7 GasSaving Myths Busted (and 7 Tips That Really Work)

7 GasSaving Myths Busted (and 7 Tips That Really Work)

Does turning off the air conditioner mean you don't need to charge it as often? Gremlin/fake image © Provided by CNET . Does turning off the air conditioning mean you don't have to refuel as often? Gremlin/fake image © Provided by CNET

Gas prices traditionally go up in the summer when people go on road trips and family vacations.

This is also the year that refineries shut down for maintenance, reducing the available supply of oil. And hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires, and other natural disasters that can affect production and transportation are more common in warmer months.

Even the amount of fuel that retailers have to sell in summer is higher.

There are plenty of gas-saving hacks, from changing the air filter to stopping at red lights. Some are legal and some are bankrupt.

Below, we've lifted the lid on what they do and don't overdo it with gas-saving tips.

Find out which credit cards offer the best fuel rewards to learn more

7 Myths About Gas Mileage

The FTC warns that most fuel additives have little or no mileage. deepblue4you/fake image © Courtesy of CNET The FTC warns that most fuel additives have little or no effect on mileage. deepblue4you/fake image

Skip this offer. They don't really work and can be a waste of time and money.

1. Keep your tank full to prevent evaporation. It is not a good idea to keep the gas gauge almost empty. But the theory that filling the tank prevents fuel from evaporating is complete nonsense. Modern machines are equipped with a steam recovery system that minimizes losses.

2. Buy gas early in the morning . The theory is that because liquids thicken at cold temperatures, you'll get more for your money if you pour it first thing in the morning. But gasoline is stored in underground tanks where the temperature is controlled.

However, the roads may be less crowded in the morning, which can prevent you from wasting fuel in traffic jams.

3. Change your air filter often. Again, this is a hack that might work once, but not anymore. Older cars bleed air from the carburetor, so a clogged filter can affect gas mileage. But today's engines have fuel injectors and other technologies that carefully adjust the air-fuel ratio.

A study of gasoline engines by Oak Ridge National Laboratory found that "a dirty engine air filter does not affect the fuel economy of modern vehicles."

Of course, a dirty air filter can cause slow acceleration and other problems.

4. Overinflate the tire. If your friend insists that over-inflating tires will reduce traction and save fuel, tell him to stop. 10 psi (pounds per square inch) above the manufacturer's recommended level lowers the "touch point" where the tire meets the road. This means less traction, longer stopping distances and more tire wear, which ultimately costs poor fuel economy.

5. Change your oil frequently. It's a common misconception that your car's gasoline consumption will decrease if you're going to change the oil. While it's best to monitor maintenance, don't expect your mileage to improve after a trip to the Jiffy Lube.

However, if you use the manufacturer's recommended motor oil, your mileage may increase by up to 2%.

6. Put the tailgate down. Pickup truck drivers like to claim that lowering their truck's tailgate is good for aerodynamics and therefore increases gas mileage. But according to the General Motors Aerodynamics Laboratory, it handles better.

"As the air blows over the truck, it falls on the cam and moves toward the back of the truck," the company explains. "Lower tailgate reduces airflow benefit."

7. Buy fuel additives or "fuel savers". The Federal Trade Commission has warned consumers that claims made by manufacturers of devices and additives that promise better gas mileage are "false or grossly exaggerated."

After testing more than 100 such products, the FTC found no significant increase in mileage.

Devices installed in your engine can even break the law by circumventing emission regulations.

"People should be wary of any device that promises to improve fuel efficiency," Patrick DeHaan, head of oil analysis at Gas Body, told CNET.

7 Gas-Saving Tips That Really Work

1. Slow and steady wins the race. Fast acceleration burns fuel faster than driving at a slow, steady pace. If you can maintain a constant speed, it will help conserve fuel. According to DeHaan, people who constantly rush and step on the accelerator tend to burn more fuel due to their rapid acceleration.

"If people drive slower and avoid running red lights, it will help them […] avoid burning fuel and wasting energy," he said.

The most efficient cars are 55 to 60 miles per hour. Anything beyond that starts to degrade the machine's performance, DeHaan says.

2. Use cruise control whenever possible. The easiest way to maintain a constant speed. Speed ​​controller. This is an easy way to maintain a slower speed, instead of slowing down and returning to 55 mph. It's best to use cruise control when you're driving on level ground rather than stopping on the highway.

"Cruise control is much more efficient than humans at maintaining speed and can help save fuel," says DeHaan.

3. Stop your car at red lights and other long stops. According to Linda Gaines, a transportation systems analyst at Argonne National Laboratory, stop your car if it's stopped for 10 seconds or more. This not only saves gasoline, but also reduces carbon dioxide emissions.

What about wear and tear on your title?

"Today's start is stronger than the old car," Gaines said. If you don't start more than 10 times a day, "you shouldn't have to change the starter for the life of the car."

However, he does not recommend starting and stopping your car in traffic.

"Safe driving is about being able to react quickly to traffic conditions," Gaines said

4. Save the air conditioner. According to the US Department of Energy, using air conditioners can reduce fuel consumption by more than 25%. But rolling down the windows, especially at high speeds, increases wind resistance and consumes more fuel.

If you're driving on city streets, where you might be moving more slowly or idling more often, de Haan recommends keeping your windows open. Otherwise using CA is fine.

5. Remove the roof rack from your vehicle when not in use If you drive a car with a large rack, de Haan recommends removing it when not in use to improve your car's aerodynamics.

Small bike racks and ski racks are generally allowed to be left open.

6. Keep tires properly inflated. Although overinflating your tires isn't a mileage violation, making sure your tires are properly inflated can increase your gas mileage by up to 3 percent, according to the Department of Energy.

Letting tire pressure drop below 25 PSI can increase friction, DeHaan says, making the engine work harder and giving you fewer miles per gallon.

Low tire pressure can mean less miles per gallon. So keep an eye out for the tire pressure monitoring system warning light on your dash. Patrick Whitmore/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images © Courtesy of CNET Lower tire pressure can mean fewer miles per gallon. So keep an eye out for the tire pressure monitoring system warning light on your dash. Patrick Whitmore/MediaNews Group/Boston Herald via Getty Images

Most cars will tell you when a tire is low. The tire pressure monitoring system, or TPMS, warning light usually looks like an exclamation point or a bracket with a period in the middle.

7. Combine travel while running errands. If you have a lot of errands to run around town, plan on not running back and forth. For example, if the post office is next to a coffee shop but isn't open yet, make it your last stop instead of driving through the neighborhood.

When you have to do things that don't go together, it's best to try to do them all at once. Your car's engine is more efficient when it's warm, which can save fuel. This saves you from driving more when you travel another day.

Auto start/stop technology increases mileage.

Many new cars come with start-stop technology that automatically engages when you stop and when you step on the accelerator. This system automatically shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a complete stop; Air conditioners and other electronic devices will continue to work. As soon as you press the accelerator pedal, the engine will restart immediately.

According to AAA, vehicles equipped with this automatic system experience a 7% increase in fuel economy. If your car has this feature, you can already save fuel without doing anything extra.

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