At the Pump: 6 Gasoline Cheats Every Car Owner Should Know

Discussion in 'Fuel' started by JohnM, Aug 16, 2015.

  1. JohnM

    JohnM Well-Known Member

    As I stood at the pump with credit card at the ready, I watched all the poor saps around me wince in pain as they filled their vehicles with petrol. Maybe they were grimacing from the recent fuel price hikes due to the holiday, or at the inefficiency of their iron block V8 engines. Or perhaps it was a sudden realization that their driving habits were atrocious, and that riding on under-inflated tires with a clogged air filter was really a poor decision after all.
  2. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I've worked at several stations over the years, and most of what this guy says is right. The whole thing of buying gas at night because its denser is crap though. Yes, the volume of gasoline does fluctuate with temperature, but temperatures in the underground tanks are very stable. Its like keeping the gasoline in a thermos. I've also never seen a station lower prices just for the night, and raising them again in the day. Changing the signs out front was quite a chore, with a long pole with suction cups on it to position the numbers on the sign. It takes a lot of labor to change the prices for just a few hours.
  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    I thought one tip would be to raise the mid-section of the hose when you're done, to recoup an extra bit of gas that's lingered there. Or is that just urban myth? I've noticed someone doing that, never bothered myself.
  4. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    I know of at least one Wal-Mart station that habitually does that. Electric signs are easy to change, as are ground-level conventional signs that some stations use. I assume updating prices in modern pumps is easy, too.
  5. ALS

    ALS Super Moderator Staff Member

    The gas buddy app is a good one, I use it when I'm traveling any large distance where I know I'll have to fill up. My favorite is the Gas Buddy "Trip Cost Calculator"
  6. 08EscapeHybrid

    08EscapeHybrid Moderator

    I guess electronic signs are easier, but the stations i had worked for had signs like this...

  7. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk 2010 Prius (CAN Touring) Staff Member

    Funny, I pay less than zero attention to gas prices, treat it like buying mutual funds on a timed basis: sometimes you pay a bit more, sometimes a bit less. Typically it's a buck or two difference either way, our prices stay pretty stable, and all the stations in a neighbourhood will invariably be the same. I'm partial to one brand, they've got free gas, what's not to like.
  8. fuzzy

    fuzzy Mild hypermiler

    While normally stable for days at a time, I've seen my nearest Safeway change prices three times in a single day, not all in the same direction, just during daylight hours. I don't go out enough to know how many times they really might change it in 24 hours.
    I've noticed that when traveling in your province. Price shopping in much of BC seems pointless because every place in town has exactly the same price (except Costco in Kelowna may be a few cents/liter cheaper), and other nearby towns run only a penny or two different.

    In my neighboring state, I commonly see price differences of 20 cents/gallon on adjacent corners of the same intersection, and 60 to 100 cents/gallon within two miles.
    How much mpg difference does this actually make? From what I've understood about normal gasoline engines, this makes essentially no difference, unless it is so clogged that the engine is already suffering serious loss of power.

    For street racers running at wide open throttle, a clean filter is essential to get full combustion air flow. But for folks running efficiently at less than WOT, a partially clogged filter is indistinguishable from a partially closed throttle plate. Few hypermilers run at WOT.
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  9. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Pumps turn off at the valve at the handle, not somewhere up the hose so no there is no benefit as there is no extra bit of gas lingering there.
  10. RedylC94

    RedylC94 Well-Known Member

    True, but the myth endures, encouraged by people who sell filters. In earlier (pre-'81, about) cars with carburetors and non-feedback mixture control, fuel economy did suffer before the filter was clogged badly enough to make an obvious difference in performance, but even then people often exaggerated that effect.
  11. worthywads

    worthywads Don't Feel Like Satan, I am to AAA

    Gas stations have filters between the underground tank and the nozzle. The whole idea that you are getting sludge kicked up while the tanker is there is BS.

    Just like the people that think that if you run your tank below 1/4 you'll pull some similar sludge up that would remain undisturbed, ignoring that the tank pickup is always from the bottom.

    Where is all this sludge coming from?

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