Surprising myths about Saving Fuel
Myth #1: You have to drive a small car to get good fuel economy.
Advanced technologies like hybrid drivetrains, diesel engines, direct fuel injection, turbocharging, advanced
transmissions, low rolling resistance tires and aerodynamic designs are allowing standard-sized vehicles to be very
fuel efficient. For the 2014 model year, about half of the top 10 most efficient vehicles (the list that excludes
electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles) are midsize or large cars and wagons.
Myth #2: Manual transmissions always get better fuel economy than automatics.
Advances in automatic transmissions have improved their efficiency to the point that the automatic version of a
vehicle often gets the same or better fuel economy than the version with a manual transmission. For vehicles
offered in both automatic and manual transmissions, consumers can easily compare fuel economy at the government
Myth #3: It takes more fuel to start a car than it does to let it idle.
Modern fuel injected engines start efficiently, especially when warmed up. Idling can use a quarter to a half
gallon of fuel per hour — depending on your vehicle’s engine size — costing you about 1 to 2 cents a minute. 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
Myth #4: Vehicles need to warm up before being driven.
Modern vehicles can be driven within seconds of being started, though the engine should not be subjected to
extreme loads until it has reached its normal operating temperature. Plus, the quickest way to warm up a vehicle’s
engine is to drive it.
Myth #5: As a vehicle ages, its fuel economy decreases significantly.
A vehicle that is properly maintained will retain its efficiency for many years. The EPA tests vehicles with
about 5,000 miles on the odometer to account for the break-in period since a vehicle’s fuel economy will typically
continue to improve over the first several years of ownership. Vehicles that are 10 or even 15 years old will
experience little decrease in fuel economy if properly maintained
Myth #6: Replace your air filter for more efficiency.
This is true for older vehicles with carbureted engines, but modern fuel-injected engines have onboard computers
that automatically adjust the fuel-air ratio to the proper level. Changing a dirty air filter won’t increase your
fuel economy, but it might improve your engine’s performance.
Myth #7: Use aftermarket additives to improve fuel economy.
Excluding full conversions that meet all EPA certification standards, tests have shown that such devices and
additives don't improve fuel economy and may damage your engine and/or increase your tailpipe emissions!
Myth #8: Using premium fuel improves fuel economy.
Unless your vehicle was specifically designed for premium fuel or knocks severely with regular fuel, you will
probably experience no benefit from using premium fuel over regular. Consult your owner’s manual to see whether
premium is recommended and under what conditions (e.g., towing).
Article extracts from: marketwatch.com