Since most of the cold weather is gone for another 6-8 months…the good news is that your gas mileage should improve significantly until the next Old Man Winter season rolls around…so says Uncle Sam’s site FuelEconomy.gov from the Environmental Protection Agency.
The EPA tells us getting great gas mileage boils down to three (3) basic ideas:
- Maintaining your vehicle conscientiously
- Combining trips
- Choosing a fuel-efficient vehicle from the get go.
Most other fuel efficiency tactics amount to horse hockey…that may even waste your precious money, time and/or gasoline.
Let’s take a look at 10 common myths about saving gast that FuelEconomy.gov has compiled from user feedback:
- Only smaller cars get good fuel economy. – Technology advancements that range from hybrid drivetrains to low rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic vehicle designs are enabling even standard-sized vehicles to be very fuel efficient. Starting in the 2014 model year…half of the top 10 most efficient vehicles (the list that excludes electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles) were/are midsize or large cars and wagons.
- Manual transmissions always beat automatics. – Once again, Technology trumps conventional thinking. The automatic version of a vehicle often gets the same or better fuel economy than its manual counterpart.
- It takes more fuel to start a car than it does to let it idle. – The quickest way to warm up a cars engine is to drive it…fuel injected engines nowadays start efficiently, especially when warmed up. Idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour . So, turn off your engine when your vehicle is sitting still, except when you are waiting in traffic or waiting in a line where you would need to turn it on and off frequently. Restarting your engine too frequently can wear out your starter.
- Vehicles need to warm up before being driven. – The quickest way to warm up a vehicle’s engine is to drive it. Generally, vehicles nowadays can be driven within seconds of being started.
- Fuel economy decreases significantly with age. – Properly maintained, a vehicle will retain its efficiency for many years…even 10 to 15 years old will experience little decrease in gas mileage…if taken care of.
- All vehicles are tested for fuel economy. – As of 2014…only light-duty vehicles of 8,500 lbs. or less are required to be tested for fuel economy. Several popular models, such as the Ford F250/350, Chevrolet/GMC 2500/3500, and Dodge 2500/3500 vehicles, exceed this weight limit and aren’t tested and have no official fuel economy rating. Motorcycles and four wheel vehicles that aren’t legal for highway driving are also not EPA tested.