by Lisbeth Endre
No matter what part of the country you live in the price of gas has soared to a record high, second biggest 2 week jump ever and international unrest may drive prices even higher. Regardless of the price we all still need to get to work and run errands, so we look for ways to squeeze the most out of a gallon. We’ve all heard different tricks on how to save gas but do those tricks actually amount to real savings? Here are six gas saving tips I read actually don’t work, and ways you can save between fill ups.
Turning off the AC – Auto testing at Consumer Reports proves that running the AC uses a nominal amount more in gas, so you may as well turn your AC on and be comfortable on those hot days. Rolling down you windows can add drag, zapping your car’s efficiency. For best mileage, run the fan and keeps windows rolled up.
Filling up when it’s cold outside – Get your gas in the evening or early in the morning, when the fuel is cold, and therefore denser. The truth about this myth is that you can barely register a temperature difference, since gas is stored in cool underground tanks. So fill up whenever.
Increasing tire pressure – To save gas you should pump up those tires, some say. True that while driving underinflated tire can cost you 3.75% in fuel economy, overinflating tires reduces your grip on the road and can be downright dangerous. Proper inflation is important for safety and longevity of your tires, but don’t expect any significant gas savings there.
Keeping the engine running – Starting a car sucks up fuel, so keep the engine idling
whenever possible, that’s bad advice. Today’s fuel-injected vehicles are efficient and don’t waste gas during start-ups anymore. In fact, idling can cost you up to half a gallon of gas an hour. So if you are not going anywhere, turn off the engine.
Changing the air filter – Don’t expect maintenance like changing the air filter to get
you more miles out the gas tank. Consumer Reports tests have shown that with today’s computerized car’s, clogged air filters don’t actually reduce fuel economy. While you should take care of your car to make it last, don’t look at air filters to reduce your gas expense.
Adding additives – They are a complete waste of money according to the
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Bottom line is there are a lot of myths out there when it comes to saving gas. So what does actually help improve your fuel economy? Instead of looking at your car to improve fuel economy, try changing the way you drive. Calm driving on the highway — not zipping between lanes, tailgating or revving the engine so you quickly get up to speed — can improve your fuel efficiency a whopping 33%. Remove any excess weight from your car to bump fuel economy another 2%, and drive sixty miles an hour (when the speed limit allows) on the highway for another 23% improvement in fuel efficiency. In the end, best fuel economy comes from a calm and safe driver, something that’s a good thing regardless of the price we pay at the pump.