How to Get Better Gas Mileage (And Other Fuel Economy Questions)

How to Get Better Gas Mileage

How to Get Better Gas Mileage is a popular topic, especially with everything happening with the economy. Everyone’s looking for ways to lower their monthly expenses, and the car is a great place to start.

Let’s take a closer look at the way you drive and take care of your vehicle. Both of these habits can make a big impact on your monthly budget ‒ even if you’re not getting behind the wheel as often as you were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

What is Gas Mileage?

Gas Mileage (also known as fuel economy or MPG) is how many miles a vehicle can travel using a gallon of gasoline. In general, larger cars get less gas mileage, and smaller cars get better gas mileage. There’s always room for improvement, though.

How Can I Figure Out My Vehicle’s MPG

MPG values for a given vehicle can be found on a new car’s window label. For modern vehicles, this includes ratings for city, highway and combined MPG values. Assuming your car is no longer new, and you don’t have the window sticker handy, there are a few ways to figure out it’s MPG. Google will probably show you the same figures printed on the original window sticker, or you can use your trip meter. Simply reset the trip meter the next time you fill up with gas, drive for a few days, and fill up again. Divide the number of miles shown on the trip meter by the number of gallons it took to fill up the car, and you have your average MPG for those days.

What Is a “Good” MPG Number?

As a general guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has designed a fuel economy rating that evaluates vehicles on a scale of 1 (worst) to 10 (best). These numbers can also be found on new car labels. For the 2020 model year, vehicles earning a 1 rating return an MPG of 14 or less, while a score of 10 requires 44 or more MPG.

Not every vehicle can reach 44 MPG, but most can certainly see an MPG improvement of 10-20% or more.

How do I Improve My MPG?

  • Drive More Efficiently – Avoid abrupt use of the gas or brake pedals. Accelerating at an even pace and coasting to a stop as much as possible. Once you get up to the speed limit, stay there. Use cruise control when possible.
  • Get In Shape – Your vehicle, that is. Have your mechanic (hopefully us) scan the vehicle and give it a once over to make sure nothing is hurting it’s MPG potential.
  • Put Your Car on a Diet – Remove unnecessary weight, take the cargo box off the roof, etc. Install lighter wheels & tires designed to improve MPG.
  • Plan and Combine Trips – Rather than making multiple short trips to the store, make one big trip. If you read our article How Often Should I Change My Oil?, you know that short trips aren’t good for your engine, anyway.
  • Go High Tech – Look into getting a ScanGauge II and mounting it somewhere visible. This will show you your current MPG at all times, so you know at a glance what driving habits are helping (and which aren’t).

Ed’s BnB Auto Repair is always ready to help. Give us a call and we’ll discuss your options. You can also use the Book Appointment button to schedule an appointment. 

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