How Not to Save Money on Gas
Myth 1 - Gasoline Additives Will Save You Money
Many drivers swear by gasoline additives as a way to boost fuel economy, but it is essential to do the math. Those tiny bottles can cost $5, $10 or even more -- far more than the price of a gallon of gas.
The EPA has tested more than 100 products claiming to improve fuel economy by 12 to 25 percent, including additives. They found that none of the products stacked up to their own claims and many could cause actual harm to an engine.
Myth 2 - Overinflating Your Tires Will Improve Your Fuel Economy
This myth has been around forever, and it is one of the more dangerous myths about improving fuel economy. Inflating your tires past the recommended pressure may get you a tiny increase in fuel economy, but the downside greatly outweighs the benefits.
Riding on overinflated tires will reduce your vehicle's traction, especially in an emergency maneuver. Also, the overinflation will cause your tires to wear out more quickly, and the cost of replacement tires will far exceed any fuel savings you may have enjoyed.
Myth 2 - Timing Matters
You may have noticed that the local gas station is at its capacity first thing in the morning, and that may be due to a pervasive myth about gasoline and air temperatures. Many drivers still believe that fueling up first thing in the morning will improve their fuel economy since the air temperature can impact the quality of the fuel.
When gasoline was stored in above-ground tanks, this belief probably had some legitimacy. These days, however, almost all gas is stored in huge underground tanks, where temperature fluctuations are all but nonexistent. So do yourself a favor and gas up when it is convenient, no matter what the time of day or night.
Myth 3 - Turn Off the AC to Save Gas
There is a popular myth that turning off the air conditioning and opening up the windows will improve fuel economy, but that is not true with most modern vehicles. The air conditioning systems in modern cars, trucks, and SUVs are incredibly efficient, and opening the windows could hurt your fuel economy.
Opening the windows and turning off the AC will decrease aerodynamics and increase drag. That increase in drag could hurt your mileage, so crank up the AC on those hot days to stay cool and comfortable.
No matter what kind of vehicle you drive or where your travels take you, saving money on fuel is always a top priority. If you want to save money on fuel, do your homework and learn the facts. The more you know about what works and what does not, the more money you can keep in your wallet.