Want to Become a Certified Mechanic? Here's the Truth Behind 3 Common Gas Mileage Myths
March 22, 2017
Whether for ethics or financial reasons, a lot of people are concerned with the fuel economy of their cars. They might try to moderate their speed, limit the use of certain systems within the car, or try other tricks to cut down on the energy consumption of their vehicles. The goal is to get the absolute most gas mileage possible, whenever possible.
Unfortunately, a lot of the time, these tricks just don’t work. It turns out there’s a lot of misinformation out there about gas mileage and the tricks meant to improve it. Here’s a look at the truth behind three myths that are particularly common. You might one day share this advice with your future clients once you become a mechanic.
Pros With Auto Mechanic Certification Might Know That Windows Don’t Need To Be Up
Is there a cost to keeping cool in a hot car? A car’s air conditioner draws energy from the engine, so running it will definitely reduce fuel efficiency, and lead to higher costs for drivers. Many people claim that keeping the windows down while driving has a similar effect, too. They say the windows being down throws off the aerodynamics of the car, driving up the amount of fuel that it takes to get from place to place.
The truth is that there’s no real evidence to support that. It takes about the same amount of gas to drive a car with its windows down as it does with them up. After getting your auto mechanic certification, feel free to tell drivers who endure summer heat in a closed car that they’re suffering for no reason.
As Long as They Are Taken Care of, Older Cars Shouldn’t Have Much Worse Gas Mileage
It’s commonly thought that older vehicles, because of how worn out their parts are, get considerably worse gas mileage than newer cars do. In a way, it’s sound thinking. Parts that have wear shouldn’t work quite as well, and so should reduce the efficiency of a vehicle. To an extent, this is true.
However, the truth is that the difference comes down to maintenance more than it does to age. An older car that receives regular maintenance and is cared for will get gas mileage that is pretty close to that of a newer car. When you become a certified mechanic, you might want to raise this point with clients who don’t come in as often as they should. Who doesn’t want to save money on gas?
When You Become a Mechanic, Don’t Expect Air Filters to Affect Gas Mileage
It takes the proper combination of air and fuel to make it possible for optimal ignition to take place in a car’s engine. Too little or too much of one will result in an improper burn in the engine, resulting in poor fuel economy.
A common myth is based on this, and says that replacing an old air filter is a good way to improve fuel economy. However, modern cars use computers and sensors to ensure that an optimal balance between air and fuel is maintained—a dirty air filter won’t affect fuel economy.
The only thing that can be affected is the acceleration, as a dirty air filter might prevent air from getting into the engine quickly. For that reason, it’s still best to have a clean air filter—just don’t feel the need to sell thrifty slowpokes on a new filter if all they want is better mileage.
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