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3 myths about fuel economy the auto connection

Fuel efficiency is a hot topic and it’s no surprise that people want to maximize the miles out of their gas tanks. It’s important to separate fact from fiction when it comes to fuel economy so that you can help ease the pain at the pump. Below, we dispel 3 popular fuel economy myths.

Myth 1: Manual transmission vehicles are more fuel efficient than automatic

Admittedly, this used to be true. But it’s not anymore. More recent technological advances in automatic transmissions have essentially eliminated the difference in fuel economy between automatics and manual transmission vehicles (aka “stick shifts”). As modern automatics have evolved, they’ve gained additional gears and rely less on a torque converter, which makes them just as fuel efficient, if not more, than manual transmissions. 

Myth 2: The older a vehicle gets, the worse its fuel economy gets. 

Actually, any vehicle that is properly maintained can retain its efficiency for many years. After all, engine performance largely depends on maintenance. But if you really want to be sure your older car keeps its fuel efficiency, be sure to replace your gas cap, keep your tires at the right pressure, and stay on top of routine maintenance. 

Myth 3: Using a higher octane gasoline will improve fuel efficiency.

As you know, a typical gas station will have three choices at the pump: Regular, Plus, and Premium. These levels typically relate to octane ratings of 87, 89, and 93. But, contrary to popular belief, these octane ratings actually have nothing to do with fuel economy. In fact, all these octane ratings mean is the fuel’s ability to resist engine “knock” — which is an interaction that happens during combustion. Your car’s manual will tell you what grade of gasoline to use. And for most drivers, you’ll just need the “regular” kind.  

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