It seems like just yesterday we were celebrating graduations and sprucing up our backyards for Fourth of July barbecues. Now, we've crossed into August, which can only mean one thing: summer is nearly over.
But before the kids head back to school and the leaves begin to turn, chances are good you'll have time for one more road trip -- if you can afford it, that is. And with gas prices hovering just above $3.60 per gallon nationwide, that's a big "if".
Gas costs can take a big bite out of vacation budgets, so most travelers are interested in improving efficiency. Since we were kids, we've heard dozens of fuel economy "facts" from our parents, teachers, aunts, and uncles -- folks older and allegedly wiser than us. Among our favorites:
- Driving with your windows down hurts fuel economy way more than running your air-conditioner;
- The cheaper fuel found at independent gas stations can damage your car;
- And more recently: filling your tires with nitrogen improves gas mileage.
To ease vacationers' fuel-economy concerns, Ford Motor Company recently sat down with its director of electrification programs and engineering, Kevin Layden, to discuss some of the most widely circulated myths about gasoline. The result of that chat is the eight-minute video embedded above.
As you might expect, in separating fuel-economy fact from fuel-economy fiction, Layden takes the opportunity to discuss some of Ford's own efforts to boost efficiency. He mentions start-stop technology, for example, as well as the company's EcoBoost engine (which is maybe not such a good idea, since that hardware is currently the cause of two lawsuits and a federal investigation.)
Despite the shilling, Layden offers some good advice in the clip. But surely you have a few tips of your own for improving fuel efficiency, right -- tips that don't involve magic pills for your gas tank or arcane ways of starting your car when it's hot? Share your own suggestions in the comments below.