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True or False?    About Fuel Mileage. Click on each line item number to find the answer.

  1. The maximum pressure embossed on your tire's sidewall is the correct pressure.
  2. Turn off your air conditioner and roll your windows down. You will get better fuel mileage.
  3. Using cruise control will always give you better fuel mileage.
  4. You will get better fuel mileage with a manual transmission than with an automatic transmission.
  5. Buying gas in the morning, during the summer months, will give you more gas for your money.
  6. Cleaning out the trunk of your car will give you an increase in fuel mileage.
  7. Buy "high-octane" gas! It will give you better fuel mileage than "regular" grade.
  8. "A new super device, as seen on TV, improves fuel mileage by 25 percent!"
  9. The new hybrid (gas/electric) cars  aren't much better at fuel economy than our present day gas powered cars.
  10. Buy the cheapest brand of gas - it's all the same anyway.

1.  False

The correct tire pressure is normally found on the driver's door post and also in the owners manual. The "maximum" pressure rating embossed on your tire's sidewall is the tire manufacturer's maximum pressure for that tire. This tire can be used on many different type of vehicles. Thus, the vehicle's owners manual would have the correct tire pressure. An under inflated tire will reduce your fuel mileage and can cause your tire to be damaged.

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2.  False

Operating your vehicle's air conditioner will require more fuel to be consumed to cool your vehicle. However, if your roll down your windows, you create additional drag and this consumes more fuel and the faster one goes, the more it uses. It is like hanging out a parachute. With the windows up and the air conditioner on, you will get better fuel mileage at highway speeds.

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3.  False

Using your vehicle's cruise control on flat roads will give you better fuel mileage. However, in hilly terrain, cruise control will consume more fuel as it tries to maintain the preset speed. Try this! When going down a hill, let up completely on the gas pedal and when going back up the next hill, press lightly on the gas pedal to maintain speed. Your cruise control can't do this.

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4.  True

As a general rule, a manual transmission will get better fuel mileage than an automatic transmission. However, one does not want to leave the transmission in one gear too long that it over rev's the engine or lugs the engine down. In other words, don't shift too late or shift too soon. Many of the newer automatic transmission are coming with five speed transmission and are narrowing this mileage gap. As in many cases, fuel mileage is up to the driver as improper operation with either type of transmission will affect your fuel mileage.

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5.  True

Fuel is denser when it is cooler. The gas (or fuel) pump at the service station measures the volume of the fuel as it is being pumped into your fuel tank and you will get more "Bang for your Bucks". Buying fuel during the summer months in the mornings will save you money. The savings is slight. However, the better fuel mileage your vehicle gets, the greater the savings will be for you.

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6.  True

Everything you are carrying in the bed of your truck or the trunk of your car is additional weight that your hauling around. Sometimes the weight can be much higher than one realizes. Any additional weight whether it is another person or luggage will take more fuel to get down the road. In other words, make sure you take out those salt bags that you put in the trunk last winter for additional traction during the winter snows.

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7.  False

Most vehicles require regular "87" octane gas and using a higher octane rating will most likely not give you better fuel mileage. While higher octane gas is required in some vehicles, its use is to prevent "knocking or pinging" within the engine of your vehicle. Using a much higher octane rated gas when it is not required can cause the fuel to not burn completely. This results in poorer fuel economy. Some vehicles require this higher octane gas and not using it can leave one with undesirable results. As always, consult your owners manual.

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8.  False

Most of these devices do not work or increase fuel mileage. Automotive manufacturers would buy them in a "heart beat" if they did. Automotive manufacturers are always looking for ways to increase fuel mileage as they are required to increase their average fleet fuel mileage and pay fines if this average is not met. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) frequently also tests these devices which are normally connected to your vehicle's air and fuel inlet system. Not only do these devices need to increase the fuel economy, they also must not increase the emissions from the exhaust system.

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9.  True

If you check the EPA mileage rating for these vehicles, you will discover that they do not get a much higher fuel mileage rating. What is greater with these cars is the emissions are much lower compared to our old gas type vehicles because the gas engine does not run all the time. You can increase your present fuel mileage by purchasing a smaller vehicle, select a smaller engine and if it appears that you are going to be stopped for an extended period of time, turn your engine off until it is time to go again. Time will most likely make these Hybrid type cars much better in fuel economy as technology is improved.

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10.  False

Ask any major brand oil company and they will tell you that they are not the same. This is like talking about "politics and religion", a war of words is about to break out. The main differences in the fuels are the detergents that are added and the amount of the detergents. These detergents are used to help keep the fuel and air inlet systems clean. They are also used to control the volatility of the fuel.  This produces more energy to propel your vehicle. Another link to check for more information is HERE. Some fuels will also leave an ash residue when they burn and this can foul the spark plugs. Buy a tank full and compare the results for yourself. Some may also find that using 89 octane of one brand over 87 octane of the same brand may give them better fuel mileage. If it does not increase fuel mileage or is very marginal, go back to the lower octane rated fuel.

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Last modified: November 23, 2015 Copyrightę 2015, Nick's Auto Service, Inc. All rights reserved.