How Miles Per Gallon Is Calculated

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

How to calculate your miles per gallon.The standard Miles per Gallon of most vehicles is measured under controlled conditions. Cars are generally placed on rollers to conduct tests and determine MPGs. However, the conditions on the road are quite different and the mileage will vary. This is especially true since many factors contribute to your car’s fuel mileage on the road.

For example, there is no wind pressure in a lab, so the engine is only undergoing the stress of the vehicle’s weight. On the other hand, a vehicle on the road needs to drive against air pressure, which puts extra stress on the engine resulting in a lower MPG’s. Constant gear shifting on the road and driving in first and second gear in heavy traffic contributes to a lower MPG.

So, to ensure that you get the best MPG with your car, follow these steps and crunch the numbers.

Fill up the Gas Tank and the Mileage

To determine your car’s gas mileage, you will need to fill up the gas tank. Once the tank is full, make a note of the mileage of your car on a piece of paper before driving off. If you think you may lose the paper, take a picture of the mileage meter with your smartphone.

Drive As You Do

Drive around normally and go about your daily errands until your gas tank is half. At this point, you will need to make another trip to the gas station.

Fill Tank Again and Calculate

Fill your tank up again and make a note of two things: the amount of gallons it took to fill up your tank and the mileage at which you filled your tank again. Now you can do the math. The mileage reading you took the first time is Mileage X while the reading you got the second time is Mileage Y. You will first subtract Mileage X from Mileage Y. The difference you get will be divided by the number of gallons it took to fill your tank the second time.

The resulting answer will give you the Miles per Gallon of your car. You can also remember this calculation in the form of a formula:

MPG’s = (Mileage Y – Mileage X) ÷ No. of Gallons

Determining the Miles per Gallon of your car is very useful. It enables you to set up a budget so you can manage expenses accordingly. So, give these steps a whirl and find out this valuable measurement.