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  • 4 gas-saving myths

    4 gas-saving myths
    Tuesday May 15, 3:34 pm ET

    By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer



    Using a special additive or cutting off your A/C won't really cut your gasoline consumption. But myths like these run rampant in the minds of American drivers.
    Right now, the price of gasoline is again setting record highs. The average price for a gallon of regular hit $3.087 Tuesday, the third record in a row.




    So before you attempt a half-baked scheme to stretch your gas dollars, here's a look at what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to fuel economy:

    Nothing but gimmicks

    There have been additives, special magnets and even a pill that has promised to improve a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent in some cases.

    While the promise of stretching your gas dollars seems awfully lucrative, especially when they cost under $20, most of these products provide a negligible, if any, improvement in fuel efficiency, said Rik Paul, the automotive editor for the publication Consumer Reports.

    Consumer Reports and the government's Environmental Protection Agency, have tested dozens of these products finding that none of them offer any significant improvement in fuel economy.

    "With all the pressure car companies are under, if one of these inexpensive devices dramatically did improve fuel economy, they (automakers) would be all over it," said Paul.

    Windows, air conditioning - who cares?

    There's the old saw that leaving your windows rolled down creates an aerodynamic drag on your car, cutting down on fuel efficiency. And there's the notion that the fastest way to drain your gas tank is by running your air conditioning.

    Don't believe either one.

    In two separate studies conducted in 2005, the automotive Web site Edmunds.com and Consumer Reports compared the fuel economy of both a sedan and an SUV at highway speeds with and without air conditioning and how open windows affected gas usage.

    What they found was no significant difference in fuel economy in either sedan or SUV under either condition.

    Don't wait until Wednesday

    Some drivers insist the best time to buy gasoline is on a Wednesday, when pump prices have cooled from the weekend run-up when oil companies typically raise prices.

    That's true to a point, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices tend to be higher on the weekend, but there's no ideal day of the week to purchase your gas.

    Geoff Sundstrom of the motorist organization AAA notes that gas prices fluctuate from day to day and are determined by gas station owners who look at a variety of factors including wholesale gasoline prices, competitors' prices and food and drink sales if they have an attached convenience store.

    Drivers who want to bargain-hunt for inexpensive gas should instead check out Web sites like http://www.gasbuddy.com/ allows consumers to find the cheapest gas in their area simply by entering their zip code.

    Restart your engines

    It's probably a myth that goes back to the days when cars were equipped with carburetors, but many drivers believe that starting up and turning off your car repeatedly is a fast way to drain your gas tank.

    But because of modern fuel-injection technology, drivers actually save gas by turning off their engine than letting their car needlessly idle, says Consumer Reports' Paul.

    Granted it's probably not sensible shutting down the engine every time you get stuck in traffic, but if it looks like you might be at the drive-thru for more than 30 seconds to a minute, it's worth turning off your car, says Paul.

    Tips you can use

    So what are some fuel-savings tips you can trust?

    Make sure your tires are properly inflated for starters. Besides posing a safety hazard, underinflated tires can reduce your fuel economy slightly, based on Edmunds.com's 2005 study.

    Removing excess weight from your car can also help save you gas. The Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 3 and 6 cents a gallon (assuming gas prices of $2.97 a gallon) just by removing those golf clubs and other unnecessary weight from your trunk.

    If your car comes equipped with cruise control, make sure you use it, especially on long trips. Edmunds.com's study revealed that using cruise control at highway speeds offered an average fuel economy savings of 7 percent.

    But the biggest fuel saver is driving the speed limit and driving sensibly. Rapid starts and stops and exceeding the speed limit will dent your pocketbook. Just by adhering to one of those, the Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 15 and 98 cents a gallon, again assuming pump prices are at $2.97 a gallon.
    Last edited by arapaho; 05-16-2007, 03:08 PM.
    sigpic
    when do native Americans become human and not mascots

  • #2
    I'll add to that.

    Buy a K&N air filter.
    K&N makes air filters for just about every car on the road. They improve airflow and gas mileage, it's been proven.
    They cost 3 or 4 times more than a standard paper filter but you only need 1 for the entire life of the car, so it pays off.
    The only maintenance is cleaning it and re-oiling it, very easy.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by arapaho
      4 gas-saving myths
      Tuesday May 15, 3:34 pm ET

      By David Ellis, CNNMoney.com staff writer



      Using a special additive or cutting off your A/C won't really cut your gasoline consumption. But myths like these run rampant in the minds of American drivers.
      Right now, the price of gasoline is again setting record highs. The average price for a gallon of regular hit $3.087 Tuesday, the third record in a row.




      So before you attempt a half-baked scheme to stretch your gas dollars, here's a look at what's fact and what's fiction when it comes to fuel economy:

      Nothing but gimmicks

      There have been additives, special magnets and even a pill that has promised to improve a car's fuel efficiency by as much as 30 percent in some cases.

      While the promise of stretching your gas dollars seems awfully lucrative, especially when they cost under $20, most of these products provide a negligible, if any, improvement in fuel efficiency, said Rik Paul, the automotive editor for the publication Consumer Reports.

      Consumer Reports and the government's Environmental Protection Agency, have tested dozens of these products finding that none of them offer any significant improvement in fuel economy.

      "With all the pressure car companies are under, if one of these inexpensive devices dramatically did improve fuel economy, they (automakers) would be all over it," said Paul.

      Windows, air conditioning - who cares?

      There's the old saw that leaving your windows rolled down creates an aerodynamic drag on your car, cutting down on fuel efficiency. And there's the notion that the fastest way to drain your gas tank is by running your air conditioning.

      Don't believe either one.

      In two separate studies conducted in 2005, the automotive Web site Edmunds.com and Consumer Reports compared the fuel economy of both a sedan and an SUV at highway speeds with and without air conditioning and how open windows affected gas usage.

      What they found was no significant difference in fuel economy in either sedan or SUV under either condition.

      Don't wait until Wednesday

      Some drivers insist the best time to buy gasoline is on a Wednesday, when pump prices have cooled from the weekend run-up when oil companies typically raise prices.

      That's true to a point, says Tom Kloza, chief oil analyst at the Oil Price Information Service. Gas prices tend to be higher on the weekend, but there's no ideal day of the week to purchase your gas.

      Geoff Sundstrom of the motorist organization AAA notes that gas prices fluctuate from day to day and are determined by gas station owners who look at a variety of factors including wholesale gasoline prices, competitors' prices and food and drink sales if they have an attached convenience store.

      Drivers who want to bargain-hunt for inexpensive gas should instead check out Web sites like http://www.gasbuddy.com/ allows consumers to find the cheapest gas in their area simply by entering their zip code.

      Restart your engines

      It's probably a myth that goes back to the days when cars were equipped with carburetors, but many drivers believe that starting up and turning off your car repeatedly is a fast way to drain your gas tank.

      But because of modern fuel-injection technology, drivers actually save gas by turning off their engine than letting their car needlessly idle, says Consumer Reports' Paul.

      Granted it's probably not sensible shutting down the engine every time you get stuck in traffic, but if it looks like you might be at the drive-thru for more than 30 seconds to a minute, it's worth turning off your car, says Paul.

      Tips you can use

      So what are some fuel-savings tips you can trust?

      Make sure your tires are properly inflated for starters. Besides posing a safety hazard, underinflated tires can reduce your fuel economy slightly, based on Edmunds.com's 2005 study.

      Removing excess weight from your car can also help save you gas. The Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 3 and 6 cents a gallon (assuming gas prices of $2.97 a gallon) just by removing those golf clubs and other unnecessary weight from your trunk.

      If your car comes equipped with cruise control, make sure you use it, especially on long trips. Edmunds.com's study revealed that using cruise control at highway speeds offered an average fuel economy savings of 7 percent.

      But the biggest fuel saver is driving the speed limit and driving sensibly. Rapid starts and stops and exceeding the speed limit will dent your pocketbook. Just by adhering to one of those, the Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 15 and 98 cents a gallon, again assuming pump prices are at $2.97 a gallon.
      I guess I'll have to throw hubby out, because he's excessive weight.
      (Poor hubby )

      horsesense....you and me in BIG TROUBLE with the speed issue.
      "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.

      John Stuart Mill (Look him up )

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Raiderfan76
        I'll add to that.

        Buy a K&N air filter.
        K&N makes air filters for just about every car on the road. They improve airflow and gas mileage, it's been proven.
        They cost 3 or 4 times more than a standard paper filter but you only need 1 for the entire life of the car, so it pays off.
        The only maintenance is cleaning it and re-oiling it, very easy.

        yep i have one for my 04 f-150
        sigpic
        when do native Americans become human and not mascots

        Comment


        • #5
          Also, if you have a couple hundred $$ to spend get some exhaust work done.
          Larger than stock exhaust tubing will increase fuel mileage and performance. For even more performance and a bit more fule mileage get a free flowing muffler, only if you can live with sound though, it can be a bit loud in some cases.

          Comment


          • #6
            The easy way to save money, buy a manual transmission equiped car and run it round in a high gear all day. For the automatics a good way i'vefound to save a bit is to put it in 3rd (or whatever your gear below top gear is) and just leave it in that gear with the exception of highway driving. you'll find you rely less on the brakes and it's as close to driving in a high gear with manual trans that you can get in an auto.
            "On a given day, a given circumstance, you think you have a limit. And you then go for this limit and you touch this limit, and you think, 'Okay, this is the limit'. And so you touch this limit, something happens and you suddenly can go a little bit further. With your mind power, your determination, your instinct, and the experience as well, you can fly very high."
            Ayrton Senna..

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by y2cragie
              The easy way to save money, buy a manual transmission equiped car and run it round in a high gear all day..
              Putting a car in OD/5th/6th gear too soon can make the car/truck spark knock, not good.
              Most manual transmission equiped cars/trucks depending on the gearing are just fine with 55mph in high gear. No need to put it in high gear at 35mph to save fuel.





              Originally posted by y2cragie
              For the automatics a good way i'vefound to save a bit is to put it in 3rd (or whatever your gear below top gear is) and just leave it in that gear with the exception of highway driving.
              This is only a way to save your torque converter from going bad, it dose not improve fuel mileage. It prevents the torque converter from locking up at around 40 mph, which is good because 30 to 40 mph driving your foot is most likely on and off the gas 5 times per minute which makes the torque converter engage and release several times a minute, that will cause it to go bad.





              Originally posted by y2cragie
              you'll find you rely less on the brakes .
              Correct, it's called compression braking.
              Last edited by Raiderfan76; 05-16-2007, 04:16 PM.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Raiderfan76
                I'll add to that.

                Buy a K&N air filter.
                K&N makes air filters for just about every car on the road. They improve airflow and gas mileage, it's been proven.
                They cost 3 or 4 times more than a standard paper filter but you only need 1 for the entire life of the car, so it pays off.
                The only maintenance is cleaning it and re-oiling it, very easy.
                This is true...my hubby bought one for his truck and said the same thing....
                Tony G


                The Chefs

                Comment


                • #9
                  Im gonna say this one more time fans, cause I like you. Some more then others.
                  AMSOIL!! It will help. They also sell air filters that are good for life!

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by horsesense
                    Im gonna say this one more time fans, cause I like you. Some more then others.
                    AMSOIL!! It will help. They also sell air filters that are good for life!
                    I'm not sure if i'm the other, but, Royal Purple claims to be the best. http://www.royalpurple.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Raiderfan76
                      I'm not sure if i'm the other, but, Royal Purple claims to be the best. http://www.royalpurple.com/
                      I wont argue with you about that dude. I just know what I use in all my vehicles. Ive already done all the lubes so Im not changing out now.. Thanks anyway.. I dont know you well enough to be the other, yet..

                      Comment

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