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Media post: Fuel Economy Myths

EPA Fuel Economy sticker. Picture 

Myth: A new air filter will make for a more efficient car

If you have an older vehicle with a carbureted engine, then this is true. However, with today’s vehicles replacing the engine might only improve engine performance, not fuel economy.

Myth: You should rely on EPA fuel economy window stickers

EPA fuel economy estimates exist to provide prospective vehicle buyers with a uniform way of comparing the MPG of many cars. In truth, “Your mileage will likely vary.” There are many variables to consider, which include how people drive and even the type of gas put in the car! In essence, don’t rely on these EPA stickers!

Myth: Small cars get better fuel economy

This used to be true many years ago, but not much now. Fuel-saving technologies including direct injection, turbocharging, low-rolling resistant tires and multiple ratio transmissions. All these technologies make average sedans very fuel efficient.

Myth: Letting a vehicle warm up is great for gas mileage

This was true in the old days when cars had carburetors but not today.  Today’s cars have fuel injectors that have been made to warm up as soon as the vehicle is fired up. It is true an engine needs to reach an ideal operating temperature for the ideal fuel economy, but vehicle makers say to let the engine warm up whilst you drive.

Myth: A vehicle’s fuel economy decreases with age

If a vehicle is about 10 or so years old, is it becoming less efficient?  According to the EPA, there’s no truth to this speculation. Older vehicles don’t offer lower fuel economy. One argument you could make, however, is that purchasing a new, more efficient vehicle could get you higher gas mileage but there is nothing wrong with continuing to drive an older car!

Myth: Manual transmissions are more efficient than automatics

That is not true anymore! Some of the advanced automatic transmissions today offer the same gas mileage as their manual competitors.  Automatic transmission technology has evolved a lot throughout time. With a number of gear ratios and lock-up torque convertors, automatics are efficient devices these days.

Myth: Premium gas provides better economy than regular

There is no benefit when using premium fuel over regular.  Premium gas usually has higher octane numbers and is meant for use in higher-compression engines.  There is nothing added that makes the gasoline’s efficiency any better.  If your vehicle is made to run on regular gas, then we would like you to use regular gas.  It will be cheaper gas too.

Myth: Some additives make for better fuel economy

Well, there are tons of products that say they do. These are additives to the fuel and some for your engine oil. Some testing labs have concluded in all cases that we know of that there is little truth to the claims.

Thank you for the General Manager at this Jeep dealership for her help with this article. If in the Thomson, GA area, be sure to check them out!

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