Things You Don’t Know About Saving Money at the Pump

gas pumpCountless articles have been written about habits you can adopt or break that will save you a few cents at the pump: drive less/walk more, drive slower, carpool, invest in a smaller or alternate-fuel vehicle. But even with all that, it has to be said, obvious advice about the most cost-effective way to use fuel I kept thinking there had to be some words of wisdom from inside the petroleum industry.  So, imagine my pleasure when Butler Ford’s Mike “Coach” Cocchiara forwarded to me an email he’d received about the most efficient way to pump gas!  Scroll down to read it.

“I don’t know what you guys are paying for gasoline…. but here in California we
are paying up to $3.75 to $4.10 per gallon. My line of work is in petroleum for
about 31 years now, so here are some tricks to get more of your money’s worth
for every gallon:

Here at the Kinder Morgan Pipeline where I work in San Jose , CA we deliver
about 4 million gallons in a 24-hour period thru the pipeline.. One day is
diesel the next day is jet fuel, and gasoline, regular and premium grades. We
have 34-storage tanks here with a total capacity of 16,800,000 gallons.

Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground
temperature is still cold. Remember that all service stations have their
storage tanks buried below ground. The colder the ground the more dense the
gasoline, when it gets warmer gasoline expands, so buying in the afternoon or
in the evening….your gallon is not exactly a gallon. In the petroleum
business, the specific gravity and the temperature of the gasoline, diesel and
jet fuel, ethanol and other petroleum products plays an important role.

A 1-degree rise in temperature is a big deal for this business. But the service
stations do not have temperature compensation at the pumps.

When you’re filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode
If you look you will see that the trigger has three (3) stages: low, middle,
and high. You should be pumping on low mode, thereby minimizing the vapors that
are created while you are pumping. All hoses at the pump have a vapor return.
If you are pumping on the fast rate, some of the liquid that goes to your tank
becomes vapor. Those vapors are being sucked up and back into the underground
storage tank so you’re getting less worth for your money.

One of the most important tips is to fill up when your gas tank is HALF FULL.
The reason for this is the more gas you have in your tank the less air
occupying its empty space. Gasoline evaporates faster than you can imagine.
Gasoline storage tanks have an internal floating roof. This roof serves as zero
clearance between the gas and the atmosphere, so it minimizes the evaporation.
Unlike service stations, here where I work, every truck that we load is
temperature compensated so that every gallon is actually the exact amount.

Another reminder, if there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks
when you stop to buy gas, DO NOT fill up; most likely the gasoline is being
stirred up as the gas is being delivered, and you might pick up some of the
dirt that normally settles on the bottom.”

Disclaimer:  You’re seeing this information not long after we laid eyes on it for the first time so, there’s been no experimenting or testing done on this end.  If these tips don’t work for you, hey, at least you tried.  If, however, they do, we want to hear about it!  Drop us an email at


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