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Volume 17, Issue 1
January 2019


Steps Toward Sustainability
Vehicle Related Myths: Busted!
Thomas Keyser, Fleet Manager, Washington County

There are many myths and misconceptions surrounding vehicles. Whether they came from friends or family, or have passed down through many generations, everyone has their own thoughts that they believe to be true. Here are a few vehicle related myths and what you really need to know.

busted tire

MYTH: You need to let your vehicle engine warm up in cold weather.

FALSE: Your vehicle’s engine needs a warm-up period of only about 15-30 seconds; you’re probably the only one who may feel chilly. The engine warms up while you drive. Running your car any longer beforehand wastes gas and contributes to the negative effect of carbon emissions.

SAVE: Depending on engine size, temperature, and other variables, modern cars can use about a third of a gallon of gas per hour while idling, so minimizing idling can save a significant amount of fuel. By eliminating 10 minutes of idling per vehicle every morning, you could save more than a gallon of fuel a month which over time can equate to decreased costs and less carbon emissions.

BONUS SAVINGS: Research shows that turning your vehicle off at a stop light could save fuel. Starting your vehicle only burns about as much as seven seconds of idling so turning your engine off for even a brief period of time can save fuel.

MYTH: Premium gas is a treat for your car and makes it run better.

FALSE: Unless your vehicle is specifically designed to take advantage of the higher octane levels in premium fuel, you’re wasting money. Instead, go by what is recommended in the owner’s manual.

SAVE: You can save up to $150 a year by opting for regular grade instead of premium gas. The same is true for “generic” brand fuel. Large corporations like Shell or Chevron may put additives in their fuel, but the gas you buy for less money at non-branded stations still has to meet strict minimum requirements and works just as well.

MYTH: The number listed on the sidewall of your tire is the recommended tire pressure.

FALSE: This number is actually the maximum pressure allowed for that tire. The recommended amount of pressure is listed on the inside of the door panel or in the owner’s manual.

SAVE: The government estimates that the average driver’s tires are underinflated by 26%. Underinflated tires lower gas mileage about a half percent for each pound lacking when the pressure of all four tires is added up. An average driver with underinflated tires could add $79 a year to the fuel cost, $1,027 over the life of the vehicle. Underinflated tires can also greatly increase tire wear and compromise safe handling. You could also save nearly half a barrel of crude oil per year by keeping your tires inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level.

More information can be found using the links below:

tiresafety.com/en_us/index & fueleconomy.gov



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Published monthly by Cedar Mill News LLC
Publisher/Editor:Virginia Bruce
PO Box 91061
Portland, Oregon 97291
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