5 Tips, 5 Myths: The Truth About Saving Gas

Gas prices are currently sky-high and with the current state of the economy, everyone is trying to figure out ways to reduce gas expenses. Unfortunately, false hope has caused several gas-saving myths to circulate. Check out these tips and myths to see how you can conserve gas.

Tips:

1. “Drive at a speed closer to the speed limit.” – Reducing speed is a great way to improve gas mileage. Wind resistance will increase as your speed increases. Driving too fast will cause your car to work harder, thus requiring more gas.

2. “Reduce acceleration.” – Accelerating often uses excessive gas usage. You can reduce acceleration by braking less frequently and slowly increasing your speed after stops. If you are in a traffic jam, coast as often as possible and stay far behind the car in front of you so that you will not have to brake quickly.

3. “Clean out your car.” – Extra weight can significantly decrease your car`s gas mileage. Try to keep your car as empty as possible at all times. If you have been using your trunk as storage space for the past six years, you should consider finding a new dwelling for all of your stuff. It could help you conserve gas.

4. “Map out your travels.” – Use a GPS device or internet maps to find routes that have the shortest distance, the least amount of stops, and speed limits close to 55 mph. This will take a little of your time, but it will be worth it in the end.

5. “Roll up your windows if you are on the highway.” – If you are traveling faster than 60 mph, rolled down windows will cause your car to be less aerodynamic. The more aerodynamic a car is, the more fuel-efficient it will be.

Myths:

1. “It is better idle than to turn off your engine.” – Some people say that it is better to leave your car idling while waiting for someone to come out to the car or while eating a quick meal at a drive-in restaurant. The explanation is that starting a car takes more gas than just letting it idle. Fortunately, new auto technologies have reduced the amount of gas required to start a car. Next time you make a quick stop, just turn off the car. Letting the car idle is a waste of money.

2. “Never use air conditioning because it uses too much gas.” – This myth is partially true. Using the air conditioning system does use a little more gas than not using it. However, as mentioned in tip number 5, if you roll the windows down instead, you could cause your car to be less aerodynamic, which can lower your car`s gas mileage.

3. “Premium fuel gets better gas mileage.” – Although premium fuel does make certain cars run better, it almost never increases gas mileage. If you have tried premium fuel and cannot really tell the difference, you should probably just stick to regular; it is usually way cheaper.

4. “Fill up your tank when it is cold outside.” – The explanation behind this rumor is that when fuel is colder, it is denser. The reality is that the fuel tanks at gas stations experience very little change in temperature during the course of the day. Filling up your tank at a particular time of day will not save you any money unless you happen to arrive right before a price markup.

5. “New cars always have better gas mileage than old cars” – While it is true that auto companies are putting effort and research into creating cars that are more fuel-efficient, the notion that all new cars have better gas mileage than old or used cars is false. Instead of spending every penny you have on a brand new BMW, consider purchasing a used Toyota instead. Toyotas are known for being dependable and most models get terrific gas mileage.

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