Fuel Consumption

Fuel consumption is a major issue in today's world. Because oil reserves are running low, we will need to cut our fuel consumption or else the cost of gasoline will only go up. Check out these great fuel consumption articles from HowStuffWorks.

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Unfortunately for drivers, we often see the highest gas prices during the summer, starting around Memorial Day. In May 2022, U.S. consumers paid an average of $1.50 per gallon more than they were at the same time in 2021, according to AAA.

By Jacob Silverman & Sascha Bos

What's the difference between summer-grade fuel and winter-grade fuel? If summer-grade fuel is so great, why don't we use it year-round?

By Jacob Silverman

Gas prices seem like they are currently out of control, but adjusted for inflation, there was another time when they were even higher. When was that, and what causes gas prices to fluctuate?

By Melanie Radzicki McManus


The Garden State of New Jersey is the only state in the U.S. where it's illegal to pump your own gas. What gives?

By Sharise Cunningham

The practice of tacking 9/10 of a cent on the end of a gas price goes back to a decades-old tax imposed by state and federal governments. It was supposed to expire but never did.

By Cherise Threewitt

Doomsday scenarios about when the globe will run out of fossil fuels have been flowing since the 1950s, when Shell geologist M. King Hubbert created a mathematical model showing what would happen to United States domestic oil production in the coming years.

By Eric Baxter

It's pretty much common knowledge that some countries use more resources than others. Do you know who consumes the most fossil fuel per capita?

By Jamie Page Deaton


Many countries are using more diesel fuel for a variety of reasons. Learn whether diesel fuel is good for the environment from this article.

By HowStuffWorks.com Contributors

It takes a lot of energy to slow or stop a car. And now a few engineers and technology companies have found a way to gather up that wasted energy. So how much can they collect and what can it be used for?

By Christopher Neiger

The days of spilling gasoline all over our shoes are pretty much over. But it begs the question: How does a gas pump know when to stop? Read this simple explanation of the mechanics that cause a gas pump to shut off when the tank is full.

Your fuel mapping computer picks up where your old carburetor leaves off, regulating the air and fuel mix in your engine so it can run smoothly. You don't need to do anything else but drive.

By Kristen Hall-Geisler


Corn crops have been exploding to meet the increased demand for ethanol. It may seem like a good thing, but the distinct possibility of permanent drought in several major corn-producing states has given farmers and scientists pause.

By Akweli Parker

Vegetable oil as a fuel? While it certainly is an option for a few engines, we're probably a long way from using last night's grease as the fuel of the future.

By Ed Grabianowski & Kristen Hall-Geisler

Ethanol production is deeply embedded in American history. But who could have known that those old moonshine stills just might be the answer to the current fuel crisis?

By Jennifer Pocock

How much money could you save if you skipped the pump and filled up your car with a garden hose? Some researchers claim that water will be the fuel of the future.

By Josh Clark


Putting sugar in someone's gas tank has long been rumored to ruin someone's car. But does it really work?

By Kristen Hall-Geisler

Gas is the bloodline that keeps America moving, and tracking prices can feel like a roller coaster ride. They're down one month, up the next, before climbing more than 50 percent in a year.

By Kevin Bonsor & Ed Grabianowski

Hydrogen gas is hard to store, so fuel processors are crucial to most commercial fuel cells. Learn how fuel processors supply the hydrogen and how efficient they really are.

By Karim Nice

I have read the question about crude oil and the different types of fuel. I was wondering: if gasoline is an aliphatic hydrocarbon why doesn't it burn cleanly forming just CO2 and H2O?


The short answer is: yes. You could compress the air at your house using an air compressor fill a compressed-air tank in the car and the car could run off of it. But it's not quite that easy. Find out why.

Planning to change your own oil? You're probably wondering what the numbers on the can of motor oil mean. Find out what they mean and what oil is best for your car.

Ever wonder what kind of fuel race cars run on? Find out what kind of gasoline race cars from different motorsports run on.

I have heard that both race cars and some motorcycles (like Harley-Davidsons) use a dry sump oil system. What is the advantage of a dry sump?


Adding a chemical called tetraethyl to fuel can significantly improve the gasoline's octane rating. But what is octane? And how does it improve the gasoline we buy? Read on to explore this fascinating molecule.

By Marshall Brain

If you have ever pumped gas that claimed to "oxygenated" -- something that is common in most urban areas in the winter -- then you have used gasoline containing MTBE.