Monday, May 7, 2012

If You Thought The Price of Gas Had You Hot Under the Collar BEFORE....

Get ready for more pain at the pump now that warm weather is here. Blame simple physics: cold contracts, heat expands.  Simly put.... you lose at the gas pump when temperatures rise. Here’s why.

The government has standards for measuring gas. According to that standard, fuel should be measured at a temperature of 60 degrees. A change in temperature changes the composition of the gas.Gas  expands or contracts percent for every 15-degrees above or below 60 degrees. In other words, the fuel contracts in the cold. So when you buy a gallon, you get more energy for your money. In the heat, just the opposite is true: even though you’re still buying a gallon of gas, you get less energy for your money than you do in cold weather.

If you buy 25 gallons of gas at 75 degrees at a price of $4 a gallon, the higher temperature can cost you an extra $1. At 90 degrees, you’ll spend an extra $2. With gas at record high prices, it’s hard to justify spending even a few cents more than necessary for a fill-up.

So ....what can you  do? You can eliminate some fuel loss from evaporative emissions by filling up at night or early in morning, when temperatures are cooler. Look for gas stations that do a high volume business. It’s likely the tanks at those stations will be refilled more often, so the gas will have less time to heat up to the environmental temperature.

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