How To Figure Out your Gas Mileage (MPG)

The term "gas mileage" refers to how many miles you can drive your vehicle on one gallon of gasoline. This measurement is known as "miles per gallon" or "mpg". If you're like most people you want to get as many miles per gallon as possible because it will save you a lot of money over time. In this article I will tell you how to figure out your gas mileage and give you a few ideas on how to make it better.

Checking your vehicle's gas mileage periodically is a good way of keeping track of its performance. After you calculate your mpg you can try some strategies to increase it, and then check it again later to see if it has improved.

1. Completely fill your vehicle's gas tank and reset the trip meter. To reset your trip meter look for a knob or button near your odometer. The trip meter is used to measure the distance of a particular trip. If your car or truck isn’t equipped with a trip meter, just write down the mileage on your odometer after you fill the gas tank.
2. Drive your vehicle until about three quarters of the gas has been used up. I don't recommend letting your gas gauge get below a quarter of a tank. This may pull sediment up into your engine and cause problems.
3. Go to the gas station and fill the gas tank back up to full. Before you leave the gas station record the numbers you need to make your calculation. First, write down how many gallons it took to fill your gas tank back up. Next, write down how many miles your trip meter recorded since you reset it. If you are not using a trip meter, refer to the previous odometer reading you wrote down. Then use that number and your current odometer reading to figure out how many miles you have traveled since then.
4. Now divide the number of miles you traveled by the gallons of fuel you have used.

Here is an example:  236 miles divided by 9.36 gallons = 25.21. That would mean your car gets a little over 25 miles per gallon.

Now that you know your mpg, you can compare it to what your vehicle got when it was new. Go to Google and type in your vehicle's year, make, model and the letters “mpg”. You should be able to find its ideal mpg. This is what it got when it first came off the assembly line. Unless it’s brand new your vehicle’s mpg will probably be lower. But don't worry, there are ways to get that number back up.

Here are a few common things you can do to improve your gas mileage.

  1. Tire inflation – Check the air pressure in all four tires on a regular basis. A good rule of thumb is to keep the pressure at 32 lbs. psi, but to be absolutely sure simply check your owner’s manual.
  2. Reduce Weight – Remove any unnecessary weight in your car or truck. When was the last time you cleaned out your trunk?
  3. Drive Slower – Simply slowing down can help a lot. Try not to hit the gas as hard when taking off from a stop. Leave a little early so you can take your time getting to your destination. If you really want to get serious about saving gas do a Google search on “hypermiling”.
  4. Get a Tune Up – Having regular maintenance performed on your vehicle can seriously improve your gas mileage. One of the best things you can do is a “Tune Up” which can include replacing the air filter, fuel filter and spark plugs among other things. All of these items get dirty over time which definitely affects your gas mileage.

Well, I hope this information has helped you in figure out and improve your gas mileage. Happy motoring!