Fuel is a business necessity and as a small business owner you are enslaved to forever increasing gas prices. While a cheaper alternative would be ideal, science has not yet caught up with your need. There are many myths about how to maximize your gas tank efficiency to get the most miles for your dollar. I searched the internet for five of those myths in an effort to prove them as fact or fiction all while helping keep your tank (and wallet) full.
1. Can you save gas by coasting in neutral?
No, you cannot. Coasting downhill in neutral seems like it may save gas, however it uses just as much gas as idling. While coasting in gear however, most vehicles show a pulse width of zero, which means there is no fuel consumed at all.
Not only does coating in neutral NOT save gas, it’s also unsafe. Vehicles are more difficult to maneuver when the engine isn’t connected to the drivetrain.
2. Can you save gas by driving slower on the highway?
Yes. On the highway, the U.S. Department of Energy says the average vehicle will perform best at 55 miles per hour. Speeding may save you some time, but it definitely will not save you money- especially if you get a speeding ticket!
In fact, research has shown that at 60 mph, your vehicle will already be 3% less efficient. At 65, your fuel efficiency drops by 8%. Your car gets less efficient the faster you go- at 75 mph the gas efficiency drops by a staggering 23%.
3. Can you save gas by using cruise control?
Yes- when it is safe to do so. Cruise control is a good tool to maintain a safe speed and help with fuel efficiency when driving on a straight, flat road. It can help you avoid speeding when you are on a long drive. Make sure that the control is not set too high and that you are lively during this drive.
You should also be wary of using cruise control in severe weather situations, since your vehicle could go into a skid on ice or water if you need to suddenly slow down.
4. Do you save gas by turning your car off then on, rather than idling?
Yes. 10 seconds of idling uses about the same amount of fuel as turning the engine on or off. Every 2 minutes of idling is the equivalent of driving one mile. Always turn the vehicle off instead of idling; it is a guaranteed way to get the most out of your gas tank.
5. Other quick ways to make sure you are making the most of your fill-up:
- Make sure your tires are full of air. By keeping your tires properly inflated, you can improve your gas mileage by as much as 3.3%
- Check to make sure your gas cap is screwed on tight. Fuel can evaporate through a loose cap or damaged seal.
- Drive safely. Extreme acceleration, speeding, and breaking all waste gas.
What other gas saving tactics do you use?