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Columns: Driving for Dollars
Terry Jackson Expert: Terry Jackson
Driving for Dollars
EPA cold-weather formula requires burning more gas
Driving for Dollars

'Summer gas' mix may boost mileage

Dear Terry,
The government changed required additives in gasoline this winter and I got five miles less per gallon from my Toyota Highlander Hybrid -- from 26 to 21 miles per gallon. Toyota said there was nothing they could do about it. Will summer mix go back up to giving me my usual 30 to 32 mpg?
-- Jgrebert

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Dear Jgrebert,
In an effort to reduce emissions, the EPA, Environmental Protection Agency, mandates that the formulation of gasoline during winter months be changed because of colder operating temperatures.

Starting in late spring, refiners go back to what is called the "summer formula.'' Many drivers, especially hybrid owners, report decreases in fuel mileage similar to yours while using winter formula gas. Using gasoline with a higher ethanol mixture will also cause a decrease in mileage.

But once the pumps start delivering summer formula gasoline, your mileage should bounce back. Check with your usual gas station to find out if they've starting getting the summer mixture.

This week
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Bankrate.com's corrections policy-- Posted: May 19, 2007
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