You may have seen an email about creative ways to save gas, but apparently some of them provide minimal benefit.
NADAguides.com announced today that some of the new tips won’t help you much.
For example, people say not to weigh down your car with stuff. But for this to actually help, you have to remove about 100 lbs. of goods. Of course you can still clean out your car to remove some of the clutter in your life, but don’t expect that to help you save gas.
Some say you should fill up your tank when temperatures are coolest, but apparently the temperature in a gas station’s underground storage tank remains fairly constant so your savings won’t be much.
“For a 20-gallon gas tank, a one-degree rise means about a 0.08 gallon change or about 32 cents total savings when gas prices are at $4 per gallon,” explains Dr. Richard Cohen, associate professor of mechanical engineering at Temple University.
Filling up when your tank is half empty and using the slowest pump speed also provide small savings, according to Cohen. He says doing this, which is supposed to minimize the vapors in your gas tank, will save you 10 to 30 cents on filling up a 20 gallon tank at $4 a gallon.
So what does work?
Driving slow and steady. “I’ve seen improvements in gas mileage of up to 15 percent when driving at 65 mph versus 75 mph,” says Tara Baukus Mello, a NADAguides.com market analyst. “The least aerodynamic vehicles, such as SUVs, tend to have the biggest improvements.” Coasting to a stop can also help save gas.
Don’t idle. If you find yourself waiting a long time at an ATM or drive thru shut off your car. If you drive a hybrid car you’re probably already there, as many shut off the gas motor when you stop.
Keep your tires properly inflated. Mello says this can save you up to 10 percent. To find out the correct tire pressure for your car check your owners’ manual or inside the driver’s side door where it may be printed on a sticker.
OPEC continues to debate whether to increase oil production and this morning a barrel of oil cost more than $135. In addition, demand in China keeps going up, so relief at the gas pump may not be happening anytime soon.
June 20, 2008.