6 busted fuel-economy myths to save on gas

6 fuel-economy fantasies
6 fuel-economy fantasies © Maksim Vivtsaruk/

It's a whole new game when it comes to fuel efficiency.

In August 2012, the Obama administration announced that it will increase fuel-economy standards to 54.5 mpg for cars and light-duty trucks by model-year 2025.

Because of high gas prices and a renewed drive toward fuel efficiency, drivers are looking to squeeze the most gas mileage out of their vehicles. But there are several long-held beliefs about fuel economy that can hinder their progress.

So Bankrate has tapped -- the official U.S. government source for fuel-economy information -- and talked to experts about some of the biggest fuel-economy myths. Knowing these widely held misconceptions can help you make fuel-economy choices that benefit you by saving you money.

"Better choices can save consumers hundreds, even thousands of dollars each year," says Bob Boundy, a researcher with the National Transportation Research Center at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Here are the six most common fuel-economy myths.

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Drivers trying to get the most miles per gallon from their vehicle might be needlessly paying more.

The Obama administration announced last year that it will increase fuel economy standards for automobiles to 54.5 mpg by model-year 2025.

If you're trying to get better mileage today, you might be chasing some gas mileage myths. If you think driving a brand-new car, a tiny car or one with a manual transmission will save you miles to the gallon, think again.

New technology is putting larger cars and automatics in the mpg race. An older vehicle, when properly maintained, can run as efficient as ever.

If you're dumping the more expensive premium gas into your car in search of better mileage, look over your owner's manual. Only cars that call for high octane fuel really need it. Everything else will get the same mileage running on the cheap stuff.



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