Constantly rising gas prices are everyone's least favorite part of driving. Frugal motorists are always on the hunt for new methods to boost fuel efficiency and save cash, scraping the barrel of folksy wisdom and fancy scientifically engineered products alike. But for every tip on how to save gas you encounter, there are a dozen misconceptions, bogus bits of information and enterprising snake oil salespeople waiting to prey on overeager drivers. Below are some of the more common traps you'll want to be sure and avoid.
Manual doesn't trump automatic
It's a common myth that manual transmissions tend to get better gas mileage than their automatic cousins. MSN Autos reported that historically speaking this was true, as the greater control drivers have over shifting gears in a manual could prevent superfluous fuel consumption due to over-revving the engine. However, in recent years, automatic transmissions have become more and more advanced, and are now better able to control the engine in the gear shifting process than many drivers are. As automatic gear shifting became more efficient, so too did the fuel consumption of automatic cars, and stick drivers' old advantage at the pump has quickly evaporated.
There is no magic potion for better gas mileage
Entrepreneurial manufacturers of auto accessories have been carving out a niche in the "artificial fuel additives" aisle of your local auto shop for years. Citing a variety of questionably sourced scientific evidence, all of these products are connected by one claim – that they will give you better gas mileage and save you money. It should come as no surprise that these mysterious elixirs are almost all universally bunk. In fact, not only have many fuel additives not been proven to help your car run cleaner, the Federal Trade Commission published a report outlining that many of them can actually damage your engine over time. As a general rule, neither the EPA nor any other government body endorses products alleging to boost fuel efficiency, so if you pick up a bottle claiming the product is backed by Uncle Sam, that should raise a big red flag.
If you have concerns as to how your car is running, be sure to schedule an appointment with NJ State Auto Auction's Total Car Care Center. Knowledgeable staff are on hand to answer any questions you have about your car, and can work with you to identify and fix any problems to keep your car running the way you need it to.