Top Fuel Economy Myths

Top Fuel Economy Myths


Everyone has heard some of these popular fuel economy myths or tactics passed on by a friend or online message board, promising increased fuel savings. You might have heard about some of these tips from friends or amateur mechanics that might have meant well, but misled you into thinking that these tricks actually work.

While there are many things you can do to increase your fuel economy, these are some of the worst things to try on your car when trying to save gas. If you were looking for some of the best ways to improve gas mileage, check out our primer here.

  • Over-inflate your tires

We spoke about this in our how to get better gas mileage guide, because tires that don’t have enough air in them are leeching your efficiency. However keeping your tires overinflated can actually cost you more than you know.

How to buy used tires

Over inflated tires not only wear your tires faster, but can cause a serious safety condition. Premature tire wear is just one negative factor when you inflate your tires over the suggested manufacturer rating. They are more likely to puncture or encounter debris that might otherwise be deflected because they are simply pumped up. Also the way in which your vehicle stops and handles is also adversely affected, and can lead to an accident or injury.

  • Low Resistance Tires are a must

These special tires can indeed save your money at the gas pump, by decreasing rolling resistance. But if you are going out and ditching good tires that are worn already in favor of brand new low resistance models, you may be shocked to see that the efficiency isn’t as good as you originally envisioned.

Because new tires increase gas mileage as they wear, make sure to it’s actually time to buy new rubber before opting for a set of low resistance ones.

  • Additives can boost your gas mileage

You’ve all seen those commercials for fuel additives that boost economy and engine efficiency. Having tested several products in our Gas Mileage shootout, we can tell you that there’s not one we could really recommend. Saving gas and increasing gas mileage is more than a quart of snake oil sold to you during some late night infomercial. Want some real facts on how to increase fuel efficiency?

Check out our guide on the best tips to saving gas here.

  • Better gas gets you better gas mileage

This is easily the biggest one of the Fuel Economy Myths out there, and sad to say but many people pour premium fuel into their car thinking it’s better for their wallet. In fact the opposite is true. You aren’t going to gain anything from putting premium fuel into your gas tank, other than an overly rich condition. Want to learn more about what makes your car rich / lean and what open loop and closed loop operation means? Check out our primer guide on tuning your vehicle here.

If your vehicle does not call for premium fuel, avoid making this mistake because all you are doing is burning money.

Have any questions or comments about our fuel economy guide? Leave them for us below and let us know!