How many miles per gallon does your car get? You might know what the manual says it should get, but do you know for sure?
My car’s manual states that my car should get 23 mpg in the city and 31 on the highway. My actual gas mileage is better than that, and I like to calculate it to see how my car is doing.
I usually fill up my gas tank all the way, then I reset the trip odometer to zero.
I drive for a week or two or three until I’m down to about 1/4 tank or so. I fill up again and pay attention to the exact amount of fuel I’ve just added. I grab my cell phone, click to the calculator function, and divide the miles on my trip odometer by the amount of gas I’ve just put in.
For example, say I drove 350 miles according to my trip odometer, and filled my tank all the way and added 10.6 gallons. 350 divided by 10.6, and I’d see that I got 33 miles per gallon.
My method only works if I previously filled my whole tank, and then filled it up again on the subsequent fill-up.
Do you calculate your miles per gallon like that?
If my gas mileage is a bit lower than normal, it’s a cue for me to check my tire pressure, watch my driving habits (how fast I accelerate and brake), and clean out my trunk and back seat to remove extra weight.
During our weekend trip to Indiana, we got about 33 mpg. I’ve gotten 40 mpg in that car before (during a trip that was solely in Indiana–no hills and crazy turns like in PA).
Because I know my miles per gallon on that trip, I know that it’ll take 25 to 27 gallons round-trip. At $3.35/gallon (what I paid when we left), that’s $83.75 if I get 33 mpg, and $90.45 if I get 31 mpg. At $3.49/gallon (what I paid when I got home), that’s $87.25 at 33 mpg, and $94.23 at 31 mpg. Sigh. I guess that’s still cheaper than a plane ticket!
Today, though, I’m going to get zero mpg. I’m going to walk to do my errands, since it’s such a beautiful day and we just put about 900 miles on the car.