There are several long-standing myths about how to improve fuel economy and the energy efficiency of cars and trucks. Some of the myths may have been true at one time, but no longer apply due to changes in automotive technology.
I saw a recent article in August 2012 issue of Consumer Reports magazine that can also be found on their web site. The article is titled, Myths at the Gas Pump that reaffirmed what we already knew about several common fuel economy myths. Here are some of the common misconceptions and why they are not true.
Fill Your Tank in the Morning When The Air is Cool
The idea behind this is that the fuel will be cooler in the morning and will expand as the temperature rises throughout the day. You therefore get more fuel for your money when the gas expands. The problem with this is that all fuel is stored underground where the temperature is constantly cool and does not fluctuate with the ambient outside temperature. You wil therefore always get cool fuel at any time of the day, except for perhaps just after a gas station has their tanks filled.
National Brand Name Gas Stations Sell Higher Quality Fuel
Most small and independent gas stations buy their gas from the larger gas companies. You may know which one, but does that really matter? As long as the octane rating is accurate, the cheaper fuel from independent stations should be just as good as fuels from the national brands.
It is Important to Let a Car Warm Up Before Driving
Today’s fuel injected, computer-controlled cars are more efficient that older carburetor vehicles. IN may not be a good idea to race a car just after starting in sub-zero temperatures, but the best way to reach the most fuel efficient operating temperature is to drive the vehicle, rather than letting it idle while it warms up.
Premium Fuel is Always Better
The idea is that cars always run better on higher octane fuel. That is not necessarily true unless the vehicle manufacturer recommends using higher octane fuel. Most gas station owners will tell you that people overwhelmingly buy the least expensive fuel. The most expensive fuels therefore sit in the tanks much longer and sometimes do go stale. More expensive fuels are not a treat for the car unless the car is designed to use it. Consult the owner’s manual before wasting money necessarily.