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What is my car's mpg?

Subcompact Cars BMW i3. Chevrolet Spark. Compact Cars Volkswagen e-Golf. Toyota Prius c.

Midsize Cars Hyundai Ioniq Electric. Toyota Prius Eco.

Hyundai Ioniq Blue. Large Pickups Ram 2WD. Minivans Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid. Honda Odyssey. Let's say you're in a Lamborghini Murcielago and you drove miles. Or more likely, you're in a Geo Metro with a three-cylinder engine and drove miles. Now look at the receipt or the gas pump, if you're still at the station and reading this how-to on a mobile device to see how many gallons of fuel you put in the tank.

The Lambo holds 24 gallons and the Metro holds The formula is right there in the terminology: miles per gallon. Take the miles driven in the Lamborghini and divide by the number of gallons you added to the tank 24 to get the miles per gallon. That's The Geo Metro example works out as miles divided by First, figure out how many gallons of gas you use in one mile by finding the reciprocal of your car's mpg.

You were worried, weren't you? Thought you'd have to remember what the heck a reciprocal was all on your own? It's just dividing one by the number in question -- in this case, the number in question is your car's miles per gallon.

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So, using the Lamborghini example above, it's 1 divided by The answer is your car's gallons per mile. Some things you do improve mileage while others either don't improve it or end up making it worse. Want to save money by conserving fuel? While not all vehicles are exactly the same, these things apply uniformly to all vehicles.

Tire pressure drops seem to affect less efficient vehicles more, but do impact all vehicles. Buy an inexpensive tire gauge and an inflater, then check tire pressures weekly and only when the vehicle has not been moved for at least eight hours. You are measuring cold tire pressure; if you measure tire pressure after the car has been recently driven, even if it's just to the gas station, you can get significantly inaccurate tire pressure readings. Keep in mind that temperature and altitude changes impact tire pressure.

If you go to the mountains or it gets suddenly cold, your tire pressure will drop. It makes the ride harsher, your tires wear faster, and increases the likelihood of a blow out. The manufacturer has set the recommended tire pressure to account for the best fuel economy, safety, and proper handling. Replace components as recommended in your owner's manual and ignore a repair shop's recommended services and intervals if they are different. Bad spark plugs, air filters, oxygen sensors and the like will make your vehicle run much less efficiently.

If the computer is getting a bad reading from one area of the vehicle, it will be giving wrong instructions to the rest of the vehicle.

How to Look Up and Compare MPG | Edmunds

Have your vehicle repaired immediately if any service lights illuminate on your dash. These lights indicate a failure in one of the components relating to fuel and emissions.

Under the Federal Emissions Warranty, some repairs to emissions components are free for the first eight years or 80, miles. Ask your dealer for an engine computer software upgrade, which is often free if your vehicle has less than 80, miles. The software may be updated to provide more efficient operation, not to mention fix other problems.

While you're there, the dealer can also update the other modules in the vehicle, but it might cost you if you are not within warranty. Use fully synthetic motor oil in your vehicle. While more expensive, this oil is made from polymers, not crude oil, and results in superior performance, no sludge, better horsepower, and up to three percent better fuel economy. It also lasts longer than conventional oils, so you can stretch out your oil changes.

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Some car manufacturers using synthetic oils recommend service intervals of 15, miles or longer. Don't buy into the 3, mile oil change myth and change your oil based upon manufacturer recommendations. Remember that the weight of a vehicle is not limited to the vehicle itself. The items you put into it also have an effect. Are you driving around with a pound toolbox or a bunch of sandbags in case of snow? For every extra pounds, fuel economy drops by an average of about three percent. Aerodynamic drag can kill fuel economy.

Fuel economy calculation

Reduce wind resistance by removing luggage racks and other items from the outside of your vehicle. If comfortable, keep your windows up at highway speeds to reduce drag even more. Use the cheapest type of fuel possible. If your vehicle needs regular fuel, don't put premium in the tank. Modern vehicles are computer-controlled and automatically adjust for variations in fuel.

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A higher octane fuel doesn't always give more power or better performance. But exercise caution when deciding on using a flex fuel. Flex fuel, or E85, contains a much higher concentration of ethanol than conventional fuel, but not all vehicles can handle it. Only use this fuel if your vehicle is specifically designed for it or you risk engine damage.

Don't warm up your car. Instead, get in and drive off normally. Your car will heat up faster and you won't waste fuel sitting there. According to vehicle manufacturers, the stress an engine experiences from a cold startup followed by ten minutes of idling is equal to 80 miles or more of highway driving.

In the old days of carburettors, you had to warm the car up in order to have the car function properly.

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You don't have to do that with the cars of today. The faster you drive, the more gasoline you use. Most cars get the best efficiency between 45mph to 50mph. Fuel economy drops significantly more after 60 mph. Always drive safely. If you own a pickup truck, leave the tailgate up! Keeping your tailgate down while driving reduces your fuel economy by increasing aerodynamic drag.