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Can You Save Money At The Gas Pump

Updated on April 19, 2013

You would think that North America has the highest gas prices but it seems that countries in the European Union pay much more than we do as a result of higher taxes. Over the years there have been many protests against the cost of going to the pump.

In 2000 there was a major protest in the Britain. As a result the government of the day postponed an increase in the fuel duty they were planning. This lasted until December 2006 when the price of fuel was increased by 1.25 per litre in Britain.

In places like Japan, fuel costs are also higher than in North America as a result of transportation costs to get the fuel into the country and also taxes. In countries that produce oil such as Venezuela, gas prices are well below market prices. If you want to know where you will pay the most for gas for your car then you need to go to Hong Kong.

Can I Use a Lower Grade of Fuel?

Since gas prices are in the clouds again, you might think about using a lower grade of gasoline in your car. But is this a good idea? Unfortunately using a lower grade of gasoline when it hasn’t been recommended by the manufacture of your automobile just might increase your chances of having problems in the future.

Gasoline gets a grade based on how much it can be compressed before it explodes. This is called the anti-knock index. The lower the grade, the lower the pressure it needs to explode.

Since gasoline has a low octane rating when it comes out of the ground, additives and other agents are added to raise its anti-knock index. The gas you pump in your car is a mixture of several chemical compounds including detergents to clean your engine.

So the answer to the question regarding using a lower grade of fuel in your car is that using a lower grade means that the engine compresses the fuel mix with compressed air and it explodes before it is suppose to. This results in a “knock” and this can lead to all sorts of problems including spark plug failure, loss of engine power, low mileage and in some cases, engine damage.

Don't Pay for Gas

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Some Ways to Save on Gas

There are a number of excellent ways to save at the pump. The list below is some of the best ways to save.

▪ If you can, by a hybrid powered car.

▪ Turn off your air conditioning.

▪ Buy a car with a manual transmission – they are a lot more fuel efficient.

▪ Use cruise control on the freeways.

▪ Shift to neutral or turn off the engine when stopped in traffic or waiting for someone.

▪ Reduce the weight by keeping the car and trunk empty of heavy items that you don’t need.

▪ Drive slower!

▪ Shop for lower priced gas – not all gas prices are the same.

▪ Avoid heavy traffic if possible and areas with lots of traffic lights.

▪ Get regular tune ups.

▪ Make sure the tires are well inflated.

▪ Remove snow tires as soon as possible.

▪ Use the correct grade of motor oil for your car.

▪ Replace your air filters when necessary.

▪ Use your headlights only when necessary.

▪ Drive less – carpool to work and combine trips when shopping.

▪ Fill up when you are almost on empty – gas weighs more than you think.

My Gas is Better!

The next time you buy gas consider how much marketing goes into getting you to the pump. Oil companies hire marketing companies to advertise their products and get you to think that what you are buying is the best for your car. But is it?

Chevron claims that their gas is fortified with Techron and then Amoco says there product will help to save the planet! The truth: gas is gas.

Certainly there are additives that can help clean your car’s engine, however all gas companies add them to their fuel. The government has required gas companies to add detergents since 1994 to help prevent fuel injectors from clogging.

The good news for consumers is that brand name gas isn’t any different from other gas. And if you think that since Shell or Exxon Mobil have their own refiners that they only have their gas at the pump, think again. They share pipelines and therefore they share the same fuel.


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    • LeanMan profile image

      Tony 6 years ago from At the Gemba

      I had a big ole Isuzu Trooper a few years back - I used to mix in vegetable oil with the diesel, about a 50/50 mix (sometimes more oil than diesel), did this for two years and saw no damage and no loss in performance.. (smelt like a chip shop when I started up though!)

      Look for stuff on sale, buy one get one free offers etc and stock up, you can often pay less than half the price you would pay for a liter of diesel at the pump.

      Read up on it if you want to try - the first diesel engine was designed to run on peanut oil!!! It is legal but there are limits to how much you can use before you have to pay "duty"..

      Got a lot of strange looks in the tesco car park though when I was emptying bottles of "value" oil in my tank!

    • True Blue Tips profile image

      True Blue Tips 6 years ago

      Hi Linda

      I agree. We don't spend anywhere near as much for gas as people in other parts of Europe and Asia can pay. I found a news item today that said people in London UK are paying $9/gallon - Glad I'm not there.

    • lmmartin profile image

      lmmartin 6 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      I'm from Alberta, which supplies 3/5 of America's domestic supply (did you know?) and I paid more at the pump there, before I came here to Florida than I do now at this so called time of 'high-prices.' Who can figure? I drive a Honda Fit as my car about town -- very fuel efficient little car, and I have a Montana for long distance -- not bad for fuel efficiencies. My point is, most of the world has paid far more than Americans do for gas, and have for a long time. Think about that. Lynda