Fuel-Saving Myths

Here are five common fuel saving myths and the truth behind them.

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Myth 1: Topping off the tank saves fuel

Gas Tank

Fact: Topping off can actually send gas back to the station instead of into your car. The gas nozzle automatically shuts off when the tank is full, so any additional gas you try to add will be drawn into a vapor recovery system and back into the storage tanks, so you may as well be paying for gas that you’re not actually receiving. More than that, you could also damage your car’s own evaporative emissions system.

Myth 2: It is important to warm up before driving

Warming Up Engine

Fact: That is no longer necessary with modern, fuel-injected cars. While it was true back when we had carburetors and chokes, engines these days are efficient at regular operating temperature, and the fastest way of getting to that point is to drive immediately after starting the car.

Myth 3: Driving with the windows open could hurt the fuel economy

Driving with Windows Open

Fact: Opening the windows while driving at 65 mph has little to no effect on the MPG, so despite the fact that fact that people are against it, it does not actually add a load on the engine, nor affect gas mileage.

Myth 4: Idling uses less fuel than turning your car off, then back on

Idling Engines

Fact: Turning your car off when you’re stopped is usually the best option, while people think that turning off the car off, then on again can waste more gas than idling, but the truth is that idling wastes a lot more gas than you would expect. Idling engines could use one-quarter to one-half gallon of gas per hour, so any time you plan on idling for more than a minute, it’s best to turn off your engine.

Myth 5: Turning off the A/C can save on gas

Fact: Depending on the aerodynamics of your vehicle, there really isn’t a lot of difference whether or not you have your A/C on. The difference in your fuel economy is really, really small, so you might as well turn on the A/C, especially on hot days.

If you really want to save on gas, though, you might as well get a GPS tracking device like Trackimo—its efficient route search, among others, could make sure you get where you want in the fastest, most fuel-efficient way possible.

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Emily Moore