Fuel Economy Facts and Fiction - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Fuel Economy Facts and Fiction

May 18, 2007

Valdosta - As prices at the pump continue to climb, so do driver's frustrations.

Leaving many looking for ways to increase their fuel efficiency, but some gas saving myths could have you paying more money in the long run.

Gas prices have soared to over three dollars a gallon in Valdosta, causing pain to everyone filling up.  "These gas prices are outrageous. It really hurts!" exclaims driver Demico Row.

And leaving most looking for ways to stretch their gas dollars.  "Try not to dill it up all the way. I heard if you don't fill it up all the way it will save you gas," says Lionel Brinson.

But what really works?

Let's start with using special additives that claim to increase your fuel efficiency.  "I think I've heard that. I don't know if it's true though. I might need to try it," Row adds.

Or rolling down the windows and shutting of the air conditioning.  Not a popular choice as summer heats up.  "I'm going to run the AC. If it's 5 dollars a gallon, I just got to do whatever I got to do," says Jim Osteen.

The verdict? Fiction. Studies by the Department of Energy, Edmunds, and Consumer Reports show none of these will save you much money.

They tested dozens of additives and compared sedans and SUV's driving with and without the AC. None showed significant savings.

But there is one fuel saving tip the experts trust.  "Keep up with your maintenance schedule that your factory recommends for what kind of car you drive, keep the air checked in the tires, make sure they're up and where they need to be," says Mechanic Scott Gard.

Keeping your car healthy and tuned up is the best way to keep your gas costs down as the price at the pump continues it's climb.

So what are some other tips studies show will cut back spending at the pump?

Don't wait to buy gas on the weekend as gas prices tend to be lower throughout the week.

If you have those heavy objects in your trunk you've been driving around for months, its time to take them out. The Department of Energy says drivers could save some money by removing excess weight from your car.

When driving on the highway, use cruise control and avoid excessive speeds.

And if you're in the market for a new car, look for newer, more fuel efficient models.

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