Gas Savings Myths, Driving Tips That Are No Longer Valid

In light of the recent rises in gas prices, it is important to remember that how you drive can affect your vehicle’s fuel economy (MPG). However, you have to recognize a good driving tip when presented.  

Unfortunately there is a lot of confusion about certain driving and vehicle issues. Two common driving myths can now be de-bunked.

Driving Myth #1:

Warming up the engine before driving is necessary.

The reality: That was true back in the days of carburetors and chokes. Since most vehicles these days are  fuel-injected and have electronically controlled drive trains, warming up the engine before driving is no longer necessary. Engines are most efficient when they are at regular operating temperature, and the fastest way to reach that point is to drive right after starting the car.

Driving Myth #2:

Keep the Engine Running. Turning the car on and off is bad for the engine and uses up a lot of gas.

The reality: This is also no longer true. Today’s modern fuel-injected vehicles are efficient and do not waste gas during start-ups anymore. Actually, many states have passed anti-idling laws for commercial vehicles over the past few years in an effort to reduce air pollution.

For example, California idling laws say that heavy-duty diesel engines made in or after 2008 are required to have a system that automatically turns the engine off within five minutes of idling. For school buses in California, idling is limited to a maximum of five minutes for locations further than 100 feet from schools, including bus stops and school-trip destinations.

It is very important to reduce idling. Turn your vehicle off whenever you are not actually driving. For example, if you pull up to a curb, or are stuck waiting for a train, do not sit with the engine running. In fact, idling can cost you up to half a gallon of gas an hour.

For companies with a fleet of vehicles, reducing vehicle idling can save lots of money. Did you know that each year fleet vehicles burn 8.9 billion gallons of fuel annually due to unnecessary idling and speeding? This costs companies an estimated $2,400 per vehicle annually. A GPS fleet tracking system can identify which drivers are wasting time and money on excessive idling and speeding. Installing a green GPS tracking system can provide data used to re-train drivers to driver more efficiently.

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