Since gas prices don’t appear like they’re going to drop any time in the near future, we’ve put together another list of fuel saving tips as well as a list of fuel saving myths, both of which should help you to make better choices and save money when filling up your tank. Enjoy.
Fuel savings tips:
- Make sure to close your gas cap correctly. Nearly 20% of all vehicles on the road have gas caps that are damaged, not closed correctly or even completely missing. This results in a whopping 147 MILLION gallons of gas lost to vaporization every single year. On a personal level, gas cap problems result in a two mpg reduction in your car’s fuel efficiency, so make sure they are on and working correctly.
- Use the lowest fill setting when filling your tank. In many cases, because the gasoline is rushing in too quickly, backsplash or overfilling happens and the result is lost gasoline.
- Don’t top off your car’s fuel tank. Simply put, once the fuel pump clicks off your tank is filled. Filling it up further to round out the dollar amount could cause your gasoline to spill out when it warms up as well as saturating your emission system with fuel.
- Inflate your tires correctly. Underinflated tires can waste up to 3% of your gasoline. Make sure you check your tires on a regular basis.
- Use the correct type of tire. If, for example, you have mud and snow tires on your car to get you through the winter, you should definitely remove them once the winter weather has ended as the wider tires will generally reduce your gas mileage.
- Check and change worn spark plugs often. A dirty spark plug or one that is badly worn will cause your car to misfire and waste fuel. Every time you get your oil changed you should have the service technicians check your spark plugs to make sure that they are clean and firing correctly.
- Maintain your air filter. Just like worn spark plugs, a dirty or clogged air filter will inhibit air from getting to your engine and waste fuel as well as reduce engine power. Simply replacing a clogged air filter has been shown to improve a car’s MPG by nearly 10%. One thing to keep in mind however is that newer vehicles with fuel injection that is computer-controlled will have sensors to automatically adjust for the amount of air that’s reaching the engine.
- Make sure your oxygen sensor is functioning correctly. If it’s worn or not operating, you may well see a decrease in nearly 3 miles for every gallon of gas you use.
- Change your motor oil regularly and use the best for your type of driving. Your automobile technician will be able to help you with knowing the proper oil to use but, suffice to say, changing your oil regularly is very important if you want to save money on gas.
Fuel saving myths to ignore and avoid.
1. Myth. It’s best to fill up your car in the morning, especially during hot weather. The fact is, since most gasoline is kept in large, underground tanks its temperature is fairly constant as well as its expansion. Filling up in the morning, afternoon or evening will not affect the amount of gasoline that you get.
2. Myth. High octane fuel will always provide better MPG. The fact on this one is simple; today’s modern vehicles allow their engines to run on octane levels that are lower than premium without any harm to the car’s engine or reduction in mileage. Unless you have a high-end sports car or luxury car, regular gas is just fine and will save you up to 30% off of the cost of premium.
3. Myth. All gas from all gas stations is exactly the same. In most cases this would be a true statement except for a type of fuel called ‘slop’. Slop is a combination of different fuel types that’s created after fuel is transported in the same pipeline, including gasoline, diesel fuel, jet fuel and more. It’s considered a much lower grade of fuel and sold to discount gas stations. If you purchase premium from these stations you’re getting nothing of the sort and even regular might not be as good as the regular at a name brand station.
4. Myth. Fuel additives can improve your car’s fuel economy. While these additives, including octane boosters, fuel line antifreeze and others, may indeed improve your vehicle’s performance, there are no studies, whether performed independently or by the EPA, that have ever shown them to improve fuel economy.
We hope that these tips and myths about fuel economy will help you to save a few bucks the next time you fill up. If you have any questions about fuel economy, personal finances or other financial topics, please let us know and we’ll get back to you with options and answers.