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Top 5 Fuel-Saving Myths

There are many urban legends on how to save fuel, but not all are true. In fact, most of the tips that you may have heard are just plain myths. Below, we will discuss the 5 most popular myths and explain in brief why they do nothing to conserve fuel.

Myth #1: Fill Up Your Vehicle When It’s Cool Outside

The Legend: Filling up your car in the early morning hours when the gasoline is cool and more dense will net you more miles per gallon.

Fact: While in theory it is true that denser fuel contains more energy, the temperature of gasoline is regulated in underground storage and while it comes out of the nozzle.

Myth #2: Using Premium Fuel

The Legend: Using higher quality fuel will of course get me more miles to the gallon.

Fact: Vehicles made after the mid-1990′s are manufactured with an automatic sensor which compensates for the octane level of the gasoline the engine is using. So if your car was not meant to run on premium gasoline, it’s not worth the money. In fact, many vehicles that say premium fuel is “recommended” won’t lose out by running on regular fuel unless it says “required”.

Myth #3: Leave The Car Idling Instead Of Turning The Engine On And Off

The Legend: Turning the car off then back on again will use up more fuel than it would if left idling for a few minutes.

Fact: This may have been true back when vehicles were equipped with carburetors. But these days, with modern fuel-injection technology if the engine is already warmed up it will not need any gas to shut down or restart. Therefore, if you think that leaving your car idling for just a few minutes will save you gas, you only have what to lose. By the time you get back someone may have driven off with your car. If that’s not the case and you car is still there when you return (hopefully it is), you’ve just burned off unnecessary gas.

Myth #4: ‘Miracle’ Fuel Saving Products That You Buy At The Gas Station And Mechanic Really Work

The Legend: Magnets, special gadgets, lubricants and other additives “As Seen On TV” will really save gas because it says so on the box.

Fact: The Environmental Protection Agency has tested more than 100 of these products which were found to be of nearly no help at all. “The devices and the additives we have tested just don’t work. We have been doing it for 35 years, and we have seen pretty much everything that can be imagined,” said the EPA.

Some companies promise a savings of more than $50 a month if you use their product. But don’t be coerced into buying it unless it’s been proven by independent researchers, or you know of a friend that tried it and is sure that it worked.

Myth #5: Constantly Change Your Air Filter

The Legend: The air filter needs to be perfectly clean or it will restrict the air and cause the engine to burn more fuel.

Fact: Once again, the current facts are being confused with the way it used to be when cars had carburetors. Back then, a restriction in the air flow would indeed have caused the engine to burn more gas. But nowadays, the on-board computer controls exactly how much gas to inject into the engine. So even if the filter is not spotlessly clean the computer will know exactly how much gas to inject.

That’s not to say that if the air filter is completely blocked that it won’t ruin your mileage. It’s possible that it will, but only when it’s blockaded enough that the “check engine” light will begin to blink. At that point it would be wise to swap filters for reasons more important than saving a few cents on gas.