Thursday, April 3, 2008

Gas Tips and Myths

Most times when we ask a question we already know what we want the answer to be. Like the last front page poll that we laid to rest yesterday.

How high do gas prices need to go before you change your driving habits?

$3.50 (5%)

$4.00 (9%)

I've already changed (86%)

Glad to see that you’ve all made changes. Gas prices are predicted to hit $4.00/gal this summer. So what are you doing?

There are plenty of tips that point to changing your driving habits to save gas. But are they fact or myth. took on some common gas saving tips to see if they really worked. This is a 2008 update to an article they did in 2005. The new article uses more scientific parameters. The tests were run with a car, an SUV and a truck. They used a ScanGauge that connected to the car's OBD port to confirm manual recordings. In the end the 2008 report came up with more accurate—read different—results.

For example the widow down vs. air conditioning debate was originally called a draw in 2005, new testing calls a clear winner. I won’t spoil it for you since I think this article is well worth the read time. This isn’t the only myth that found changed results. They also looked at tire pressure, driving style and other common recommendations.

But there are many other tips out there. I’ve also read these verbatim on a dozen blogs and other site (probably thousands if I kept looking). And I’ve read these very same tips regarding safety and environmental impact. But I haven't seen them at any reliable/tested source. So while they can’t hurt I don’t know if they’ll actually save you money. Here’s the condensed version of the text…

Only buy or fill up early in the morning—supposedly afternoon gas expands and you don’t actually get a gallon for a gallon.

Don’t squeeze the trigger to fast mode—this claims that some of the liquid that could go to your tank becomes vapor.

Fill up when your gas tank is half empty—minimizes the evaporation.

Don’t fill up when the gasoline truck is pumping into the storage tanks–the gas is being stirred and you might pick up some of the dirt from the bottom.

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