How to Calculate the Actual MPG of Your Vehicle
Great fuel economy is often a major factor in what vehicle we buy. All vehicles on the market receive a fuel economy estimate from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for how many miles per gallon an owner can expect in the city and highway. But great fuel economy is based on many factors, such as driving habits, maintenance and tire quality. There are a variety of factors that come into play. Do you know if you’re getting the EPA-estimated fuel economy for your vehicle?
There are a few ways to calculate the actual MPG of your vehicle. One method is to completely fill your vehicle’s gas tank and reset the trip odometer. When you refuel, fill the tank completely again, make a note of how many gallons went into the tank, note the mileage on the trip odometer, and finally reset the odometer. Then divide how many miles were driven by the number of gallons of fuel it took the fill the tank. The final number is your vehicle’s MPG. Monitoring your MPG is a great habit to have every time you fill up. If you’re consistent, it’s one way to identify changes in your vehicle’s performance.
Getting the mileage you expected or better? Congratulations! If you’re not there are steps you can take to troubleshoot.
Identify your driving habits: Are you accelerating quickly and braking hard? Let’s be honest, driving like a race car driver has its appeal, but it kills your fuel economy. The key to city driving is to drive smoothly and avoid quick stops and braking. On the highway, keeping a steady speed and not jumping on and off the throttle can help a lot. Cruise control is your friend.
Check your tire pressure: Good tires are very important because not only do they keep you safe, the better the grip the tires have on the road, the more efficiently your vehicle is working for you.
Review your maintenance records: Is it time for an oil change or new tires? Make sure everything is in order and if all else fails, a conversation with your mechanic could reveal some additional insight.
We hope these tips help you maximize your vehicle’s fuel economy. If the biggest issue that you’re having with your vehicle’s fuel economy is that the EPA-estimated ratings are low to begin with, we encourage you to consider a switch to something a bit more efficient. Our new car inventory is filled with a variety of appealing options, and even our used car inventory has a variety of models that get over 30 MPG.
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