A Greenie's Guide to the Open Road

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4. Get smart at the pump

If you're filling up your gas tank in the heat of the day, evaporation can make that gallon of gas a little less than a gallon. Photo: Flickr/futureatlas.com

Despite all your fuel-saving efforts, you’re bound to have to stop at the gas station a time or two. When you do, these fuel-saving tips will help you get the most bang for your buck.

The EPA suggests filling up your gas tank early in the morning or late at night when the temperature is cool to avoid evaporation. And don’t “top off” your tank.

Try not to let your gas tank get below half-full. The more air is in your tank, the more fuel will evaporate before you even get to use it. Waiting until the gas gage hits “E” also increases the risk of sediments and condensation from the bottom of the tank getting into your engine, which can significantly decrease the longevity of your car.

If a fuel truck is at the station filling up the underground tanks, don’t fill up your car. Pumping in new fuel often kicks up sludge from the bottom of the tanks, and you don’t want that to wind up in your engine. Drive on to the next station whenever possible.

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