Fueling your car is a huge expense, so it’s no surprise that most drivers try to find ways to ration the fuel in their tank. Considering recent fuel prices, everyone is looking to maximize their mileage.
We’ve all heard the advice about how to stretch your gas supply to its limit. But how many of these are actually true? Below are five myths about saving fuel that you’ve probably heard before.
The 5 Biggest Myths on Saving Fuel Costs
Chances are you’ve heard all of these myths in the past. While there are lots of things you really can do to improve your fuel economy, these five myths are unfortunately not your best bet.
Shifting Into Neutral at Stops Saves Gas
The myth that shifting into neutral saves gas has persisted for decades. It may have been true in the days that car engines required carburetors. It certainly does not apply to today’s vehicles. Modern fuel-injection systems are managed by onboard computers. These sensors enable the engine to adjust to shut off fuel injection whenever you ease off the accelerator. Regardless of whether your car is in gear, fuel injectors shut off and your engine doesn’t use as much fuel when it idles. Shifting into neutral unfortunately does nothing but wear down your transmission.
Dirty Air Filters Lower Your Mileage
Older cars pulled air directly through the filter into the carburetor. This led to situations where clogged filters could impact gas mileage. Nowadays, vehicle engines use computer-operated ECMs (engine control modules) to regulate air-to-fuel ratios for maximum efficiency. Modern engines take air in through the filter to be gauged by a mass airflow sensor. Fuel and air influx are adjusted accordingly. If airflow lessens, less fuel is injected into the engine. So while a dirty filter might slow down your acceleration, it won’t change your gas mileage.
Fueling Up in Cooler Weather Gets You Extra Gas
Countless people have been told that you can get some “extra” gas by filling up when the temperature drops. Whether you’re supposed to pump gas early in the morning, late at night, or on cooler days of the week, the logic is the same. Since cooler liquids are denser, you supposedly get more bang for your buck. But gas is pumped from underground storage tanks that are typically quite insulated from surface temperatures. You’re not likely to get any different amount of fuel regardless of the weather outside.
Using Cruise Control Improves Gas Mileage
Cruise control is great for its convenience since it maintains a constant speed. This leads lots of drivers to conclude that using cruise control is more efficient than manually controlling the gas pedal. This may sometimes be true, like when driving on flat highways or gentle terrain. But cruise control systems can often accelerate suddenly when encountering an incline. This can actually eat up more fuel than if you manually accelerate in these situations. Drivers are typically better at anticipating elevation and easing into it than cruise control systems.
Keeping the Gas Tank Full Improves Fuel Economy
Keeping your gas tank topped off is a classic method for improving your mileage. Unfortunately, this tip won’t get you any further, either. While you may think you’re getting more fuel into your car, you may actually damage your vehicle’s evaporative emissions system. Once your tank is full and the gas nozzle shuts off, any gas you add is likely just taken into the gas station’s vapor recovery system to return to its storage tanks. That means you aren’t getting any additional fuel anyway.
How to Actually Save on Fuel
So with all these myths circulating, what can help you save fuel? In this day and age, technology and innovation have given drivers more options than ever. Chip Your Car helps optimize your vehicle’s performance, including gas mileage. Start saving on fuel costs today and try a performance chip, available for all vehicle makes and models.