Go Ahead, Waste your Money on Gas


May 9, 2007   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Parked Cars

We’ve all heard that gasoline will cost $4.00 per gallon this summer. While the US government claims it won’t get that high, I am skeptical. So let’s hit on a few misconceptions and tips that my ingenious Aunt Pat came up with:

  • Fuel Additives: Good ole Aunt Pat went to Wal Mart and bought an additive that promised to “increase fuel economy”. I hesitate to use the word scheme, but: Claims usually tout savings ranging from 12 to 25 percent. However, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some “gas-saving” products may damage a car’s engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.
    Source: Consumer Energy Center (.org)
  • Boycott Gas: Are you serious? If you boycott gas purchases on Tuesday, all that means is that you will need it on Wednesday. It’s a necessary evil that you cannot boycott in the traditional sense. If (IF) you are serious, use public transportation. Heck, I even told you how to use it effectively.
  • Create a Loop: This one I agree with and I think you should do it. Before you leave the house, think of your errands and where they are located. Create a loop that means you are not driving back-and-forth. Hit all of your locations in a clockwise pattern so that you begin and end at your house.
  • Pay attention: Simply said most people are on cell phones in their cars nowadays. In fact, I actively counted yesterday and 7 out of 10 drivers were talking on the phone. That leads to fast stops and quick starts: The biggest fuel saver is driving the speed limit and driving sensibly. Rapid starts and stops and exceeding the speed limit will dent your pocketbook. Just by adhering to one of those, the Department of Energy estimates that drivers can save anywhere between 15 and 98 cents a gallon, again assuming pump prices are at $2.97 a gallon.
    Source: CNN.com
  • Myth: High Octane is better.
    NASCAR driver Joe Nemechek knows this. “Believe me, I’ve pumped gas in about every gas station there’s been in my personal cars. Whether it’s around town or on vacation or wherever, you put the regular in there it keeps on running,” he said. The NASCAR drivers, mechanics, and car makers will tell you that for 90 percent of the cars sold today, high octane is no better than regular gas. It won’t give you better mileage, more power or a cleaner engine. NASCAR crew member Lisa Smokstad told us what every expert told us.”It is a myth that cars run better on premium gas,” she said.Some cars do need higher octane — older cars that knock, and cars with high-compression, high-revving engines like Ferraris, Bentleys, Jaguars, Acuras, Mercedes and Corvettes.But 90 percent of new cars don’t need it — check your owner’s manual.
    Source: ABC News 20/20

Learn more:

Which Gas Station has Cheap Gas?
20 Ways to Waste Money on your Car
11 car-care tips that save gas
Will driving to a cheaper gas station save me money?
16 Easy Tips to Save Money on Gas Prices

Photo: Mybloddyself


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