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Driving More Carefully Beats So-called "gas-saving" Products Every Time

Author: Velma Lamoureux

Driving more carefully beats so-called \

Gasoline is a valuable resource. Depending on certain circumstances, it can be fairly expensive, and even if it isn't high-priced at a given time its cost adds up over time no matter what. As a result, products that promise to improve your fuel economy can seem attractive. However, you need to be careful when considering such options.

More often than not, these items are presented through ad campaigns that offer outsized claims at best and outright lies at worst. Typical exaggerations include statements of the product's efficacy, such as stating that it will offer a 15 to 25 percent improvement in fuel economy, according to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). Evaluations of these items by reputable government agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have found that none of these products offer gas mileage improvements at those levels.

Complete lies that are sometimes associated with these products include statements claiming that they are approved, endorsed or certified by the U.S. government. The FTC states that no agency of the federal government has ever offered any such approval - the EPA's test of these devices and gas or oil additives are as close to the truth as such claims can possibly come.

The best way to save fuel is to drive sensibly. This task can easily be performed through a few fairly simple practices. The first and most obvious is to drive at the speed limit. The faster you drive, the more fuel you use. On long trips, use your car's cruise control or overdrive features will be helpful, since they allow you to stay at a consistent, reliable speed without wasting fuel.

How would you rate your own car's fuel efficiency? 

In Brief

  • Gasoline is a valuable resource.

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