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Check Out These 5 Gas Myths

Posted By Jim On 07/20/2006 @ 11:33 am In Cars | 7 Comments

I think an article like this is way overdue and, having no way to come up with it on my own, I defer to CNN Money’s cadre of experts to come up with these, probably common-sense, give gas myths (some of which I thought were wrong but let’s go anyway):

1. Your driving style is more significant in determining your mileage than your car’s EPA estimate. Pulling out my “duh” card, it makes sense your driving style affects your mileage. I know people who hit the gas in parking lots, it almost doesn’t even matter what their EPA estimates are (and the fact that they’re inaccurate). However, I find it hard to believe you can take an EPA estimated 30 MPG vehicle and drive it so inefficiently that it would get under 10 MPG.

2. Gas saving products don’t work. Hmmm… I buy those fuel injector cleaner additives and use them maybe once every oil change (~8-10,000 miles) because I’ve been told it’s good to send that stuff through to get the injectors a little cleaner. Usually I get them for free after rebate from one of the car care stores (they’re only like $2/bottle anyway) but I’ve never tried anything that claims to boost performance. I know you can get additives to reduce emissions and octane boosters that will definitely improve mileage if you’re driving a car that requires premium and you put in regular (lower-octane gas) with the booster, but I’ve never tried a straight up booster. Sounds kind of hokey anyway.

3. Using higher octane gas doesn’t improve performance. I’ve written about this before and many people have weighed in, check out my article “High Octane Gas Myth” [3].

4. Not all gas rebate cards are the same. They warn to check out fees and interest rates, while I can’t talk about interest rates because I never carry a balance, I would never get a card that had a fee (unless I had no choice). Personally, I wouldn’t sign up for a gas station company branded card (like a Shell specific card) because you have to go to that station for the savings. Go instead for a gas station company-agnostic card that gives you rewards on your purchases at any gas station.

5. Air conditioning wastes gasoline. First off, AC doesn’t “cost” so much gas that it’s worth sweltering, especially in 100 degree temperatures, just to save a couple drips. Secondly, it actually is more efficient than opening your windows at speeds over 55 mph according to some studies (I’ve looked it up but I don’t have the site available) because of air drag. So, if you really want to save then use windows under 55 mph and use AC above it.

Source: CNN Money [4]


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[3] “High Octane Gas Myth”: http://www.bargaineering.com/articles/high-octane-gas-myth.html

[4] CNN Money: http://money.cnn.com/2006/07/19/pf/saving/willis/index.htm

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