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Saving Gas: Separating Fact from Fiction

10:18 AM, Mar 2, 2012   |    comments
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Gas Pump

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. -- With sky-high gas prices, we all look for ways to save at the pump.  Talk to most drivers and they claim to have a secret that makes their tank of gas go the extra mile. There are even gadgets and gizmos that promise to bump up gas mileage but before you waste your time and your money trying to save a few pennies, be sure to separate fact from fiction.

First, the myths.

The people at AAA have a facility that tests fuel savers - even the most bizarre items, like magnets and stickers.

Myth number one: For the most part, gadgets you attach to your car or install in the air lines simply do not work.  "We haven't found a device that works the way it's purported to work," said Jeffrey Spring with AAA.

Myth number two: The time of day you fill up makes a difference.  Car experts say gas station tanks are so far underground, that fuel temperature will not affect your miles per gallon, period, whether it's day or night.

Myth number three: Turning off your air conditioner has an effect on fuel consumption.  "Use your air conditioner and you really won't see any big difference at all," said Spring.

Myth number four: Cleaning your air filter will squeeze extra miles out of that gallon of gas. Wrong. Modern engines re-adjust to air filter clogging automatically.

So what are four tips that AAA says are not bogus?

Number one: Keep that lead foot off the pedal.  "You just don't want to be 'punching it,'" said Spring.

Number two: Have a qualified mechanic check that engine. Car experts say the less your motor is "dragging" due to inadequate amounts of air in the tires or fluids, the better it will perform.

Tip number three: Stop buying more expensive, higher octane fuel rated 89 or 91.  "The vast majority of cars out on the road today can run very well on 87 octane," said Spring.

Tip number four: If you gas up near a freeway entrance, you're probably paying a little extra. "Just go down a couple blocks and you'll probably see cheaper gasoline," said Spring.

NBC

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