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Thursday, January 27, 2011

Can I Really Save on Fuel Consumption by Changing Gasoline Companies?

“I was talking to my car mechanic; lately I’ve been using more gas, getting about 20% less miles per gallon. He said that in the winter, gas companies change the formula which results in a mpg decrease. He also said to change from company A to company B, and that I would notice a improvement after a few tanks. Is that true?” Considering the rising gas prices, the staff of the Newton Falls Public Library found this to be extremely interesting.

First we searched “miles per gallon in winter months” at http://www.ohioweblibrary/. Not finding an article there, we did a Google search of the same words, and were amazed by the number of hits for online forums and discussion groups. It seems that this topic concerns everyone from Ford to Mercedes Benz owners. Searching Click and Clacks’ website brought up an article as well as one at After looking at the various articles, it seemed to our patron that the consensus was gas doesn’t burn as well in lower temperatures, tires are less inflated due to the cold, and the winter-blend gasoline which stations begin using in the late fall affect gas use. While our patron cannot control the outdoor temperature or the necessity of using winter-blend gas, she did plan on making sure her tires were properly inflated.

Our patron’s second concern was if changing the type of gas would improve miles per gallon use. We searched “mpg gas station” for her and again found a variety of opinions as to which was the best to purchase. Many recommended recording the odometer reading each time the gas tank is filled. Subtracting the old reading from the new to determine how many miles were driven. Then dividing the miles by how many gallons were put in the tank will give the miles per gallon use. To determine accurately how a different gas affects this number, the car owner would have to consistently use one type of gas over a period of time, until the gas from another company is no longer mixed in the tank of newer gas.

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