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Morning Musings: gas saving tips?

We all get so many forwarded and unsolicited e-mails from crackpots, zealots, paranoid conspiracy theorists, and jingoists, that truly accurate, relevant and helpful information is surely lost along the way.

One recent forwarded e-mail I received offering tips on saving gas consumption — in the context of striking back at those Middle Eastern and Saudi Arabian oil tycoon terrorists “who are trying to kill me, my family, and my friends” (so judge accordingly) — seemed to provide some useful tips amongst the vitriol.

by Scott Hettrick

Another I got today — Earth Day — offers some sort of fuel additive in a bottle that claims a guaranteed savings of up to 70-cents per gallon as well as far less pollution, and has lots of videos from TV reports and others to back it up. (See link below)

And then there was the tip to roll down your window and turn off the air conditioning while on residential/”surface” streets driving under 40 mph (wind resistance at high freeway speeds causes so much friction and therefore lower fuel economy that it negates any savings on the air conditioner – so roll the windows up on the highway.)

I’d love to hear from others who may be able to verify the veracity of these e-mail suggestions:

* Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening….your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum business, the specific gravity and thet emperature of the gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role. A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

* When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three stages: low, middle, and high. In slow mode you should be pumping on low speed, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some other liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you’re getting less worth for your money.

* One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL or HALF EMPTY. The reason for this is, the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation. Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

* Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up–most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

So, is this all hogwash or is there some truth here? I don’t like to pass on anything without authenticating it, but there doesn’t seem to be anything here that could be harmful; I’m just not sure if any of it truly helps.

And here is the link to the e-mail I got today about an additive that saves the environment and 70-cents per gallon:

Please let us know what you think.


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