5 Fuel Saving Myths Debunked for Drivers Who Believed in Them

Fuel is precious. Every month, it takes up a portion of our spending budget, and we can’t do anything about it. After all, we need fuel to power our cars, which in turn bring us to our destinations. It’s no wonder that we’re always looking for ways to save our fuel. However, some ways we save our fuel may not be as effective as we think. Here, we bring you some of the myths about fuel saving and discover the truths behind them.

With the constant change in fuel pricing, everyone’s probably looking to save a few Ringgit at the petrol station. And the first thing we trust in saving fuel is the internet, where we get confused over facts and myths. We know how difficult it can be to separate fact from fiction. That’s why we’re going on a myth-busting exhibition to get your fuel-saving myths right.

1. Go Small for a Small Fuel Budget

Having a small car used to be useful something other than being annoying at parking lots. In the past, having a smaller car meant you could go further on a smaller budget. The idea back then was to go for a Kancil if you were planning to go economical, and go for a sedan if you wanted a family car. It was partially true, as a smaller car typically has a lighter weight. A lighter weight would obviously be less taxing on the car, and save you more fuel.

Electrifyingly large and beautiful for a small fuel budget. Photo from autoblog.com

However, with the development of technology such as hybrid or even electric engines, bigger cars may not be consuming as much fuel as you think. For example, a Toyota claims that its Prius C has an average fuel economy of 35km per litre, as opposed to the Perodua MyVi 1.3’s 17km per litre. There are also electric cars like the Tesla Model S, which doesn’t use fuel at all. To keep your wallet heavy with your hard earned cash, you should be aiming for a fuel-saving car, not a small car. Take a look at our car reviews to check out which car has a better fuel economy and you might be saving your wallet for the next few years.

2. Don’t Idle Around

To turn off or leave on? It’s a dilemma that has been here since we began using horses to travel. The myth is that keeping your engine running burns more fuel than restarting it. Probably started when a guy was too lazy to turn off his engine while waiting for his date, this myth is completely false.

Stop her, she’s wasting all the fuel! 

According to Consumer Reports, it’s probably a good idea to turn off the engine if you’re going to be waiting more than a minute. A car left idle will continue taking in fuel, where a car turned off will not. Even if you say you’re just waiting for about 5 minutes, which you never do, you’re actually wasting fuel and clogging up the environment with your exhaust fumes. Unless you’re in a traffic jam, turn off the engine and roll down the windows. After all, the more you save on fuel, the more you can spend on your date.

3. Air Conditioning vs Windows Down

Air conditioning uses energy while winding down your window down increases drag. The question is which one uses more? We want to know if we’re wasting time and fuel when we have our windows down on the highways, or on our way to Cameron Highlands. And also if it’s more economical to have our heads out while we drive.

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Let go of your steering wheel, and feel the cool, refreshing air of the highlands.

Well, we have the answer. In 2004, the Society of Automobile Engineers found that SUVs and Sedans were less efficient at all speeds up to 110km/h when using air conditioning over having the windows down. While having the windows down does increase drag, turning the air conditioning seems to consume more fuel than previously thought. The best alternative seems to be to do it like a man, and take it hot with your air conditioning off, and your windows up.

4. More Power, Less Fuel in Manual

As the older generation might say, “Young whippersnapper! In my day, manual transmission cars used to have better mileage.”  Because they can be controlled more precisely than an automatic transmission, they can be a little more fuel saving. They’re meant to save you more fuel and increase your budget.


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It’ll be more theft proof as nobody will know how to drive one in the far future, though.

However, most modern automatic cars have improved transmission technology, such as increased gears, and smoother shifting. Unless you’re very experienced or aware of the precise moment that you’re supposed to shift, you’re not really saving fuel. With the increased congestion in the city, you’re also probably better off with an automatic. Unless you like having to shift gear every minute or two.


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5. A Slow Day is A Good Day

A slow cruise has some plus points when driving. You get to enjoy the scenery, annoy others on the road, and save fuel at the same time. On the other hand, you don’t want to turn a 10-minute drive into an hour on the roads. You have a destination to get to and it doesn’t help to be a slowpoke.

In the name of saving fuel, we shall all drive at less than 10km/h.

What’s more important is finding that perfect balance of consistent speed without sudden braking or hard acceleration as you travel. You don’t want to go from 60km/h to 120km/h, only to suddenly brake again. It’ll cause you and other drivers on the road to have a heart attack, and you’ll be wasting a whole lot of fuel. Try steadily accelerating to a stable speed, and keeping your car at that speed. That way, you won’t be exerting your engine. Not only will you save fuel, but you’ll impress the ladies with steady driving.


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There are tons of useful tips and tricks on the internet when it comes to driving and saving fuel. The trick is knowing which one to trust, and which one you can ignore. Find reliable sources of information you can trust and you’re on the right track. Sometimes, all it takes is an extra bit of reading before you believe in that ambiguous Facebook post.

Original article can be found here.

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