Is it more efficient to run a car on half or a full tank of fuel?

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Mike Burton

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Mike Burton asked the Naked Scientists:
   
Is it more efficient to run a car on half a tank, or with a full tank, of fuel?

Your England flag analysis was great!

What do you think?
« Last Edit: 12/09/2010 14:30:02 by _system »

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Offline Geezer

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In terms of MPG, it could be, as long as you don't drive any significant distance to refuel. Running with less fuel in the tank means there is less mass to accelerate, so that will reduce the fuel consumption a bit.

However, if you take it to extremes, you could easily wipe out the cost savings if you run out of petrol on the motorway and have to get help. Also, its not very "time efficient" to have to refuel frequently.

There is another complication. Fuel tanks can rust on the inside. Tanks that are only partially filled are more likely to rust than tanks that are frequently full. If your tank rusts it can be very expensive to replace the tank and remove the rust from the fuel distribution system.
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

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Offline neilep

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Somebody asked this question before.....I'll have a hunt for it..

ah...here it is !

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=14449.0
Men are the same as women, just inside out !

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Offline Geezer

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Somebody asked this question before.....I'll have a hunt for it..

ah...here it is !

http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=14449.0

Before my time, alas! I see the answers were mostly a load of boll rather incomplete though  [;D]
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.

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Offline syhprum

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If one knows there is little fuel in the tank one has incentive to drive in a more economical fashion, in that sense it it more efficient.

PS I think its a long time since cars had metal fuel tanks that could rust.
« Last Edit: 14/09/2010 13:54:25 by syhprum »
syhprum

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Offline Geezer

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PS I think its a long time since cars had metal fuel tanks that could rust.

There you go - showing my age again  [:D]

I just checked mine, and, either it's made out of super special non-magnetic steel, or it ain't made of steel!
There ain'ta no sanity clause, and there ain'ta no centrifugal force Šther.