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Top 10 Surprising Myths About Gas Mileage

With gas prices creeping up on $4 a gallon we’re all trying to conserve gas in our vehicles. I even road my bicycle to the store the other day!

Doing their part, Yahoo! Autos gathered 10 surprising myths about gas mileage that may save you money and wear and tear on your vehicle.

1. You need a smaller car to get good mileage.  Not true anymore. New technologies are making midsize cars a lot more efficient.

2. Manual transmissions get better fuel economy. Automatic transmissions have improved a lot over the years. These days they do just as well or better than a standard transmission on the same car.

3. It takes more fuel to start up a car than it does to let it idle. Fuel injection means modern car engines start much more efficiently. Manufacturers recommend that you shut off the engine whenever you’re stopped, except when you’re in traffic.

4. An engine needs to warm up before the car is driven. Engines are much different now. You shouldn’t push a car too hard until the engine is warm, but it doesn’t hurt the engine to drive it right away.

5. Fuel economy decreases as a car gets older. Not if you take care of it. A well-maintained car will keep getting the same mileage even 15 years old and beyond.

6. A new air filter gives you better gas mileage. Newer cars have computers that automatically adjust the fuel-air ratio. So a dirty air filter doesn’t decrease your mileage.

7. You can use aftermarket additives to improve fuel economy. Studies show that additives don’t make a difference.

8. Premium fuel gives you better mileage. Only if your car was specifically designed for it.

9. EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) fuel economy estimates are a guarantee of the mileage you’ll get. Actually, they really are just estimates.

10. All vehicles are tested for fuel economy. It’s actually only vehicles under 8,500 pounds. So the larger pickups like the Ford F250 and the Dodge 2500 don’t have official fuel economy ratings.

Do those commonly quoted myths change your outlook on fuel prices and your vehicle? Let us know in the comments below. Safe motoring.

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