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Does Filling Up Your Tank in the Morning Get You More Fuel?

Understanding best practices for fueling up at the pumps is crucial as gas prices rise to all-time highs. Getting the most for your money for gas has always been a hot topic of interest, as gas plays a primary role in everyday life.

If there’s a way for you to save money on gas, you would likely want to know.

Maybe you’ve heard from a friend or family member that gassing up in the morning or late at night will give you more fuel for your money. 

It sounds like good advice, but most people don’t know why. Let’s solve the mystery now and dig into the facts.  Check it out!

Does Filling Up Your Tank in the Morning Get You More Fuel?

The point behind filling up in the morning being more efficient starts with temperature. The theory hinges on the fact that fluid is denser when cold. 

When gas is warmed, the molecules expand, taking up more space for the same amount of energy output. So fueling up when it’s cooler outside should provide a more dense product, giving you more gas for the same price.  

The theory sounds reasonable enough, but there are some key factors to consider.

For one, the gas you get when you go to a gas station is stored in big underground tanks. The tanks are underground to keep the gas temperature-controlled, so the gas you buy will be pretty much the same temperature throughout the day and night.  

Even the gas coming straight off the fuel trucks is temperature-controlled. Gas becomes more volatile when it’s hot, so big fuel trucks are also insulated.  

Gas station at sunrise.
Rise and shine and head to the gas station early to save money on gas.

What Is the Best Time to Fuel Up?

There is no particular time of day that is universally the “best” to fill up your gas tank. In reality, the best time to fuel up is whenever you need gas. It’s probably not a fuel-efficient choice to fill up your gas tank when there may be several cars ahead of you at the pump because you’ll use gas waiting in line. 

Choose a time when the station may not be as busy, and don’t make a specific trip just to put gas in your car. Fill up the tank when you’re already out and about, so you’re not wasting gas on a separate trip.  

Pro Tip: Want to save at the pump? This is How To Easily Spend Less Money on Gas.

Do You Get More Gas When It’s Cold?

No. You don’t get more gas when it’s cold because the gas stations store it in underground tanks. The temperature of the fuel underground stays about the same temperature regardless of whether the weather is hot or cold.  

Should I Wait Until My Tank Is On Empty to Fill Up?

We would generally recommend that you don’t wait until your tank is empty to fill up again. Waiting until your tank is empty means that the fuel pump has to draw from the very bottom of your tank. 

Over time, sediment and debris can collect at the bottom of the tank. Letting your tank run all the way empty can clog up your fuel pump and cause problems over time. 

It’s best never to let your tank go too far below half full. This way, you’ll always have enough fuel in your tank to get somewhere (even if there’s a lot of traffic), and you’ll save your fuel pump from having to work so hard. 

Woman filling gas tank
Save money on gas by filling up your tank on a Monday.

What Day Is Gas Cheapest? 

According to GasBuddy, Monday is the best day of the week to head to the pumps if you want to save money on gas. Filling up at the beginning of your workweek will send you to the pumps when the national average gas price is the lowest. 

In addition, the worst days of the week to purchase your fuel are Wednesday and Thursday. The average price of gas nationally is usually at its highest these days.  

How Can I Maximize MPG? 

There are many little things you can do to maximize your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. For starters, don’t hot rod your car. Trying to push your vehicle to its acceleration limits will only use more fuel. 

You can also help to maximize your miles per gallon by using cruise control on the highways and avoiding long idles. Sitting idle cheats you of added drive time. 

Proper car maintenance is another great way to keep your MPG on the up and up. A tune-up, fresh oil, and clean filters for your engine will have it performing at its most efficient capacity.  

Pro Tip: We took a closer look at What Is the Typical RV MPG so you can better prepare for how much you’ll spend at the pump.

Does Speeding Consume More Fuel?

Yes. The fuel economy for most vehicles peaks around 50 MPH, and the fuel efficiency starts dropping as you go faster. Driving fast makes your engine work harder, which takes more fuel to achieve.

The person driving 90 down the interstate might arrive at their destination more quickly, but the trip will cost them a little more than the person who went the speed limit.  

What Affects Gas Mileage?

Many variables affect your vehicle’s gas mileage. The size of your car, the build of your engine, how you drive the vehicle, the traffic you encounter along the way, the well-being of your engine, and the kind of gas you use are just a few of the numerous aspects that can affect your gas mileage.  

Overall, investing in a vehicle that has excellent fuel-efficiency ratings and an eco setting will help you spend a little less on fuel. You can add to your fuel efficiency by taking good care of your vehicle and not driving it rough.

Now that you are armed with a bit of knowledge, how will you change your habits to save? Tell us in the comments!

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