Fuel Saving Tips that aren’t really going to make a difference in your car’s mpg

With the price of gasoline going ever higher, drivers are looking high and low for tips that will help increase their MPG and reduce the amount they spend for gasoline. While this is actually a good thing, the fact is that there are many tips being circulated that claim to reduce your car’s gas consumption and increase its MPG but aren’t actually doing much of anything. With that in mind we thought we’d take a look at some of these ‘tips’ and expose them for what they are; bad tips. Enjoy.

Practically every fuel saving tip blog talks about how vital it is to check and replace your car’s air filter regularly. In fact, tests performed by several different testing companies have found that dirty air filters actually no longer have much of an impact on the mpg of the newer cars that are being made today. The reason is that today’s modern car engines are computer-controlled, and the amount of air that’s coming in is precisely controlled as well. When you reduce airflow, your car’s engine automatically reduces the amount of fuel that uses. Most tests did note that, while fuel economy didn’t change significantly, acceleration did and was slower when a car’s air filter was dirty.

In years past it was necessary to warm up your car before taking it out for a spin, especially in winter. That was during the days of chokes and carburetors but, with today’s modern fuel injected and electronically controlled vehicles, it’s just not necessary. The fact is, today’s car engines are at their most efficient when they’re operating at their normal temperature, and if you want to reach that normal temperature quickly the best thing to do is start driving right after you start up the car.

One ‘tip’ that’s very common to find says that filling up in the morning is best as the weather will be cooler and you’ll actually benefit by getting more gasoline at that time. The theory behind this is that, when gasoline is cooler, it will be denser and you’ll get more for your money. The truth however is, since gasoline is stored in large tanks underground, its temperature changes very little no matter what time of the day it is. Whether you purchase in the morning, the afternoon or late at night, any difference in the actual amount of gasoline that you get will be negligible at best.

One common misconception is that ‘no name’ gasoline, generally sold by independent gas stations, isn’t as good as gasoline that you can purchase at a well-known, brand named station. The fact is that, although it sometimes formulated with different additives that are designed to help the engine stay clean, off-brand gasoline has not been shown to cause any significant changes to normally operating vehicles.

One of the biggest myths about gasoline is that premium is the best to buy for all cars and will give all cars a boost in MPG. Indeed, the big oil corporations have been working overtime to get consumers to believe in the good, better or best types of gasoline, drilling it into our collective psyche for the last two decades at least.

While premium gasoline will definitely maximize power in high-performance car engines, drivers of cars with regular engines will never notice a difference and should definitely use regular as the cost of regular is generally about 25% less than the cost of premium gasoline. If you are the lucky owner of a high-end luxury car, a high-end sports car or any other type of vehicle that would fit into these two classes, premium is usually recommended by the maufacturer. For all else, regular is just as good.

There’s long been a debate between whether it’s best to open the windows and not use the air-conditioning or close them and keep your car cool. Several recent tests using a Honda Accord showed that, at 65 mph, it’s MPG was reduced by about .05%. (Practically nothing.) The same vehicle, driven at the same speed with the windows open, had no measurable effects whatsoever.

One final ‘tip’ concerns low rolling resistance tires. While it is true that less tire hitting the road will create less friction, it’s been shown that the increase in MPG is practically insignificant. Not only that but, since low rolling resistance tires give up a little bit of braking performance and have a poorer tread, it’s not a worthy trade-off (in our humble opinion).

There are definitely a lot of things that you can do to save money on gasoline, including making sure that you maintain your car, keep your tires properly inflated, keep your speed below 60 mph and many others. Use those and focus your energies on them because the ones that we listed above definitely aren’t worth your time.

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