In years past, no one really thought much about how much fuel a vehicle consumed. When buying a new car, truck or van, buyers looked for style, roominess and engine power instead of how much gas it used. Today, things are much different. How much fuel a vehicle uses is very important and it’s one of the first things car buyers look at.
Here are two good reasons why miles per gallon or MPG matters:
1. It can help you save money – A fuel efficient vehicle can make a huge difference in how much of your hard earned cash goes into the gas tank, especially with gas prices constantly fluctuating. Therefore, reducing your fuel consumption saves you money.
2. It addresses environmental concerns – There is no denying that air pollution is a real health concern that can cause serious respiratory problems and make existing conditions worse. Vehicle emissions are a great contributor to air pollution, so driving a fuel efficient vehicle will help reduce your environmental impact to some degree.
When searching for a new vehicle, the EPA sticker will have the estimated MPG for each make and model on the lot but it is just an estimate. How much fuel your vehicle uses varies and is affected by a number of environmental factors. For example, the age and condition of the vehicle, environment and driving habits all influence fuel consumption.
You can however, calculate your MPG with these four easy steps:
1. Fill your car with gas and set the trip odometer to zero or record your mileage.
2. When it’s time to refill the tank, record the number of miles you’ve driven since the last fill up before resetting the trip odometer again.
3. After pumping the gas, record the number gallons it took to refill your tank showing on the pump.
4. Take the number of miles you traveled and divide it by how many gallons needed to fill up your tank to learn the exact number of miles you traveled on a gallon of gas.
Understanding gas miles per gallon and how it’s calculated will help you determine if your vehicle is performing the way it should. If you’re using a lot more fuel than what is recorded on the EPA sticker, you can look for ways to improve your gas mileage such as servicing your vehicle or changing your driving habits.