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10 Fuel Hacks Every Car Owner Should Know

tips for better fuel when filling up

Filling up your car with fuel is expensive and time consuming, so you should ensure you are getting the best. The best in terms of value for money and fuel quality as you should expect. There are little known tricks of the trade that can keep more money in your back pocket and better health for your car.

Of course, you can change your driving habits to increase miles per gallon but there are more corners you can cut. Fuel prices are rising and they will continue to do so if we like it or not.

Lets take a look at some hacks that you might not know.

Table of Contents

1. Fill Your Car Up When Its Cold

If you took a science class, you will know that liquid is heavier when the temperature is cold. This means that you will get more fuel than if you were going to fill up when its warm. Of course, when its sunny, this would be harder to pull off. If that is the case, fill your car with fuel when its night/dawn for the extra savings.

In some counties, fuel stations will increase prices during certain periods or days. For example, the start of the week or the weekend, prices of fuel will increase as people set on their working week.

2. Don’t Fill Up When The Gas Station Is

Not many people will know about this trick but its an important one to remember. Why? Each time the tanker fills the underground storage of fuel at the station, it mixes with the leftover debris. This sort of dirt can have an impact on your cars engine and fuel components thus costing you money.

Use a different fuel station or return after a few hours once the sediments/debris has settled and moved to the bottom.

3. Use Premium Fuel Once Every So Often

The more expensive premium fuel is not your first choice at the pumps which is understandable. However, the cheap fuel has no added benefits other than getting you from A to B. Premium fuel has cleaning and other additives that ensure your car runs efficiently.

Premium fuels will also provide additional power but only if your car is performance based. If you are on a budget, as a rule of thumb, fill your car up with premium fuel every 3rd tank. This way your car is getting the additives before its too late.

If you drive a performance car, you should be using premium fuels anyway otherwise you will see error codes on your dash. An example of this is the Mercedes C63 AMG that runs from 98 octane and above.

increase fuel in your tank when filling up

4. Squeeze The Pump Slower

The majority of pumps that you will use at regular fuel stations will have 3 speeds (slow, medium, fast). Using the fastest speed may seem the logical approach to reduce the time spent at pump but its not good for your wallet.

At maximum speed, more fuel vapors escape as well as fuel that results in a more costly refill. A slower rate will reduce the amount of vapors, meaning you get more for your money.

5. Tighten Your Fuel Cap Fully

The gas in your fuel tank will transform into vapor at higher temperatures. These vapors can escape through any air pockets and the only air pocket will be the fuel cap. Ensure that the fuel cap is twisted tight. The vapors will return back to the fuel once the temperature drops back down.

6. Never Top Off Your Tank

A very common sight on the forecourt and something I personally used to do until I found out. The majority of fuel pump nozzles are designed to take back up surplus fuel and recycle it back into the pump.

This means that you are paying for fuel to go back into the stations pumps.

diesel fuel additives to clean diesel injectors

7. Use Fuel Injection Cleaners

Many car owners believe fuel system cleaners are “urban myths” but they do actually work. For gasoline engines, there are octane boosters as well as the more commonly used fuel injector cleaner.

Fuel Injection Cleaners provide benefits such as performance, cleaner running and more efficient operation. The small cost of the injector cleaner will add years to your cars engine health and of course provide better fuel economy.

8. Fuel Station Partnership Cards

Not advertised that well online (as of yet) are the membership cards that fuel stations offer. For the car owners that cover thousands of miles monthly, a fuel card can provide you with many rewards that you would not have otherwise received.

These rewards range from anything to a free car wash, free coffee and more. One of the best and well known “fuel rewards” schemes if provides by Shell Fuel. Grocery stores may also provide their own loyalty program, which you can then use in stores that may be more of interest.

9. Fill Up Full Tanks, Not Small Amounts

Similar to the fuel tanker at the station, your car will have sediments at the bottom of its tank. As part of your cars care, every 20 years you are meant to clean out your fuel tank, but until then you will need to make do.

If you are the type of car owner that fills up at $10 each time, you are actually causing harm to your car. Your fuel pump will be working extra hard to get the pressure, thus over stressing the pump until it breaks. You will also have more potential of the car picking up dirt/water at the bottom of the tank.

I would advise that you fill up every 1/4 tank to avoid this problem.

10. Research The Cheapest Fuel Stations

Researching the cheapest fuel station may seem pointless for the sake of a tiny amount of money but it does add up. I personally use the website for US fuel stations that provides an invaluable resource.

Fuel Tricks and Tips Conclusion

Hopefully you would have learnt a thing or two and every little helps. Fuel companies are billion dollar companies that are probably making even more money from car owners falling for the mistakes.

A mixture of changing your driving habits and abiding by the 10 hacks, you will certainly save your hard earned money.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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