Tips & Advice
How can drivers find the cheapest gas prices?
Driver can find the cheapest gas prices by using an app to search for the lowest prices in their area. Some apps such as Gas Guru take note of your location, and provide a list of gas stations nearby, along with the cost of gas currently being sold at each station.
Is it possible to improve a vehicle's fuel efficiency?
There are things you can do to slightly improve the fuel efficiency of your vehicle. Make sure your car's tires are properly inflated, and treat your engine to regular tune-ups. Check your engine's air filter, since a dirty air filter will compromise fuel economy.
Why must drivers shut off their engine before pumping gas?
Drivers must shut their engine off before pumping gas because it's illegal to fuel with the engine running, even though this law isn't always aggressively enforced. Pumping gas with the engine running can compromise your safety. When your car's engine is running, it's possible for its catalytic converters to generate heat that could ignite gasoline, and start a fire.
Can cell phones ignite a gasoline vapor fire?
Even though many gas stations have warnings advising you not to use your cell phone while fueling, the chances of cell phones igniting a gasoline vapor fire are extremely remote. However, fires at the gas pump may be caused by static electricity discharge. For safe fueling, it's recommended that you turn off your car's engine and avoid smoking at the pump. Also, you should never re-enter your vehicle while refueling.
Why are gas prices not uniform, even across same-brand stations?
Many factors contribute to the lack of uniformity in gas prices. Retailers consider their tax responsibilities when setting gas prices. States place varying taxes on gasoline retailers, and a state with higher taxes will have higher gas prices than a state in which the taxes are lower. Also, if a gas station is located in an especially competitive area, a branded operator may receive wholesale discounts that allow the station to sell gas at a lower price. This is done by brands to keep their gas competitive in tight markets.
Is there a difference between brands of gasoline?
There are minor differences between brands of gasoline. Fuel stations get their gas from refineries. Once the stations receive the gas, many enhance the gas with additives that are designed to improve cleaning and performance. The additives used vary from brand to brand, and higher-priced gas has more additives than gas sold at off-brand gas stations. While additive-enhanced gas may offer marginal benefits, using cheaper gas with fewer additives won't harm your engine.
Why are cash prices lower at gas stations?
Cash prices are lower at gas stations because they don't include the bank fees that are charged to gas stations when credit cards or debit cards are used. With credit cards, these fees typically average about 2 percent of the transaction cost. Some states prohibit gas stations from passing these fees on to consumers via surcharges, but it is perfectly legal for gas stations to offer discounts to those who are paying with cash.
What is the difference between diesel fuel and gasoline?
Both diesel fuel and gasoline are manufactured from crude oil, but gasoline is lighter and less dense than diesel. Relative to diesel, gasoline also tends to be more volatile and more flammable. Since diesel is denser, it provides more energy per gallon, and this is one factor behind the high mileage offered by many diesel-powered vehicles.
Is it worth paying the extra money for higher octane gasoline?
It is worth paying the extra money for higher octane gasoline in some cases. If higher octane gasoline is required for use by the vehicle's manufacturer, it's recommended that you follow this guideline. Using low octane gas in a vehicle that is meant to use fuel of a higher octane, will have a negative effect on the vehicle's performance and fuel economy. However, gas with a higher octane rating than a car's manufacturer requires, will offer little or no benefit under normal driving conditions.
Which octane gasoline is right for my car?
Different cars have different requirements when it comes to gasoline octane, and you should use the octane rating that is required by your vehicle's manufacturer. A fuel's octane rating is a measure of how well it resists knocking and pinging during the combustion process. Most cars use 87 octane, but some cars are built to use higher octane gas.