How to Calculate And Improve Gas Mileage

English: Drawing showing gas mileage between 2...
Drawing showing gas mileage between 25 and 32 mpg for 10 gal of gas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Whether you’re commuting to work or driving the kids around to soccer practice, knowing what you’re spending on gas is important. Even if you don’t like doing math, checking the real-world gas mileage of your vehicle is easier than you think. Don’t worry, there are no complex equations, and even an elementary school kid can do it. This way, you’ll no longer be assuming that your car is getting 30 mpg on the highway. With accurate mileage calculating, you’ll know whether or not your car is really performing well versus what it could achieve.


  • Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to crunch those numbers:
  • Fill up your car’s gas tank.
  • To get on the gas mileage clock, reset the car’s trip meter to zero.
  • For an accurate test, burn at least half the tank and then refill.
  • Copy down the amount of gallons it took to fill the tank along with the number of miles on the trip meter. For convenience, write it down on the payment receipt. The payment receipt will likely already have the amount of gallons on it.
  • Divide the trip meter miles by the gallons of gas, and you’ve just calculated the gas mileage.
  • Reset the trip meter back to zero, so you can calculate the mpg on the next tank of gas.


You can check the mpg after every fill up or just once a month to get real-world data that can help you identify trends and save money on gas. Keep a small notebook in the car or if you’re tech savvy, use an app on your smartphone.


Tips for Increasing Gas Mileage


There are a number of things that you can due to improve gas mileage. Drive sensibly. Constant braking, rapid acceleration and speeding lower mpg by five percent around town and up to 33 percent on the highways. Removing excess weight from your car is another way to improve mpg. Just an extra 100 pounds can reduce mpg by two percent. Always avoid excessive idling. Depending on the engine size and air conditioner use, idling uses a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour. Using cruise control on the highways will also help you maintain constant speed and save gas.


A well-maintained car will also reduce the amount of gas that your car uses and increase your miles per gallon. Make sure your car gets a regular tune up for maximum performance. If your car is out of tune or has failed an emissions test, get it serviced. Both conditions can increase fuel consumption by four percent. Properly inflated tires are not just safer, they also improve mpg by 3.3 percent. Increasing your mpg is good for your wallet and good for the environment. Be financially and environmentally responsible by making sure your car is getting the best possible gas mileage.



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