When It Comes to Gas, Misconceptions Cost Money

It’s not hard to end up with crazy car misconceptions based on what someone you trusted told you, outdated information or just old wives’ tales that remain part of the allegedly hidden knowledge of car care.

One of the primary sources of misconceptions among drivers centers on your car’s fuel. So many lies are told about gasoline that it’s no wonder a few slip through and people believe them. Here are a few you need to stop believing:

Premium Gas Makes My Car Run Better

Unless you have a high performance engine that needs higher octane fuel, paying for premium gas is a fool’s game. The only reason to do it is if you think it will impress the person in the passenger’s seat or the guy at the pump next to you.

Ethanol In Gasoline Will Hurt My Car

Ethanol started being added to gasoline to improve the way the hydrocarbons from burning it interacted with the environment. It’s a smog issue, not an engine performance one. For most cars on the road, ethanol in gasoline is not a problem.

There’s Gunk at the Bottom of my Gas Tank

No, there really isn’t. Your gas tank most likely feeds into the engine through a hose at the bottom of the tank. Unless someone really hates you and sabotaged your car, there’s not gunk in the bottom of the tank and letting it get down to a quarter tank is not likely to be the cause of your engine trouble.

Unless it is. The one reason in especially hot weather to keep your tank closer to full than empty is to avoid vapor lock. Vapor lock happens when the temperature outside is hot enough to cause the gasoline in your tank to become more vapor than liquid. While newer cars are less prone to vapor lock than older models, intense heat with low gas levels can lead to vapor lock, causing your car to sputter and die.

Generally, with vapor lock your best option is to let the car cool off and then it will start right up. But if that doesn’t work, or if you have a fuel system problem unrelated to gas misconceptions,contact us. We can help.


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