"How To Save Money At The Gas Pump"
5 Things You Must Know About Gas Mileage Enhancer Products Before You Waste Your Money
Beware! Watch out for gimmicks and snake oil with gas mileage enhancers. Discover some proven methods to save money at the pump and one tested gas mileage enhancer additive that actually works.
Lets look at some simple gas mileage enhancers that save you money and let you get the most miles out of every tank of gas. Also, watch out for these gimmicks that claim to be gas mileage improvers...
Now, gas prices are going up! - the average in the U.S. is around $3 per gallon right now. It costs more than ever to fill your gas tank.
Lets start with my favorite gas mileage enhancer...
Easy Gas Mileage Enhancer #1 - Synthetic oils
Synthetic oils are designed instead of refined. They do not have the contaminants of conventional oil, so they can provide the best lubrication possible. Better lubrication reduces friction, which means that more power makes it to the wheels.
As a result, going the same speed takes less fuel. Hence, synthetic oils are a gas mileage improver.
Synthetic oils flow better when cold so your engine doesn't have to use as much gas to pump the oil while it's warming up (which has the added benefit of getting oil to the engine quicker).
Besides synthetic motor oils, you can change to synthetic oils in the transmission and differential as well for similar gas mileage benefits. It's the same principle as in the engine - less friction means less fuel required means better gas mileage.
All synthetic oils are not the same, though. The design of the synthetic oil affects how much gas mileage improvement you get (if any).
I have not seen synthetic oils besides one provide any scientific test results for gas mileage improvements. The test this company conducted in large trucks showed an 8.2% increase in gas mileage when changing over all of the oils. Now that's a gas mileage improver!
Synthetic oils are an effective gas mileage enhancer - in my experience the right synthetic products provide 1-4% gas mileage increase in each component (engine, transmission, differential) you put it in. Changing completely over to good synthetic oils could improve gas mileage by 5-10%. (make sure you know which ones are good)
I have even heard claims from synthetic motor oil users of gas mileage improvements of 20% or more. They all are using the same particular oil. I know these are not typical results, but that certainly helps me believe the lower numbers.
The right synthetic motor oil provides a lot of benefits besides just improved gas mileage. Explore the site to find out more...
Where can I buy AMSOIL oil
Easy Gas Mileage Enhancer #2 - Air filter
An engine needs air to work properly. If it doesn't get enough air, it doesn't work as well. Dirty air filters don't let your engine "breathe" properly and your gas mileage suffers. Changing your air filter is an easy gas mileage enhancer.
High-flow air filters (such as K&N) may improve gas mileage and power slightly, but they do not filter as well as a regular paper filter. With this type of filter you trade off a slight benefit in gas mileage for a lot more wear on your engine.
The two-stage foam air filter made by another manufacturer allows more air flow but filters very well because of the depth of the filter.
This manufacturer's air filter holds much more dirt than paper filters, so it does not clog as easily. In fact, it lasts 25,000 miles or one year before having to be cleaned. This filter helps to provide the best gas mileage both now and down the road.
These air filters are permanent - you just wash and re-oil once a year. Besides saving fuel it saves money on air filters in the long run.
Easy Gas Mileage Enhancer #3 - Keep your fuel system clean
Keeping your fuel system clean, especially the fuel injectors, keeps your gas mileage at its best. If your car has dirty injectors, cleaning them out may improve your gas mileage by 5% or more.
Injector cleaner is available at most auto parts stores, but I don't know how well any of them work. Without more information, I am tempted to think that the most expensive ones work the best, but that logic can also cost a lot of money!
I know that injector cleaners I use work very well as the company has done significant testing of their own to make sure that their products are the best available and they guarantee a 5% improvement. Once you do an initial cleaning, the company recommends adding just a little to each tank to ensure that the fuel system does not get dirty again.
I personally believe that it is well worth a few extra cents each tank to keep mileage up and prevent fuel system problems. That brings us to...
Easy Gas Mileage Enhancer #4 - Maintaining the proper tire pressure
Tire air pressure has an impact on gas mileage. Tire pressure decreases as a small amount of air leaks out over time or as temperature drops through the year. According to the US Department of Energy and the EPA, gas mileage decreases by about 0.4% for each 1 psi drop in tire pressure.
So if your tires are 10 psi low, your gas mileage will decrease by 4%. If you are getting 25 miles per gallon (mpg), that 4% translates into a 1 mpg loss. Low pressure will also lead to increased tire wear - you will have to pay to replace your tires sooner.
At the same time, overinflating tires can be a safety issue. An overinflated tire has less contact with the road and can be more unstable in braking or turns.
You can usually find your recommended tire pressure inside one of the two front doors, the glove compartment door, or the owner's manual. These are recommended pressures when the tire is cold, so always check your tire pressure before you drive anywhere.
The cheapest way to check your tire pressure is to carry a tire pressure gauge in your car and check the pressure in the tires once every week or few weeks.
There are a couple of good products out there that make it easier to monitor your tire pressure:
1) Tire pressure stem caps - Tire pressure stem caps screw on to your valve stems (you know - those little things you use to check tire pressure) and turn yellow or red when your pressure gets low. These are also great to keep an eye on the pressure in your spare tire.
2) Automatic tire pressure monitors - These systems add sensors inside each tire and display the pressure of each tire on your dash. A number of new cars now come with this option. They are more expensive to buy and install but much more convenient!
Because I live outside of town, I have my own air compressor to air up our tires. If you don't have an air compressor, you may want to invest the $20 or so in an air tank. You can fill this up at your local gas station and keep it in your garage to air up your tires if you need to.
There are also small air compressors that can run off your car battery - they take a long time but are great in a pinch.
Easy Gas Mileage Enhancer #5 - Lighten your load
The Department of Energy and EPA advise that, in the average car, an extra 100 pounds can decrease gas mileage by 1-2%.
Make sure you aren't carrying around more stuff than you need to. I try to never let the trash in my car get above knee level for just this reason. Just kidding, but I do try and make sure that I am not carrying extra boxes, sports equipment, etc. in my trunk if I don' t need to.
As you probably know, it is prudent to carry some emergency supplies around with you - please don't get rid of these.
And the last easy way to increase gas mileage...
Easy Gas Mileage Enhancer #6 - Change your driving habits
OK, I say this gas mileage enhancer is easy, but thanks to human nature this is probably the most difficult one in the list. You can change your driving habits in several ways to improve gas mileage...
Accelerating slower and decelerating slower will improve gas mileage. Letting off the gas so you don't have to brake as hard helps just like "feather-footing" it. Just think about the harder you push the accelerator or the brake, the more money you are squeezing out your tail pipe...
Drive slower. Maximum gas mileage is achieved between 35 and 55 mph in most cars. Gas mileage drops of quickly above 55-60 mph. You can improve gas mileage around 10% by going 5 mph slower on the highway. Of course that also means you get there slower.
Use cruise control when possible (on the highway). Keeping speed constant gives you the best gas mileage at a given speed.
So much for the easy improvements. Now for some products to watch out for...
Watch Out for Gimmicks
The September 2004 issue of Consumer Reports® evaluated add-on products that bill themselves as "gas mileage enhancers." Unfortunately, none of them live up to their claims. The Fuel Genie, Platinum Gas Saver, and Tornado all cost around $100 but none of them improve gas mileage.
And these aren't the only gimmicks out there...
People looking to save money on gas with these products just spent $100 or more for nothing. I can't believe people at those companies sleep very well at night!
As an aside - I always look for the best values, which is why I have a subscription to Consumer Reports® magazine. I always recommend that people check out Consumer Reports® (a non-profit organization) before making a major purchase - even as small as a blender!
Where can I buy AMSOIL oil?
Who Else Wants To Save Money With Proven Gas Mileage Improvers
Do you want to:
- Save money at the gas pump
- Extend your engine life
- Improve fuel mileage up to 5.7%
- Reclaim the engine performance you had when your car was new
- Clean your entire fuel system in one tank of gas...
Then check out this performance improving gasoline additive:
More Difficult Gas Mileage Improvers
More difficult gas mileage enhancers include some big hitters - changing the transmission or differentials are good examples.
Changing the transmission from an automatic to a manual or to an automatic with more speeds can improve gas mileage but are much more involved than the items above.
Especially in older cars (pre-1975), many automatic transmissions did not have an over-drive (where the driveshaft turns faster than the engine). Adding a transmission with an over-drive gear may improve gas mileage on the highway 10-20% or more.
Changing differentials (also known as axle ratios) can also provide improved gas mileage - but you sacrifice power when you do so. People that do a lot of off-roading often change differentials to provide more power but decrease gas mileage. It just depends on what's important to you.
Of course, changing out transmissions or differentials is either expensive or time-consuming depending on whether you do it yourself. Most modern cars have transmissions and axle ratios that provide good gas mileage and good power. These modifications are not good choices for most people, but they can really make a difference in the certain cases.
If these major changes are of interest to you, you will want to do more research to figure out the best changes to make for your particular situation.
The best and easiest gas mileage enhancers are not rocket science: reducing friction in the car, letting your engine "breathe", keeping the fuel system clean, and maintaining proper tire pressure. The small amount of effort or money you invest in these ideas will more than pay off in gas mileage improvements and reduction in car maintenance.
Lyle Reinier, Mesa, AZ
Reinier drives a 2004 Dodge Ram. He uses Synthetic 5W-30 in the engine, Synthetic Universal Automatic Transmission Fluid in the transmission and 80W-140 Long Life Gear Lube.
“Synthetic oil has given this truck life that it was hiding before,” said Reinier. Reinier said the Ram now pulls stronger and runs smoother than it did before. He made the switch to synthetic oil when the truck hit the 3,000-mile mark. “What comes as a surprise to me is that my Dodge dealer had no problem doing a complete drain and fill with the synthetic oil I brought him,” said Reinier.
Reinier said the dealer removed all the Dodge transmission fluid and refilled the truck with synthetic ATF. “Within a mile or two I could feel the transmission was smoother and showed a difference in how it performed,” said Reinier.
Guy Keast, Rantoul, KS
"I had heard a lot of good things about your synthetic motorcycle oil used in Harley Davidsons, so I decided to try it out in my 2001 Heritage Softail with the Evolution Series Twin Cam Engine. I noticed right away that the top end of the engine quieted down and on the hot days I run 12-15 degrees cooler than all the guys I’m riding with. I don’t sell your oil, but I recommend it after the improvement it made in my Bike."
Ted Pickul, Sarasota, FL
Pickul drives a 1992 Geo Prizm with unusually high miles. As of February 2005 the Prizm had over 362,000 miles on only 15 oil changes and 31 filter changes. Pickul credits synthetic oil products with extending the life of his car’s engine.
Pickul bought the Prizm new in June of 1992 and after 3,000 miles, converted it to 10W-30 Synthetic Motor Oil. Pickul also installed a 2-Stage Air Filter.
“In November 2003 with 329,000 miles on the engine, I drove the car from Sarasota, Fla., to Carbondale, Ill., without stopping,” said Pickul. “The 13-hour trip was a true tribute to the syntheticoilization of this vehicle.”
The Prizm has a 1.6 liter 4 cylinder engine that has had no major problems. The valve cover was removed at 360,000 miles and it was exceptionally clean.
Eric Pool, Kansas City, Mo
Just wanted to drop you a line and let you know that before I changed my oil I checked the average miles per gallon on my wife's Pontiac Montana via the on board computer and she was getting 18.1 miles per gallon. I then changed her oil to your synthetic motor oil and installed your air filter and just let her continue driving it. I checked it about 3 months later and her average miles per gallon had risen to 21.1. So she gained 3 miles per gallon switching to your products.
All products have been designed and made in the USA since 1972. That means the 25,000 mile oil change has been around for over 30 years with an excellent track record. This manufacturer has quality as a number one priority and develops all of its products to assure value is created for their customers. That’s my kind of company.
Upgrading to a good synthetic motor oil is easy. If you are looking to run your engine cooler, smoother, and for a long time you can order synthetic oil and filters online. I know finding the right oil and filter is for your vehicle is difficult enough at the auto parts store and spending a lot of time searching through a website for your specific parts is probably not very appealing.
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