6 busted fuel-economy myths to save on gas

Idling is better than restarting
Idling is better than restarting © Ministr-84/

Myth: Starting a vehicle uses more fuel than letting the engine idle.

In fact, an idling car is a fuel-wasting car. "Idling uses more fuel than stopping and restarting, and it's not even close. That's why stop-start technology is the coming thing," says Edmunds.

Start-stop technology shuts off the engine when the vehicle is at rest -- such as at a traffic light -- and restarts it when the gas pedal is pushed.

The technology has become a staple on hybrid cars, Edmunds says. "It's probably a fourth of their mpg magic, maybe more," he says.

That doesn't mean you should manually turn off your vehicle at stoplights -- that's an obvious safety issue, Edmunds says.

Also, normal starters without start-stop technology were only designed for a handful of starts a day, and ignition switches can wear out as well, he says.

How to save: If you're going to be stopped for more than about five minutes, turn off the engine to save fuel, Molla says. He also advises avoiding jack-rabbit starts and sudden decelerations to save on fuel. "Drive like you have a raw egg under your right foot," Molla says.


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