Saving Money on Gas – Avoid These Common Gas Saving Myths

by Kushal

There are some tried and true ways to cut fuel consumption and save money on gas, but there are also a number of myths floating around out there.

While there are some things drivers can do to increase gas mileage, like driving sensibly and lightening the load in the trunk, other popular gas saving tips are no more than myths. If you are relying on these widely cited myths to improve your gas mileage, you could be wasting money — and fuel — every time you get behind the wheel.

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Some of the most enduring gas saving myths have been around for decades, and some of them may have held a grain of truth at some point. Even so, these myths no longer work to save fuel on modern cars. You would be better all spending your time focusing on things that really can make a difference in your mileage, like sticking to the posted speed and avoiding jackrabbit starts, panic stops and unnecessary idling.

Four of the most popular — but untrue —tips for boosting your gas mileage include:

1. Leaving your tailgate down — drivers of pickup trucks have long been told that leaving the tailgate up will trap air inside the bed and increase the drag on the vehicle, but this is simply not the case. Studies have shown no discernable difference in gas mileage between pickup trucks with the tailgate up versus the same truck with the tailgate down. If you prefer to drive with the tailgate in the down position, go right ahead —just do not expect to see a decrease in your fuel consumption.

2.Gas saving devices and additives — Every time gas prices spike, drivers start hearing about magical devices that can increase their fuel economy and cut their costs. Unfortunately for drivers, no such devices exist, and independent studies have failed to back up the outlandish claims made by the manufacturers. The same holds true for additives that claim to boost gas mileage. If your vehicle is running poorly, getting a tune-up can improve your mileage, but simply adding an expensive additive to the fuel tank is unlikely to yield results.

3. Gassing up in the morning —Many drivers are under the mistaken impression that fueling up in the morning will increase their gas mileage, or even mean more gallons in the tank The truth is that it makes no difference when you put fuel in your car, so just gas up when it is most convenient.

4. Turn off your air conditioning — In the old days air conditioning did indeed reduce mileage significantly, but that is no longer the case. Studies have shown no discernable difference between leaving the windows open and running the air conditioning on a well tuned car. If you love the feel of wind in your air, leave the windows open. Otherwise crank up the AC and enjoy the ride.

Avoiding these gas saving myths allows you to focus on those things that can truly make a difference and help you drive more efficiently. Simple things like combining your trips and carpooling can save you a lot of money on gas If you are in the market for a new car, choosing the most fuel efficient model that meets your needs could save you thousands of dollars in fuel costs over the life of the vehicle. Focusing your efforts where they will have the greatest results is the best way to beat the pain at the pump.

Updated: 04/28/2012, Kushal
 
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