Fuel Efficiency Urban Legends Examined in New Report

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With gas prices on the rise, perhaps one of the most important topics on drivers’ minds is that of fuel economy.  Everyone seems to have some secret tip designed to get the most bang for your buck, and luckily, a new article from Consumer Reports puts these tips to the test.

Many people believe that a car should be warmed up to increase fuel efficiency, and perhaps these are the same persons who recommend buying gasoline when it’s cool outside so that the density of the gas is greater.  As it turns out, though, these temperature-related myths are nothing but hokum nowadays.  Modern cars actually need to reach regular operating temperature to be truly efficient, and the quickest way to get there is by putting the car into drive right away.  As for the second myth, gas stations keep their gas in controlled underground environments, so there aren’t many variances in temperature.

As far as fuel quality goes, some people swear by premium gasoline from well-known sources.  But Consumer Reports says that vehicles designed to run on regular gasoline simply won’t benefit from premium.  Simply check the owner’s manual to confirm this.  And most independent retailers get their gas from the same big-name oil companies as chain stores.  So in all likelihood, your gas might be coming from the same place no matter where you buy.

What about air conditioning?  Although some people opt to run the A/C because they believe rolled-down windows reduce aerodynamics and thus fuel efficiency, tests showed that leaving an A/C running can reduce mileage by a couple miles per gallon, while rolling down the windows had no quantifiable effect.

And as far as tires go, just make sure you’re getting quality performance in many different areas.