Frugal Living » In the Gas Tank: To Top or Not to Top?

In the Gas Tank: To Top or Not to Top?

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In the Gas Tank: To Top or Not to Top? Gas Prices got you down?
As gas prices soar to new seemingly never ending heights, you may be tempted to “Top Off Your Tank”, before prices jump even higher. Unfortunately, many don’t realize that this is actually causing you to LOSE money!

You may already know that most gas station pumps are equipped with vapor recovery systems, (which are designed to feed gas vapors Back into their tanks to help prevent Air Pollution).

What you might not realize is that when you attempt to “Top Off Your Tank”, the gas that you are attempting to pump into your vehicle may actually be sucked into the vapor line and pumped right back into the Gas Stations storage tank!

In addition, gasoline expands; by overfilling your tank, your vehicle’s vapor collection system may not work properly, resulting in a poorly running vehicle as well as higher gasoline emissions.

To prevent overfilling your tank, once the gas nozzle clicks, do not attempt to add additional gas to your vehicle. You’ll save money in gasoline, emissions, car repairs, as well as protect the environment.
pay gas

Other Tips to Save you Money & Stretch your tank:

1 Check your tires, be sure that they are inflated at the correct air pressure. (Your car manual has this information) When your tires are under-inflated it can cost you 1 mpg. In addition, the tires wear faster when improperly inflated.

2 If your vehicle is equipped with cruise control, use it. Maintaining a constant speed will improve gasoline mileage.

3 Have your Spark Plugs cleaned (or replaced). Badly worn spark plugs can cost you as much as 2 mpg.

4 Check your air filter regularly. A clogged air filter can cost you 1 mpg, as it forces the engine to run rich (more gas, less air).

5 Watch your speed! Did you know that by driving 55mph (rather than 65mph) you can improve your gas mileage by 15 %!

6 Avoid carrying excess loads/weight in your vehicle. If you have a large toolbox or other items that is not necessary on a daily basis, remove it. This includes roof racks (which cause drag) and therefore result in decreased gas mileage.

7 Rolling down the window, rather than using your air conditioner can save 10%-20%

8 Always fill your tank in the early morning or late evening. Gas pumps measure volumes of the fuel, rather than
densities. Gasoline is most dense when it is cool, therefore you will get more gas for your dollar at this time.

9 Loose Gas caps cause an estimated 147 million gallons of gas to evaporate each year, (Car Care Council Statistic). Be sure to tighten your cap when you refuel.

10 You can improve your mileage by up to 40% simply by replacing a faulty oxygen sensor


See Also: 12 More Tips for Stretching a Tank of Gas

Article By Liss Burnell – Creator & Designer of,
“Digging yourself out of debt when all you have is a spoon” © 2005

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1 thought on “In the Gas Tank: To Top or Not to Top?”

  1. this is good info, i will def pass it along. i’m sharing a flatbed truck, which is already a gas guzzler, with my sister and she has the habit of topping it off like 2-3 times. She be shocked to know that she’s not really getting ahead by doing this…

    I was a bit surprised to read about the need to frequently replace the air filter. In my last car, Toyota Prius, the dealer always suggested replacing it, but I figured they were just trying to make more money… Guess there really is a benefit to doing so, I’ll remember this tid bit for my next vehicle purchase:piggy:!


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