Motorists steamed over ‘hot fuel’ losses sue oil titans, retailers: When it gets hotter, gas expands. Ergo, you get less gas at the pump for the same amount of money.
Predictably, someone is suing.
The price of gas has been based since the 1920s on a formula that measures a gallon of gas when it is 60 degrees, according to court papers filed by motorists.
According to industry and government standards, a gallon of gas at 60 degrees measures 231 cubic inches. Consumers buy 231 cubic inches of gas per gallon, regardless of its temperature, so when gas expands in the heat, the amount of energy put out per gallon declines.
I wonder how much this is offset by how the temperature fluctuations affect the performance of your car. At colder temperatures, air is denser, so engines perform better. This means one of two things:
You have to give the engine less throttle to get the same acceleration, thus saving you gas.
You just spend more gas because your engine injects more fuel to compensate for the denser air.
So, the “hot fuel” problem at the pump is either all or partially canceled out, or it gets worse. I know, I know — I’m helpful.