The Truth About Gas Mileage: Myths and Facts Every Driver Should Know

car dashboard showing fuel gage and temperature

If you’re a driver, you likely care about your car’s gas mileage. After all, gas can be expensive, and every gallon counts. However, there are many myths about gas mileage out there that can lead you to believe things that aren’t true. In this article, we will explore the truth about gas mileage and debunk some common myths.

What is Gas Mileage?

Gas mileage, also known as fuel economy, refers to how far a car can travel on a gallon of gasoline. It is measured in miles per gallon (mpg) or liters per 100 kilometers (L/100km). The higher the mpg or the lower the L/100km, the better the gas mileage.

Myth: Manual transmission cars get better gas mileage than automatics

Many people believe that manual transmission cars get better gas mileage than automatics. While this may have been true in the past, it is no longer the case. In fact, some automatics now get better gas mileage than manuals. This is because modern automatics have more gears and are better at shifting at the right time for optimal fuel efficiency.

Fact: Speeding decreases gas mileage

Driving at high speeds is one of the quickest ways to decrease your car’s gas mileage. According to the Department of Energy, for every 5 mph you drive over 50 mph, you’re effectively paying an additional $0.18 per gallon of gas. This is because the faster you go, the more wind resistance your car experiences, which requires more fuel to overcome.

Myth: Premium gas gives you better gas mileage

Many people think that using premium gas will give them better gas mileage. However, this is not true. Premium gas is only recommended for cars that require it, such as high-performance cars. Using premium gas in a car that doesn’t require it will not give you any benefits in terms of gas mileage.

Fact: Tire pressure affects gas mileage

Your car’s tires play an important role in determining its gas mileage. If your tires are underinflated, your car will have to work harder to move, which means it will use more fuel. Make sure to check your tire pressure regularly and inflate them to the recommended levels.

Myth: You should always warm up your car before driving

two car vents near car dashboardMany people believe that they need to warm up their car before driving, especially in cold weather. However, this is not necessary and can actually waste gas. Modern cars are designed to warm up quickly, and idling for more than a minute can waste fuel and cause unnecessary wear on your engine.

Fact: Air conditioning decreases gas mileage

Using your car’s air conditioning can decrease its gas mileage by up to 20%. If possible, try to use your car’s air conditioning sparingly or not at all, especially if you’re driving at low speeds or in stop-and-go traffic.

Myth: Keeping the windows down is more fuel-efficient than using air conditioning

Some people think that keeping their windows down is more fuel-efficient than using air conditioning. However, this is not always the case. At high speeds, the wind resistance from open windows can actually decrease your car’s gas mileage more than using air conditioning.

Fact: Idling wastes gas

Idling, or leaving your car running when you’re not driving, wastes gas and can decrease your car’s gas mileage. If you’re going to be stopped for more than a minute, it’s better to turn off your engine and restart it when you’re ready to drive again.

Myth: Fuel additives improve gas mileage

There are many fuel additives on the market that claim to improve your car’s gas mileage. However, there is no scientific evidence to support these claims. In fact, some fuel additives can actually harm your car’s engine and decrease its gas mileage.

Fact: Hybrid cars get better gas mileage than non-hybrid cars

Hybrid cars use a combination of gasoline and electric power to achieve better gas mileage than non-hybrid cars. In fact, some hybrid cars can get up to 50 mpg or more. If you’re looking to improve your gas mileage, a hybrid car may be a good option for you.

Fact: Aggressive driving decreases gas mileagewhite car speeding through a road with white smoke

Driving aggressively, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking, can decrease your car’s gas mileage by up to 33%. If you want to improve your gas mileage, try driving more smoothly and avoiding aggressive maneuvers.


There are many myths and facts about gas mileage that every driver should know. By understanding the truth about gas mileage, you can make informed decisions that can save you money and help the environment. If you’re looking to improve your current mpg, contact us today!

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