7 most common misconceptions about fuel efficiency

12/05/2017

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Let's see what beliefs are outdated or even have never been correct about car fuel efficiency.

Restarting the engine consumes more fuel than leaving it running, manual transmissions are more fuel-efficient than automatic transmissions, “warming up” the engine before departure is necessary, are some of the most common misconceptions about fuel efficiency. Naijauto will explain why.

>>> More car maintenance tips and advice here

1. Manual transmissions save more fuel than automatic transmissions

Is your manual-transmission car saving you some fuel costs?

Most likely not. Automatic gearboxes are now equipped with state-of-the-art technology that helps to reduce fuel consumption by at least as much as manual transmissions, sometimes even more.

2. Restarting the engine consumes more fuel than leaving it running idle

Would you rather leave the engine running during red lights?

In many cases, you really should turn off the engine and wait until it’s time to restart the car instead of letting the engine run idle for too long. Depending on the engine capacity, leaving the engine running with no load usually costs about 1 to 2 liters of gasoline per hour. If you just have to stop for a little while for the red light or until the traffic clears, do not turn off the engine. Otherwise, if you will have to stop the car for more than 30 seconds, then you should turn it off. However, do keep in mind that switching the engine on/off too often can cause the headset to crash.

3. The machine needs to be warmed up before departure

This idea has become quite outdated because nowadays modern cars can roll smoothly just within a few seconds of startup.

4. The older the car is, the more fuel it’ll cost you

Old cars are always fuel guzzlers, aren’t they?

Not always, as this is not true in the case that your old car has always been timely and properly serviced. A 10 to 15-year old car may still have the same fuel consumption rate as a new car if the owner treats it right. The most important point to emphasize here is that you should know how to properly maintain that car.

5. Replacing the air filter can help to save fuel

This is also an outdated concept originating from the time when all cars still had a carburetor. Nowadays, cars are equipped with a direct fuel injection engine with a computerized system that automatically adjusts the fuel / air ratio to appropriate levels. Replacing the dirty air filter might not improve the fuel efficiency, but that will still increase your engine’s performance.

6. Higher quality fuel leads to higher fuel efficiency

The more expensive fuel you use, the more fuel you’ll save, correct?

This idea might have been invented by the oil companies. Experts recommend that you use high-quality gasoline only when designated by the car manufacturers and in some special circumstances.

7. Additives and auxiliary equipment help to save fuel

There is not much evidence of any “magic” factors that can save you more on fuel consumption than they cost. In some cases, these products can even damage the engine or increase the car’s toxic emissions.

>>> More tips and advice for car users and owners here

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