Calculating Your Gas Mileage
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 27, 2010)
The cost of gasoline seems to be rising on a daily basis making the number of miles per gallon more important. If you go to any car dealership, or even look online at an automaker's website, the basic miles per gallon (MPG) that a vehicle is reported to achieve is displayed in a prominent place for all to see. In fact, a vehicle's MPG is one of the largest selling points in today's auto market.
If you have ever wondered how they come to the MPG figure, or if you would like to calculate you own gas mileage, it's a simple calculation that only takes a minute of your time.
1. Write down the current odometer reading. Keep this number because you will need to refer to it later. Many people use a mileage tracker log, but a simple sheet of paper should work fine.
2. Fill up your gas tank completely.
3. Drive around until your gas tank needs to be refilled. This means that you really need to drive until your gas tank reaches "E" and the emergency light flashes. This is going to ensure that your gas tank is properly empty, and that you can get an accurate calculation.
4. When you get to the gas station, write down the current odometer reading.
5. Fill up the gas tank and write down the number of gallons it took to fill it.
6. Subtract the first odometer reading from the last one. This is going to tell you the total number of miles that you have driven since your last fill-up.
7. Divide the distance you drove by the number of gallons that it took to fill your tank. The resulting answer is going to be your miles per gallon.
Whether you are tracking your highway or city mileage the calculation is the same. Keep in mind that this will give you the average number of miles you get per gallon of gasoline. If you want to find out how your car performs in the city versus the highway, you'll need to create two logs: one for city driving and one for highway driving.