Debunking fuel myths: Tips for saving gas - KCTV5

Debunking fuel myths: Tips for saving gas

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Those who have stopped at a gas station to fill up lately might find themselves holding their breath once they take a look at the cost.

Gas prices are up to $3.75 per gallon in the metro. AAA says gas prices will only climb higher in the coming days due to the turmoil in Iraq.

So what are the best ways to get the best mileage possible? KCTV5 News took some gas-saving secrets to a mechanic to see how it checked out.

Drivers might be surprised to learn what actually helps save gas and money.

Let's start with the trick almost everyone has heard of. If a meter reads empty, to save gas, turn off the air conditioning and roll down the windows.

False. Mechanic Alan Heriford, owner of Johnson County Automotive, says go ahead and enjoy the AC.

"It is fine. You are not going to get that much of a gain to shut it off and roll the windows down," Heriford said.

Tip two: After filling up, if drivers turn the nozzle upside down, they will get about a half cup more fuel.

"Those couple of drips you get might get you another 20 feet down the road but it's pretty minimal savings," Heriford said.

How about the claim that parking in a shady spot or in a garage conserves gas?

"Maybe a little less cooling time before you get going down the road. You can make an argument for that," Heriford said.

Another tip KCTV5 News found is that unplugging electronics and turning off the AC before cutting the engine leads to better gas mileage because a car doesn't have to strain to restart.


"It really doesn't need to happen anymore. These cars are pretty smart. The computers that run everything are smart. So you're not really getting any benefit by going around and shutting everything off," Heriford said.

Then there's this: Don't fill up until you're on empty. But would a mechanic do it?

"I can see how having less gas in the car is less weight, you might get a little bit of a benefit of your mileage. My concern would be if you're running with as little gas as possible all the time, you could have premature fuel pump failure because there's nothing in the tank," Heriford said.

Above all, Heriford says a well-maintained car will get the best gas mileage for drivers, saving money down the road.

People know to check if their tires are properly inflated, but they should also check their car's air and fuel filters. If they're dirty, the vehicle has to use more gas to go.

Drivers could also ask their mechanic about a fuel injection service which can increase fuel efficiency.

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