Growing up, our parents always told us the best myths to get us to do what they wanted. That included a few things about cars that weren’t necessarily true. Even the best fuel cars on the market had their myths, typically handed down from one generation to another with questionable accuracy.
Here are five fuel efficiency myths that we are happy to debunk, especially if you’re in the market for one of the many best fuel cars on the road.
Myth No. 1: You should top off your car.
We’ve all done it. We’ve all stood there trying to squeeze as much gas into the gas tank as we possibly can. However, filling your gas tank up to the maximum capacity is actually really bad for your car. Your car has an evaporation canister built into the gas tank. When you try to pump more gas into your tank after the pump has shut off, you’re pushing gas into that canister, which can ruin it and the evaporation system. You ruin the canister; you’re looking at a costly repair.
Myth No. 2: You need to change your air filter with every oil change.
No, not really. Cars of today are equipped with computers and sensors that adjust the airflow regardless of how clean or dirty your air filter. You only have to replace the air filter when it gets dirty, and that could be quite a few more miles than every oil change. However, if you are driving a car made before 1980, then yes, change the air filter with every oil change. Pre-1980s cars are affected by a dirty air filter as they cannot self-regulate the airflow.
Myth No. 3: Use your cruise control to maintain a consistent speed and save fuel.
Are you taking a road trip on a road that is perfectly flat from point A to point B? If you answered no to this question, then cruise control is not going to save you fuel. Cruise control accelerates when it senses an incline to keep your speed, and it does it quickly, which hurts your gas mileage. Instead, take control going up a hill and then turn the cruise control back on when the road evens out.
Myth No. 4: You don’t have to check your tires unless the tire light comes on.
Before you get in your car and drive off, visually check your tires. If they look low, take your car to your local garage to have the pressure checked or check it yourself with a tire gauge and add air. Also, try to get into the habit of checking them once a month and make sure your spare tire isn’t flat in case you need it.
Myth No. 5: Always use premium gas to boost your mileage.
Premium gas is not going to do anything for your car if it is not tuned to run on that octane. Check your owner’s manual and follow the recommended guidelines on what octane to put in your tank. If 87 octane is what your car is tuned for, then put 87 in it. You will not see any improvement in fuel efficiency by using a higher grade.