Is it better to fill up your gas tank all at once, or little by little ($15 at a

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  1. rdlang05 profile image89
    rdlang05posted 10 years ago

    Is it better to fill up your gas tank all at once, or little by little ($15 at a time).

    I drive a moderate amount, and I usually fill up my tank with about $15 worth a time, unless its at a low price or I'm going on a long trip--then I fill it up completely.  Is this an economically efficient plan, or am I wasting money.

  2. RichardPac profile image80
    RichardPacposted 10 years ago

    There should be very little difference. Especially if you have a newer car with a smaller gas tank. Certainly you get better fuel economy with less weight in the car, but it should be negligible. If you get a great deal I say fill er' up! I also wrote a hub about fuel economy that may help you out: … Experiment

    1. rdlang05 profile image89
      rdlang05posted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Thanks for sharing!

  3. mattforte profile image89
    mattforteposted 10 years ago

    Time is money, and you are wasting a lot of time. The difference in mileage is never going to affect you in any way. Imagine for example you were gaining 1mpg doing this (which, no way in hell you actually are). Do the math.
    On a 20mpg vehicle, driven 15,000 a year, that 1mpg would put you at 21mpg. This means for every 20 gallons used (420 miles), you will have saved 1 gallon. At 15,000 miles per year you would save about $150. Now consider all the extra trips to the gas station just to save that $12-13/month...and again that is with a grossly overestimated mileage gain. In reality you probably wouldn't even achieve half that.

    Save your time. It would probably be more profitable picking up all the pennies you see on the street.

  4. Robie Benve profile image96
    Robie Benveposted 10 years ago

    I have a fidelity card with my supermarket that makes me save big on gas.
    So when I have a discount available (it could be from $0.20/gallon or more) I fill it up to take advantage of the discount.
    If I have not a discount available, then I only buy life 6 gallons, to get by until I accumulate discount.
    Since when we entered in that program. I just can't buy a full tank of gas at full price. Sometimes I have saved as much as $1.60 per gallon. smile The tricky part is that I need to find the right gas tank, but thank goodness they are everywhere.

    1. Jason Matthews profile image84
      Jason Matthewsposted 6 years agoin reply to this

      Robie, I know about those programs. It's really neat that you shared your positive experiences. Thanks!

  5. Cherrietgee profile image69
    Cherrietgeeposted 10 years ago

    I don't think you're wasting money because either way it goes you're going to have to fill your gas tank. I have tendency to fill my gas tank when it's half full. I do that because it costs less money than waiting for the tank to be empty.

  6. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 10 years ago

    As long as the gas station is on your route to and from work, it makes absolutely no difference at all, except it sometimes less painful to pay for half of tank at a time than a full tank.

  7. LaThing profile image59
    LaThingposted 10 years ago

    I prefer filling up my tank, and not be bothered by having to stop quite so often! time is crucial! smile

  8. JustforWhat profile image74
    JustforWhatposted 10 years ago

    In my current work situation I have a 45 minute commute from that takes me across the state line into a whole new local economy.  The difference from me filling up on my way to work vs. on the way home can differ by as much as 20 cents.  It's important to think about where you are and where you are going, especially if there is a somewhat longer trip involved.

    1. mattforte profile image89
      mattforteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I fail to see what this has to do with the question.

    2. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      The author is saying that there is a price difference and depending on where she is and how much gas she needs will influence her decision.

    3. mattforte profile image89
      mattforteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      I know what the author is saying, I still fail to see what that has to do with whether it is better for a person to fill up partially (lighter weight = mpg) or all the way (saving time). Location/gas prices has nothing to do with the question.

    4. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Lighter weight of a half tank of gasoline vs the vapors that are created in a half full tank, has been argued for years and the answer is that there is not that much difference. That is one factor to consider. Other factors are also valid points.

  9. Dee aka Nonna profile image59
    Dee aka Nonnaposted 10 years ago

    It may be mental....but when I fill up the tank it seems as if I use less gas.... when I allow the tank to drain to less than 1-2 a tank it seems to just suck it right up.

    1. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      That may be a result of your gas gauge not being entirely accurate. Gas gauges depend upon a float in the gas tank. As the level drops the sloshing of the gas may affect the reading on the gauge. Also, when you fill up, you are probably overfilling.

    2. mattforte profile image89
      mattforteposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      Larry is right. To elaborate, your fuel gauge lies. Full actually goes beyond that F, and most cars can actually go far below E before running out. However, while it's common to fill past F, not often to people run below E (nor should they).

  10. MobyWho profile image61
    MobyWhoposted 10 years ago

    As we say in New England, " 'pends on the weather'. Warm, it's your choice. In winter though, it's best to fill 'er up to eliminate air space where condensation can form. This, being heavier than gasoline, sinks to the bottom, can freeze then foul up lines. Use of 'dry gas' additive with each fill up lessens that chance. Be sure to add it at the same time you are filling the tank so it mixes.

    1. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      The only problem is you cannot keep the gas tank full all the time. If you reduce the amount of gasoline in your tank, you reduce the gross weight of the vehicle and in theory increase mileage. You answer is good for New England, but not for Louisian

  11. cheaptoys profile image60
    cheaptoysposted 10 years ago

    make sense to fill it up on the way to someplace

  12. profile image0
    RtmoneyTipsposted 10 years ago

    What I would do is fill the tank. It doesn't really make a huge difference what type of car you drive. The key is, if you can remember this your car will never go empty. As you get to half a tank fill it up again. This might sound crazy, but if you have an emergency your not going to have time to run and get gas. I learned this the hard way, TRUST ME!

  13. sweetzara profile image78
    sweetzaraposted 10 years ago

    I usually just fill it up all the way. This way I end up having to drive up to the pump less often (which save a bit of gas).

  14. LilaDaley profile image80
    LilaDaleyposted 10 years ago

    I must fill it completely due to the fact that my gas guage doesn't work.  Plus I hate going to the gas station and $15 doesn't get you much in gas I would have to go every other day instead of every 12 days.

    1. profile image0
      Larry Wallposted 10 years agoin reply to this

      With the amount of gas you use, filling up once every 12 days seems practical. If your gas gauge does not work, it is either a bad fuse in the dashboard lights (unlikely) or the float in your gas tank is not working, which means a new gas tank.

  15. Ramsa1 profile image61
    Ramsa1posted 10 years ago

    From an efficiency view point it is best to fill it up all at once. Also, don't wait for the tank to be almost empty to do so. If it's half empty and you happen to go by a gas station which has a lower price than your regular station, stop and fill you tank. I did that just yesterday.

  16. dennis.cherenkov profile image61
    dennis.cherenkovposted 10 years ago

    Always fill it to the top.  The engine does not burn that gas in liquid form but in "gas" from.  When there is space in the tank the vapors become less dense thus fuel efficiency is decreased.  Your vehicle operates most efficiently when full with a gradual decrease as the tank becomes empty, but at a certain point the speed of consumption really starts to increase depending on the variables.  I have seen this at work work on many different vehicles (Boyle's Gas Laws have a lot to do this, for the very science-minded people)

    Also I do agree with some of the other answers mentioning time is money, all those extra trips to gas station add up.

  17. recappers delight profile image69
    recappers delightposted 10 years ago

    I prefer to fill up my tank all at once.  I don't like to have to go to the pumps a lot. Besides, the pump in my neighborhood has one of the best prices in my town; it's just more economical for me to pump up where it's less expensive and then never to have to worry about it when I am elsewhere in the city.

  18. SportsBetter profile image62
    SportsBetterposted 10 years ago

    When I had a car it seemed to run a lot better with a full tank.  I think you should fill it up, although with high gas prices I know it's painful.

  19. profile image55
    Chriselkinsposted 10 years ago

    It is better to fill it up not just when the gas prices are low, but at all times because of the fuel pump efficiency if your vehicle has fuel injection.  If your car is low on gas then it effects the pumps longevity and over all performance because gas provides a constant way to cool and lubricate some internal parts.  When you run it low, you can cause the pump to wear out more quickly. Also when they are low they suck in more dirt and dirty fuel filters can also cause early pump failure from overheating. Which definitely equals tossing good money away.

    In addition to creating issues internally in your vehicle, you never know when you will run out of gas and will be miles away from a gas station because you forgot to get more.  Which means 1) walking, purchasing a gas can and gas then walking back to your car or 2) sitting beside the road and calling someone to bring you gas if you have a cell phone.  Also if you have an emergency you don't want to have to stop and get gas, wasting time depending on the situation.

    So it is better to fill up on gas while you have the money and time and avoid costly repairs or delays in your day when your late to work because you ran out of gas.

  20. rahulshaah profile image61
    rahulshaahposted 10 years ago

    If one is driving on a long route which in new to him then i think one has to fill up the gas, as we don't know whether will get gas station on the way or not..

    If we are driving on a long route which is familiar to us & we know how far the gas stations are then it fine to fill up the gas after new intervals.

  21. Snøwman profile image59
    Snøwmanposted 9 years ago

    Some places, like smiths, will give you 15% off every gallon when you buy stuff at their store. It only works on one fill so fill it up all the way if you have something like this at your gas station.

  22. erinshelby profile image71
    erinshelbyposted 8 years ago

    It really depends on how much you're paying per gallon. How many miles you're getting per gallon is what drives (no pun intended) your need to fill up, along with how much you're driving.
    Sure, it "feels" like you're getting a better deal if you're only paying for gas in $15 increments, but add it up monthly and track it over a month or two - what's the amount you're spending per month?

  23. nipster profile image54
    nipsterposted 6 years ago

    You have to know yourself personally but, just as a suggestion, I would fill it up all of the way because then you won't be bothered about it later.

  24. Dmartin7 profile image42
    Dmartin7posted 5 years ago

    Shouldn't make a difference one way or the other. I fill up because I hate stopping to get gas, so the less often I have to do it the better.

  25. Hippie2000 profile image60
    Hippie2000posted 5 years ago

    Just fill it up and get it over with. That less stopping to refill. Think about if you only put in 15 bucks worth. You have to stop again in 20 miles or so and do it again. Might as well just  fill the tank.  Save the headache for something more important.

  26. Marco Arista profile image85
    Marco Aristaposted 5 years ago

    In italy there are no special savings when filling up your tank, but neither filling up nor putting a little at a time is a bad idea. You have to be careful in both situations though because:

    1)if you fill up the tank to the rim, you risk flooding the active charcoal filter, which will cost you quite some money to change (up to 1000 USD depending on your car)
    2)if you run with an almost empty tank at all times, you risk sending sediments into your engine, which could cause thousands of dollars worth of damage

    The money savings because of the reduced weight is negligible unless you have a small car with a huge tank. It comes down to a choice, whether you want to save a negligible amount of time (maybe 10 minutes a week, in which you could still do things like answering emails, taking trash out of the car, cleaning the windshield etc...) or a negligible amount of money (30-40 dollars a YEAR because of reduced weight load)

    Just don't forget 1) and 2) or you could be in trouble

  27. courtlneygdtm profile image73
    courtlneygdtmposted 5 years ago

    I suggest you fill up the tank all at once. If you are running low on money and $15 is all you have at the time and you are about to run out of gas -- that's a different story.  If this is not the case, fill up your tank all at once to save time and effort in having to stop to put gas in your car in $15 increments.

  28. profile image54
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  29. profile image0
    Mikey Carrollposted 4 years ago

    I think it depends on the person. I usually fill up more often....even though it costs me more time as I go.


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