9 myths about fuel economy

06/06/2019

Posted by: Chris Odogwu

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Fuel economy tops the charts in discussions among car owners. Find out if some of the fuel economy beliefs you have are among these 9 myths about fuel economy!

Hybrid cars may be making headlines in some quarters, but they still have a long way to go in displacing non-hybrid ones. A lot of people are of the belief that fuel-using cars are not going anywhere soon. And this is valid for a number of reasons. All over the world, people make use of fuel to run their cars. Creating a replacement would require a total overhaul.

This is why fuel economy is a major concern when it comes to cars. The cost of fuel may vary from country to country, but every car owner in these different places is clamoring for one thing – affordable fuel. Being able to save some money on fuel would enable you to meet some of your other needs. These expectations have led to the formulation of some myths about fuel economy, which will be elaborated on by Naijauto.com. While some of these myths are undoubtedly crazier than others, they all make you wonder how they were made up in the first place.

1. Vehicle warming enhances fuel mileage

They say warming up a car before setting it in motion helps to save fuel, but with the invention of modern cars that are created to move almost immediately, you begin to wonder the validity of such a myth.

When the weather is very cold, allowing your car to warm up is good for the engine, but that does not have any effect on the fuel mileage. Automakers recommend that, as you start your car, you take off gently, allowing your engine to warm up as you move down the road.

2. Smaller cars have better fuel economy

This was widely believed to be true until newer technologies paved way for more efficient big cars. The 40 mpg Mitsubishi Mirage is unarguably the smallest most reliable non-hybrid car on the market. Another strong contender is the Toyota Prius c hybrid at 50 mpg but some bigger cars put up good competition. So, good fuel economy is not exclusive to smaller cars.

Toyota-camry-on-the-road

Small cars do not generally have better fuel economy than big cars

>>> Who could dethrone Toyota to be on top? 6 most fuel-efficient cars released in 2019: Toyota missed the top

3. All vehicles undergo fuel economy test by the FG

A good number of light duty trucks and passenger cars undergo testing, but this does not apply to all vehicles. Typically, vehicles that exceed 8,500 pounds are not included.

4. Manual transmission offers better fuel economy than automatic transmission

In time past, this was taken hook, line and sinker. Most advanced cars with automatic transmission may not completely match their counterparts with a manual transmission, but some of them do. The transmission adopted in most hybrid cars is now used by automakers to enhance conventional cars, offering better fuel economy than manual transmission.

Automatic-car-transmission

The battle between manual and automatic never ends

No doubt, manual transmission offer great results, but this is largely dependent on how effective it is operated.

5. Starting a car consumes more fuel than leaving it idle

The invention of stop-start technology is enough evidence that this myth does not hold water. What it means is, idling may consume about half a gallon of fuel for every hour. Turning off the engine while waiting in line or stuck in traffic may not offer so much value especially because newer car engines function very well when kept warm.

Starting-car-ignition

The car engine is better off warming than idle

>>> If you love SUVs, you must read this before buying one: 12 best SUVs - Top fuel economy SUV cars in Nigeria

6. Premium gas gives better economy than regular gas

Using premium fuel could make you feel like cool about yourself. But in reality, it does not offer so much benefit than regular fuel especially if the automaker did not specify that your engine should use only premium fuel. If your car was manufactured to run on regular fuel, by all means, use it. You will only be spending more money by using premium fuel, the results will be the same.

7. Vehicle fuel economy decreases as it gets older

There is also the myth that a vehicle’s fuel mileage decreases with age. Well, this seems like the logical thing that happens with everything but check out this adage by EPA:

“Vehicles that are 10 or even 15 years old will experience little decrease in fuel economy if properly maintained" 

fuel-warning-light

Fuel economy rate depends greatly on how you maintain your car

8. Replacing air filter gives better fuel economy

It seems like common sense that a new and clean air filter would enhance fuel economy as it is rid of dirt. However, more recent fuel injected engines give compensation for air filters that are dirty by minimizing the air fuel mix. But this is an extended truism drawn from the times of carbureted engines.

Basically, having your air filter replaced from time to time is highly recommended, but it does not guaranty better fuel economy. It might create room for your engine to be better powered due to an increase of fuel mix.

9. Fuel additives increase fuel economy

Marketers of add-on aftermarket products may argue that their products increase fuel economy but that cannot be authoritatively confirmed. This applies to all the other things you come across in auto parts shops. If you cannot attest that they actually work, do not believe that they do, just because someone says so.

>>> Visit Naijauto.com for more car facts, traffic updates and latest auto releases!

Chris Odogwu
Chris Odogwu

Chris Odogwu

Car events

Chris Odogwu is a Content Writer and Journalist. He holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from University of Jos and a master's degree in Mass Communication from University of Lagos. His works have been published in top local and international publications including Forbes, HuffPost, ThriveGlobal, TheNextScoop and Nigeria360 among others. A member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR), the thrill he gets from writing about exotic cars feels almost the same as riding in them.

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