Those Silly Fuel Efficiency Myths

photo credit here

Many people in our age group commute to school or work. I do. It can be terrible sometimes, but when I think about the money I'm saving by living at home, my road rage decreases. (A little bit.)
Metro Detroit does not have a very extensive public transit system. In fact, besides bus lines, it's virtually non-existent. We're the Motor City, after all. Driving a car is way of life. So to those of us who depend on a car to get us from Point A to Point B, the question on our mind is fuel efficiency. How can we get the most miles per gallon from our vehicle? The facts aren't always clear. What Grandpa Stan tells you about his 1984 LeBaron might not be applicable to your 2005 Sunfire.
Never fear, loyal readers! has debunked eight fuel efficiency myths for our benefit. I'll go over the first five here, and the rest can be viewed by clicked this link.
Myth #1: Change the dirty air filter to improve MPG
Verdict: part truth/part myth
Investigations have determined that dirty air filters DO contribute to reduced MPG . . . in older cars. The newer cars can operate just fine with a little bit of wear and tear on the air filter.  Changing the air filter can increase acceleration, though, so it's not a waste of money to get it changed every once in a while.
Myth #2: Turn the AC off and roll the windows down on the freeway
Verdict: part truth/part myth
At low speeds or in stop-and-go city traffic, you'll definitely save gas by turning off the AC. However, when traveling on the freeway at high speeds, the drag you create by rolling down the windows cancels out any fuel you saved by turning off the AC. So don't be afraid to crank the AC (and the music!) when you hit the open road.
Myth #3: Lowering your truck's tailgate improves fuel economy
Verdict: MYTH.
In fact, The Mythbusters proved this wrong on their show!

Myth #4: Adding magic pills to your gas tank improves efficiency
Verdict: MYTH
Vehix tested this theory by actually adding pills to gas tanks and measuring fuel economy. The result? A full mile-per-gallon decrease in efficiency. Apparently, the Federal Trade Commission and the Environmental Protection Agency agree that those magic gas pills don't work, and advise against buying them.
Myth #5: Keep your motor running while idling to save gas
Verdict: MYTH
If you just need to run in the store for a second to pick something up, you may be tempted to leave the car running since you've heard it saves more gas than killing the engine and then restarting. Regardless of the fact that you shouldn't leave your car idling because it could be STOLEN, leaving it on doesn't save you any gas.  So do yourself a favor and kill the engine when you're running to to 7-11 to get a Slurpee!


Stay awesome!