snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Automobiles » As Pump Prices Rise, So Do Iffy Ways to Boost Mileage

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: As Pump Prices Rise, So Do Iffy Ways to Boost Mileage
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 15 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Drop a pill in your gas tank for better fuel efficiency? Yeah, right, auto experts say.

http://www.latimes.com/classified/automotive/highway1/la-fi-wondergas15may15,0,7631305.story

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Joseph Z
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Joseph Z   E-mail Joseph Z   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
They ran a similar to a gag reel.

The painful cramp from gas
The cost of gas
etc...
Statements all ended to using Rolaids.

--------------------
Joseph Z

Posts: 1356 | From: Woodbridge, VA | Registered: Jul 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 212 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Simply Amazing! (The Promises, Not the Gas Savings)

Claims of astounding mileage gains have increased as gizmos promising gas savings — some newly hatched and others a fresh twist on old themes — have proliferated, draining the pockets of gullible drivers seeking relief from high gasoline prices. From clamp-on magnets to water sprays, from air spinners and vaporizers to fuel vibrators and gas tank pills, gadgets promising higher mileage are not new.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/06/automobiles/06GIZMO.html

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
CheseJRS
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for CheseJRS   E-mail CheseJRS   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The easiest way to better mileage other than not driving is driving slower, its easy too!

--------------------
-- John

Posts: 16 | From: Cincinnati, OH | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ophiuchus
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ophiuchus   E-mail Ophiuchus   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The best way to improve your mileage:

1) Walk or use a bike
2) Take the bus
3) Join a carpool that rotates through each person during the week.
4) Keep your windows up and airconditioner off and drive slowly

Those are listed in order of effectiveness from most to least.

Posts: 411 | From: California | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Rebecca Underwood
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Rebecca Underwood   E-mail Rebecca Underwood       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Maybe we should all buy horses and buggies?? LOL

Sorry, just had to put some humor in this. We could all go mad in this day in age.

Posts: 42 | From: Pasadena, MD | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Aud
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Aud   E-mail Aud   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
A new air filter helped a little.
Posts: 1168 | From: Missouri | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by CheseJRS:
The easiest way to better mileage other than not driving is driving slower, its easy too!

It's not easy for me! Also, at a certain point (around 40-45mph), aerodynamic forces become less important than the friction and pumping losses of the drivetrain itself, and you start to lose mileage again.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for TB Tabby   E-mail TB Tabby   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
About the only thing people won't do to boost mileage is to trade in their gas-guzzling SUVs built for terrain that they never come within 50 miles of for a car that actually gets more than two feet to the gallon.

--------------------
I like to go down to the playground and watch the kids run and jump and scream, because they don't know I'm only using blanks.

Posts: 942 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TB Tabby:
About the only thing people won't do to boost mileage is to trade in their gas-guzzling SUVs built for terrain that they never come within 50 miles of for a car that actually gets more than two feet to the gallon.

Because, of course, the only possible reason to buy an SUV is taking it off-road, and all SUV's are built for off-road use. [Roll Eyes]

Before the '80s, you were able to buy large, powerful sedans and station wagons to haul your 2.5 kids around. Since the EPA killed those off (until recently), and the minivan didn't fit the 'powerful' part, people switched to the only option left - the SUV. With gas being cheap, the EPA only changed what people could buy, not what they wanted to buy. Until gas gets expensive (say, around $4-5/gal), buying habits won't change too much.

Besides that, it makes very little economic or environmental sense to trade in a SUV for a smaller car before you would normally get a new vehicle. The cost to buy the new car and the energy used to make it won't be made up for by the small savings in gas.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Roadie     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I wonder how many simultaneous threads we can have the SUV argument in. We're up to 3 currently.

--------------------
"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

Posts: 2658 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Bored and Dangerous
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Bored and Dangerous   Author's Homepage   E-mail Bored and Dangerous   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Well, something has to take the place of abortion, Roadie. Might as well be SUVs.

--------------------
My blog

Watch?? I'm gonna pray, man! Know any good religions?--Zaphod Beeblebrox

Posts: 2366 | From: Harrisonburg, Virginia | Registered: Apr 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Roadie
Little Sales Drummer Boy


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Roadie     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It'd be more entertaining if we could have a thread about abortions in SUVs....or abortion by SUVs. Where's Johnny Slick when you need him? [lol]

--------------------
"The little local company I buy from has CHEAP shipping and I have met their goats." (snapdragonfly)

"And that's one lost erection I'll never get back! You hear me Dan! I'm owed an erection!" (I'mNotDedalus)

Posts: 2658 | From: California | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Doug4.7   E-mail Doug4.7   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I found out this weekend that if you increase your tire pressure by 10 psi, you can get 2-3 better mpg.

Of course, the tires were LOW by 5, so I just raised them to 5 above (still well below the tire max).

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Eddylizard     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
I found out this weekend that if you increase your tire pressure by 10 psi, you can get 2-3 better mpg.

Maybe so, but you also seriously compromise your roadholding, and therefore the safety of you and your passengers.

You could also try stripping out excess weight, like seatbelts, airbags, antilock brakes and if you have one, the gizmo that cuts off the fuel flow in the event of an accident. That would improve your mpg.

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

Posts: 997 | From: Maidstone, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for BoKu   Author's Homepage   E-mail BoKu   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
quote:
I found out this weekend that if you increase your tire pressure by 10 psi, you can get 2-3 better mpg.

Maybe so, but you also seriously compromise your roadholding, and therefore the safety of you and your passengers...
It depends. With some combinations of car and tire, roadholding actually improves with pressure, up to a point. Other factors of consideration are ride comfort and tire wear pattern.
Posts: 2079 | From: California | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
Maybe so, but you also seriously compromise your roadholding, and therefore the safety of you and your passengers.

Just the opposite. Adding pressure effectively increases the sidewall stiffness, which prevents the tread from rolling under during hard cornering, which significantly reduces the contact patch. This is particularly useful on cars that have tires significantly wider than their wheels. Autocrossers with street tires will often run with 40-44psi in the front tires. We usually recommend 40psi to newbies.

My car's manual suggests increasing pressure by 4 psi (To 36 psi) to save gas. The only penality is a bit of ride comfort.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Eddylizard     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
http://www.driverstechnology.co.uk/Tyre-Pressure.htm

quote:


Too much pressure (over inflated)

The tyre becomes hard and the contact area is reduced. Grip and performance is impaired especially in bad weather conditions and the steering becomes less assertive.

There is a reason why your car manufacturer specifies tyre pressures in the manual.

ETA
quote:
Adding pressure effectively increases the sidewall stiffness, which prevents the tread from rolling under during hard cornering, which significantly reduces the contact patch.
The contact patch is the only thing keeping your car attached to the road.

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

Posts: 997 | From: Maidstone, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Doug4.7   E-mail Doug4.7   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Remember, however, that Ford has been notorious for underestimating what tire pressure is needed for their vehicles (to improve ride). My van is a Ford (well, Merc, but the same thing).

Also, when I added the air, the tires were 5 psi UNDER the value Ford suggested. So I am really only about 5 over. I did notice a slight handling difference, but nothing bad. These tires are rated to 44 psi, so I am a ways below that level. I might (after driving it a few more days), lower the pressure to 37-38 psi and see what that does.

Another factor is my van is usually run full (I have three kids who are now "adult" sized, i.e., taller than their Mom) with band/school gear and such. I am actually looking into getting a heavy duty spring set for the rear.

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Eddylizard     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I am unaware that Ford notriously underestimate tyre pressure. I've not heard of this allegation levelled at their European operation.

If you have the skill and knowledge to modify your suspension system to accomodate the extra inflation, that is one thing. I was originally referring to deliberately over-inflating the tyres as a quick-fix to get a bit of extra mileage.

To confess, I have probably over inflated my tyres from time to time. The manual tells you what to inflate them to when cold, and not to inflate when warm. But by the time you've driven to the nearest petrol station to check the pressure, the tyres are already warm. How much over to put in to compensate?

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

Posts: 997 | From: Maidstone, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
BoKu
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 303 posted      Profile for BoKu   Author's Homepage   E-mail BoKu   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
...ETA
quote:
Adding pressure effectively increases the sidewall stiffness, which prevents the tread from rolling under during hard cornering, which significantly reduces the contact patch.
The contact patch is the only thing keeping your car attached to the road.
Um, I don't think you read what you're quoting very carefully. It's the rolling under, caused by low pressure, that reduces the contact patch.

In my direct experience, the factory-recommended tire pressure is generally lower than the ideal for good handling or good mileage. It is also predicated upon the factory installed tire size, which is way too often dictated more by manufacturing economics than by handling, mileage, comfort, or wear.

Bob "BoKu" K.

Posts: 2079 | From: California | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Eddylizard
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Eddylizard     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I apologise if I mis-read that point.

--------------------
"Ladies and gentlemen, this is what is commonly known as money. It comes in all sizes, colours, and denominations - like people."

Posts: 997 | From: Maidstone, UK | Registered: Jun 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Doug4.7
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 14 posted      Profile for Doug4.7   E-mail Doug4.7   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
I am unaware that Ford notriously underestimate tyre pressure. I've not heard of this allegation levelled at their European operation.

It was a big deal here in the US a few years back, mostly in their SUVs. A few blowouts, a bunch of lawsuits, lawyers getting rich, some bad press, and it goes way...

I do know a little about cars (not a lot, just enough to be comfortable in playing with my family van's suspension or re-wiring the trailer connector), so I think I am okay. I will monitor things to make sure I didn't goof up in a big way.

I would not recommend adding a bunch of air randomly to tires. If you go over the limit of the tire, it can blow up in a most spectacular way. I would also not recommend having the tires UNDER inflated unless you are drag racing. But a few psi either way should not be a problem (usually).

--------------------
And now for something completely different...

Posts: 4164 | From: Alabama | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Eddylizard:
quote:


Too much pressure (over inflated)

The tyre becomes hard and the contact area is reduced. Grip and performance is impaired especially in bad weather conditions and the steering becomes less assertive.

There is a reason why your car manufacturer specifies tyre pressures in the manual.

I completely disagree with the second part of that. Steering response, improves with increased pressure (unless the tire is grossly overinflated). The added stiffness reduces the compliance of the tire so that it responds quicker to steering input (it's subjective, but very easy to test). True, the tire does get harder and contact area is reduced under straight-line and static conditions only. Under hard cornering, the added stiffness keeps tread under the wheel and results in more contact patch area than otherwise. You can test this yourself with a flat bit of tarmac and white shoe polish to show just how far the tire is rolling onto the sidewall. And it's not hard to set up a 75ft radius skidpad, either.

There is a price to pay, however. The decrease in straight-line contact patch will reduce acceleration traction. Braking traction will be affected less (due to the tendency of the front tires to flatten out) unless, again, you grossly overinflate the tire. There is also an increase in ride harshness. The manufacturer's recomendation is a compromise of all the above, and some recommend increased pressures (~4psi) for better fuel economy or when fully loaded.

Here's what TireRack has to say:
quote:
An overinflated tire is stiff and unyielding and the size of its footprint in contact with the road is reduced. If a vehicle's tires are overinflated by 6 psi, they could be damaged more easily when encountering potholes or debris in the road, as well as experience irregular tread wear. Higher inflated tires cannot isolate road irregularities as well causing the vehicle to ride harsher and transmit more noise into its interior. However, higher inflation pressures reduce rolling resistance slightly and typically provide a slight improvement in steering response and cornering stability. This is why participants who use street tires in autocrosses, track events and road races run higher than normal inflation pressures.


--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
divotman
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for divotman     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
MPG's can be obtained by: Driving 2000 rpms on your tach,by using a high tech oil(Schaeffer's) which lubricates the engine parts causing the least amount of frictionand praying that SUVs don't run over you!
Posts: 2 | From: Fulton, MO | Registered: Aug 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Cambion
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Cambion   E-mail Cambion   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
To increase mileage, I would say just let up on the gas pedal and cruise for a while when you reach the desired speed. Might not sound like much, but I'm sure it saves a noticeable amount of gas over time.

I still don't understand...technology today comes up with crazy shit like tools to draw pictures on dust specks, but they can't come up with a car that can run on anything besides gasoline.

Posts: 39 | From: Pennsylvania | Registered: Jul 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Koshka
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Koshka         Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Cambion, don't Indy-class racers run on straight alcohol? That's what I always heard -- you don't see much flames when an Indy racer crashes because alcohol burns differently than gas/diesel.
Posts: 244 | From: Omaha, NE | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Nick Theodorakis
We Three Blings


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Nick Theodorakis   E-mail Nick Theodorakis   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cambion:
...
I still don't understand...technology today comes up with crazy shit like tools to draw pictures on dust specks, but they can't come up with a car that can run on anything besides gasoline.

Gasoline engines can be (and have been) modified to run on a mixture of 85% ethanol/15% gasoline called E85.

Interestingly, from that article:
quote:

Historically, the first widely-sold flexible-fuel vehicle in the United States was a variant of Henry Ford's Model T intended for use by self-reliant farmers who could make their own ethanol. Surprisingly, it is capable even to this day of running on E85, or gasoline, as it was designed to operate on either ethanol or gasoline, at the user's choice.

Diesel engines can run on biodiesel, which is basically just vegetable oil.

quote:
Originally posted by Koshka:
Cambion, don't Indy-class racers run on straight alcohol? That's what I always heard -- you don't see much flames when an Indy racer crashes because alcohol burns differently than gas/diesel.

They currently run on 100% methanol, but there is talk of changing to ethanol or a methanol/ethanol blend.

Nick

--------------------
Don't forget to register for the New ULMB.

Announcement here

Posts: 1089 | From: Indianapolis, IN | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
mommyrex
Deck the Malls


Icon 1 posted      Profile for mommyrex     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cambion:
To increase mileage, I would say just let up on the gas pedal and cruise for a while when you reach the desired speed. Might not sound like much, but I'm sure it saves a noticeable amount of gas over time.

Also, a habit of taking your foot off the gas a little earlier when approaching a stop should reduce both fuel consumption and brake wear.

--------------------
We also ask that you follow the guidelines above and try not to over-think these guidelines.
- the transportation safety administration's permitted and prohibited items air travel list

Posts: 240 | From: Kansas | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Delta-V
Xboxing Day


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Delta-V     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Cambion:
I still don't understand...technology today comes up with crazy shit like tools to draw pictures on dust specks, but they can't come up with a car that can run on anything besides gasoline.

How much does your dust speck-writing machine cost compared to a pencil? There are plenty of things you can run a car off of besides gasoline...Hydrogen, Electricity, Ethanol, Solar, Steam, etc. Gasoline is cheap, energy-dense, fairly easy to transport and store, and readily available in very large quantities.

--------------------
"My neighbor asked why anyone would need a car that can go 190 mph. If the answer isn't obvious, and explaination won't help." - Csabe Csere

Posts: 1225 | From: Wichita, Kansas | Registered: Nov 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
snopes
Return! Return! Return!


Icon 27 posted      Profile for snopes   Author's Homepage   E-mail snopes       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Magnet Helps Engines Burn Clean

A new engine accessory using a magnet claims to reduce emissions and increase fuel efficiency by burning gasoline more efficiently. Save the World Air will introduce the ECOChargR, which the company claims uses a magnet to change the molecules of gasoline before they enter the engine to lower the production of emissions by up to 85 percent and increase fuel efficiency.

http://blog.wired.com/cars/#1553307

Posts: 36029 | From: Admin | Registered: Feb 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2