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When is it Best to Fill Up Your Gas Tank?

February 20, 2013 - With the price of gas rising once again there seems to be more and more articles and blog entries out there on how to save money at the pump.  And guess what? This is another one! I couldn’t resist throwing in my two cents to try and save you a few bucks.  After some research here is what I found when it comes to when to fill up and how to fill up.

Fill Up When It is Cold Outside

Like most substances, fuel contracts when it gets cold outside.  This means if you fill up in the morning or at night when it is cold you will get more bang for your buck.  You buy 10 gallons in the morning and that may expand to 11 or 12 gallons in the hot afternoon.

Fill It All The Way Up

You may not want to fill your tank up all the way because looking at the fuel pump price tick past $50, then $60, and $70 and so on makes you feel like you are paying too much, but it is the right move. If you are constantly throwing in $10 here and $8 there, the cost of going out of your way to pull into a gas station actually makes the process less efficient and more expensive. Bite the bullet and fill up all the way the first time.

Don’t Wait Til the Tank is Empty to Fill Up

Filling up all the way is good, waiting till you are on empty is bad. If you wait til you are on fumes this will strain your fuel pump. It will start to suck up all the debris and water at the bottom of your tank. This can clog the filter and lead to you having to replace the fuel pump assembly. Instead of filling up on-time for $75 a pop, you now have to replace a part that can run anywhere from $100 to $500. The ideal level to fill up is at a quarter tank. This allows you to take advantage of better gas mileage since the car is lighter at a quarter tank, but also will not strain your pump.

Always Buy Gas Once A Month

Gas is actually seasonal and is changed from month to month. You do not want to be running the summer mix in the dead of winter, and vice-versa. Summer gas has lower vapor pressure and your car may fail to start in January. Although, if you still have July gas in your car in January you probably don’t use too much gas and are not worried about gas prices all that much.

Fill Up Before the End of The World!

This one is a little conspiracy theory based. Some people say that when a natural disaster or big storm is approaching prices will raise because there will be a run on gas. So, if you see a storm coming or can predict an earthquake fill up your tank and maybe fill up some extra tanks too. Even if the price doesn’t actually jump it will still be nice to avoid 5 hour lines for gas after disaster strikes.

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