How to Save at the Gas Pump

gas pump

Fuel is a necessary expense when you rely on your car to get you to work, to school, or anywhere else your daily routine takes you. That expense can add up – so much that most people are constantly trying to figure out ways to spend less on gas. There is so much information around on how to save money at the gas pump; unfortunately, much of it is just not accurate. Here are some common myths surrounding saving on gas expenses:

Myth #1: You must buy premium fuel if your owner’s manual “recommends” it.

This isn’t true unless your owner’s manual says “premium fuel required” – as it does for a few high-performance luxury vehicles. If your car, like most, came with a manual that merely says “premium fuel recommended,” don’t waste your money. Regular gas will work just fine, and save you money to boot.

Myth #2: Turning the air conditioner off and opening the windows will save gas.

In theory, this should work, because the air conditioner does indeed use up gas. The problem is that when you roll down the windows, especially when you are driving at higher speeds, you increase wind resistance so much that any benefits from turning off the A/C are negated. When temperatures outside are comfortable enough, try turning off the A/C and just using the “vent” setting. Anytime, only turn the A/C down as cold as you need it. And park in the shade whenever possible: it takes much less energy to keep a car cool than it does to cool down a sweltering interior.

Myth #3: When it’s hot outside, you should buy gas early in the morning when the gas is cooler because hot gas expands, meaning you get less for your money.

You could try this, but it’s highly doubtful you will see any actual savings, even if you do the calculations. That’s because it is impossible to tell whether a given tank of gas is warm or cool. It depends on too many things, such as how recently it was delivered and whether it has been sitting in the above-ground pump for any length of time. Even if you do manage to buy cool gas, the density difference is so slight that the savings are barely noticeable. This one probably belongs in the “urban myth” file.

Myth #4: Drive below 55 miles per hour for the best gas mileage. Or the flip side of this myth: driving at a faster, sustained speed on the highway saves gas.

The truth is somewhere in the middle. Sure, driving on the highway uses less gas than the constant stopping and starting of city streets. Also, your fuel efficiency on the highway will remain pretty stable until you surpass 60 miles an hour – after which it does drop significantly. At speeds that high, the wind resistance and the tire resistance hurt your gas mileage more than driving at a constant speed helps it.

Even at 60 miles per hour, though, remember that maintaining a constant speed – and accelerating smoothly and gently to get there – will save you more money than if you kept your speed lower but stopped and started a lot, or accelerated like an Indy 500 driver.

Using these tips offered by Embassy Loans can help you see a real reduction in your fuel expense while not wasting time and money on inaccurate information.