You mindlessly pull up to the pump, swipe your card, dump ten or so gallons into your car, and drive off with a full tank to last you a week or two, forgetting about it until your “fuel low” light flicks on to bring you back to that gas station. What are you actually paying for when you fill up several times a month? What does that dollar total actually mean? Is there a way to get smart and maximize your money’s worth?
First you have to understand what is actually IN the tank. Gasoline starts as crude oil that needs a lot of work before it can run your car. Crude oil is drilled by companies around the world, and sometimes the availability of crude oil and the trade agreements surrounding it can cause the price to fluctuate. The price of these raw crude oils accounts for over half of the price of a gallon of refined gasoline for your vehicle.
Next, this crude oil is sent to refineries to get it ready for auto consumption. The crude oil is turned into functional gasoline, which of course includes equipment and labor costs. Then the gasoline needs to be transported, distributed, and marketed all the way down to your local gas station. This step of the process in gasoline production makes up about a quarter of the price at the pump.
The final price adjustments are set by state and federal taxes on gasoline. These will vary from state to state based on laws, environmental acts, pollution, accessibility, and other factors. In some states up to 30% of the cost of a gallon of gasoline is due to taxes, and some enjoy only about 20% tax cost. It depends on where you live. These prices are non-negotiable, and are set by the federal and state governments. All gas stations have to apply these taxes to their gasoline sales, no matter what.
Now, once your tank is full that’s all you have to worry about, right? Wrong. Did you know your car may not actually be burning all of the gasoline you fill it with? If your engine is running inefficiently, experiences friction, or has large amounts of buildup, you may be wasting dollars at the pump on gasoline that is burning inefficiently – or not at all.
The first step is to make sure your engine is clean and free from buildup or friction. An engine with friction is expending extra gasoline and energy to overcome it’s friction problem. Once you’re sure your engine is running clean and friction free, consider utilizing a fuel additive along with your gallon of gasoline. Fuel additives help your engine run cleaner, utilize every single expensive drop of gasoline, and ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth at the pump. Fuel additives are an inexpensive way to take better care of your car with very little effort or know-how. Just add a few drops to a full tank and experience increased fuel efficiency, decreased friction, and get your money’s worth!