such as following the speed limit or eliminating unnecessary driving, really do work.  Other tips don't.  In this section, we take a look at the fictions and facts of saving gas.
 

Gas additives — boost or bust?

Certain products and devices on the market claim to increase a car's fuel efficiency by using a pour-in liquid or an add-on component, for example. At one time, there was even a pill that claimed to turn water into gasoline.  However, many of these products have been tested with a majority having little or no impact on improving fuel economy. 
 

Fact: If you want to save money, keep your money in your wallet instead of buying gas additives.

 

A/C on or the windows down?

It's been tested and shown that running the air conditioner can save fuel, however, the savings is virtually negligible.  Same goes for driving with the windows rolled up. Even after closing windows to eliminate drag, studies show fuel economy improves only slightly.
 

Fact: If it's a hot day, do what makes you feel comfortable.  Run the air conditioning or roll down the windows.  When it comes to saving gas, it really doesn't matter.

 

Regular or premium?

Check your owner's manual to determine what is recommended or required for your car.  In cars that require premium gas, using regular fuel could hamper its performance, which could cause it to use slightly more fuel than it should.  When regular gas is recommended, using a higher octane typically won't improve fuel economy.  In short, the common consensus among industry experts is that any improvement in fuel economy generated by using premium gasoline is difficult to detect in daily driving.
 

Fact: Using the octane recommended or required for your car has more to do with performance and less to do with saving money.

 

Fill-ups at morning or night...what time is right?

Some people think morning fill-ups are a way to get more gas for your money. The theory is that, in the heat of the day, gas expands and becomes less dense than in the morning when the climate is cooler.  Since cooler is denser, filling up in the morning offers more energy per gallon. However, gas is stored in underground tanks where its temperature is regulated and it stays regulated even while being dispensed through the nozzle. 
 

Fact: When it comes to filling your gas tank, any time is right.

 

Is green the only game in town?

Sure, green cars are fuel efficient.  They're also friendlier to the environment.  But just because you drive a hybrid car doesn't mean you're driving the most fuel efficient car on the road. For starters, consider that some of the bigger SUV hybrids actually get less miles to the gallon than many conventional cars.  What's more, hybrid cars may have similar fuel economy ratings to very fuel efficient conventional cars in some cases.

Fact: Hybrid cars are certainly fuel efficient and they can help save our planet, but they're not the only game in town.  There are a variety of tremendously fuel efficient conventional cars on the market.


 

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