Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Running on Empty

Lately my conversations with friends have been turning to discussions on how much we all paid for gas. A friend sent me the following suggestions for saving some pennies at the pump and I thought I'd share.

1. Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or in the evening....your gallon is not exactly a gallon. Service stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

2. When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. If you look you will see that the trigger has three stages: low, middle, and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return. If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground storage tank so you're getting less worth for your money.

3. One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL. The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine. Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.

4. Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the dirt that normally settles on the bottom.

5. And probably the most important money saver is to conserve this resource. I now combine trips and try to carpool when I can.


margaret blake said...

When my son went to Dubai he found that gas was 25 cents a gallon, I know you think your gas is expensive, here it is £1.00 per litre, a pound is $2.85

My tip - buy a smaller car. We have a small car and make every journey count. It is the only way we could survive.

Interesting post.


Kathleen said...

Good point, Margaret. We Americans loved our gas guzzlers but I think people are starting to buy smaller cars. My neighbor has a smart car -- and it's about the size of a suitcase

Sarita Leone said...

Kathy you made me laugh! The size of a suitcase! :) We have a big 4x4truck we drive in the winter but when my hubby retired we bought a tiny "suitcase" car for good-weather drives and errands. It gets nearly 40 mph gallon and we are so glad to have it now! Our big issue is spending over $20 every time we mow the lawn. I can promise you our grass will be shaggy this season.

Great post Kathleen. We can use all the help we can get saving at the pump. Thank you!