As gas prices increase, the collective brain power of the driving public decreases. Or, to say that more simply:
High gas prices might make you stupid.
Maybe that’s not a proven fact, but drivers are looking for ways to fight against cash-sucking gas pumps and, perhaps in desperation, are increasingly making decisions that don’t make any sense.
For proof that human brains cease to function after paying $4 per gallon, keep reading.
1. People believe in, and buy, fuel additives and miracle devices.
Yes, some fuel additives can clean out a dirty system, but none will provide a significant increase in mpg. Even worse than additives are aftermarket devices that claim to increase fuel economy. The Federal Trade Commission warns:
The Environmental Protection Agency has evaluated or tested more than 100 alleged gas-saving devices and has not found any product that significantly improves gas mileage. In fact, some “gas-saving” products may damage a car’s engine or cause substantial increases in exhaust emissions.
2. Believing the oil-change guy who claims a new air filter with every oil change will provide better fuel economy.
If you drive a modern, fuel-injected vehicle, it won’t. But it will add to the profits of the lube center! Changing the filter once a year should be adequate.
3. People don’t trust the auto shut-off.
The gas pump shuts off automatically for a reason. Contrary to what some people might believe, that reason isn’t to screw you over, but to prevent fuel from spilling. “Topping off” won’t put more gas in your tank, it’ll just make you pay for gas that either dribbles down your fender or siphons right back into the station’s tanks.
Even worse, people put in premium fuel because they think it’ll provide better gas mileage. Nope. Use the lowest octane your manufacturer recommends.
4. People try to stretch their fuel to the limit, then run out of gas.
The Automobile Club of Southern California reports that increasing gas prices make motorists run out of fuel. The club told The Desert Sun that about 15,600 members requested roadside service last month because they ran out of gas. That’s up nearly 13 percent from the same month last year.
Don’t these people know that running down to the last drop of gas won’t save money? In fact, it runs the risk of burning out the fuel pump, which’ll cost a heckuva lot more than the $50 bucks to just fill up.
5. People buy new cars just to get better gas mileage.
If you’re in the market for a new car, by all means, look at models with improved fuel economy over your current car. But don’t use fuel economy as a reason to buy a new car. You’ll never recoup your costs.
Want to truly increase your gas mileage? Drive 10 mph slower on the highway than normal. Keep your tires properly inflated. Don’t pretend every green light is the start of a drag race. Replace your oxygen sensor if needed.
Follow that simple advice, and you’ll easily outsmart the majority of drivers on American roads.
Do you recommend any other fuel-saving methods?