Helping you get better gas mileage, save money on fuel, find more efficient cars, and be kinder to the environment.

Updated

Updated Automatically on May 7th, 2011
better gas mileage

To improve your gas mileage you need to be able to accurately calculate the mileage you’re getting. Gas mileage meters give you a good relative idea of how you’re doing, but they’re usually not very accurate in absolute terms.

There’s really only one accurate method to calculate your fuel economy:

1. Fill your car’s fuel tank. You need to fill it, not just put a few gallons in and guess how much you’ve used based on the fuel gauge. Fuel gauges are notoriously inaccurate.

2. Write down your odometer mileage. If you don’t use your trip odometer, you may want to reset it to zero when you fill up to make things easier.

3. The next time you fill up, write down how many gallons it took to fill the car and how many miles you travelled (this is where the trip odometer makes things easier.)

4. Divide the number of miles travelled by the number of gallons it took to fill the car and you have your miles-per-gallon.

Here’s an example:

1. You fill up the car and write down the odometer mileage: 38721.4

2. The next time you fill the car it takes 9.2 gallons of fuel and the odometer mileage is 38963.2.

You have travelled 241.8 miles (38963.2 - 38721.4) so you divide that by the 9.2 gallons to get 26.28 miles-per-gallon (241.8 / 9.2).

You can see where it’s easier to use the trip odometer to keep track of how far you’ve driven between fill-ups so you don’t need to keep the old odometer reading and subtract it from the new reading.

This is the only really accurate way to figure out your gas mileage.

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Updated Automatically on May 7th, 2011
better gas mileage

One Response to “Gas Mileage Calculator”

    […] Oddly enough, the Environmental Protection Agency gas mileage tests don’t actually measure the gas mileage of a car directly, as described in the Gas Mileage Calculator article. Instead the EPA drives cars on a standard course and measures the exhaust emissions while they’re driving. They take those measurements and estimate gas mileage based on them. The EPA has to test a lot of cars and this is a simple, repeatable test that they can do quickly on each car. The problem is that it’s not representative of actual driving conditions and the numbers they get usually are significantly higher than the gas mileage you’ll get when driving. […]

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