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Are gas-saving myths actually true? We asked a local expert

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Posted at 8:30 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 10:58:28-04

The national average for gas continues to rise — as of June 9, the national average was $4.97.

Whether you are carpooling, using ride-share apps, public transportation, or apps to save money on fuel, Americans are trying to save every bit of gas they can.

People have different ideas about how to save gas, but do any of them work?

Christian Brothers Automotive service manager Reagan Bull said he’s heard of some of the myths.

The first: driving around town with the windows down and the A/C off.

“In Texas, driving around with the windows down might be a little crazy, it's kind of hot out there," Bull said. "You know it could increase drag having those windows down. And again, it’s how you drive."

Theory No. 2: filling up at night vs. filling up during the day.

“People said it’s because the tanks are expanded and it’s less air in there," Bull said. "It’s hard to actually verify. You know, different parts of America (have) different prices, heats, different humidity. Everything is kind of a contributing factor when it comes to gas and filling up."

Myth No. 3: having a clean air filter.

“Absolutely," he said. "If you can get, you know, good fresh air in there without any restrictions, (it) definitely will help with improving your gas mileage. Simple maintenance items are definitely what can help you."

One myth may have some fact to it: using cruise control.

“Keeping your RPMs from fluctuating," he said. "If you are constantly on the break and someone breaks in front of you and you give it gas to get around them — every time you give it gas, you are using more and more fuel."

Local resident Sabrina Tellez said she uses hers as much as it makes sense to.

“The main thing that I do is use cruise control," she said. "I’ve done it on the highways, I've done it just, like, down the street and, honestly, I feel like it actually works."

One myth, he feels, is true, though.

“So I fill up half a tank or so," he said. "They say the air in the tank will cause more of the fumes to blow back because there is a higher pressure in the tank, so you are actually asking for more gas when you are filling up with a lower amount in the tank."

With gas prices steadily rising, folks are looking for alternate ways to save at the pump. We spoke to some folks around the Coastal Bend to see if they subscribe to any of these myths.

“If it gets to half a tank, then I come fill it up," said Leo Bazan.

However, Bull said all of these are just myths until scientifically proven.