How many miles in a gallon can you get out of your vehicle? Depending on the make, model, and size of the car, this number can vary fairly drastically—which might leave some drivers unsure of how to maximize their MPG.
In this blog post, we will cover what factors into a vehicle’s MPG rating and discuss some simple tips that can truly help you get the most out of your automobile. We understand customers’ concern about spending too much money on gas; that’s why we are here with helpful solutions for improving fuel economy and conserving energy.
As a car buyer, fuel economy is top of mind when looking for a new vehicle. Although mileage per gallon can differ depending on type and size of the car, highway versus city driving habits and the age of the auto, a gallon of gas will typically get you more than 20 miles.
On average, cars get around 25 miles per gallon on each trip, while some models are capable of up to 40 miles per gallon.
If you’re hoping to maximize your mileage every time you fill up and get the most out of your money spent at the pump, limiting idling and consistent use and speed are key.
Factors That Affect How many miles in a gallon
1. Driving Habits:
If you’re looking to save money on gas, it’s important to realize that your driving habits can have a huge impact on the number of miles you get per gallon. A smooth ride, without too much accelerating, braking or speeding will get you the most out of each fill-up, whereas aggressive driving styles can lead to an efficiency reduction of up to 30%. Oftentimes, this results in spending more than necessary at the pump
Driving at high speeds can significantly reduce fuel efficiency, so maintaining a steady speed between 40 and 50 miles per hour can optimize fuel economy.
Rapid acceleration uses more fuel than gradual acceleration. It’s best to accelerate slowly and smoothly.
One important factor that can affect how many miles you get in a gallon of gas is how much you idle your car. Keeping the engine running when you’re stuck in traffic or waiting to warm your car up reduces your overall fuel efficiency by wasting gasoline. It’s best practice to turn off your engine if you’re going to be idling for more than a minute, as this will help you conserve an extra few miles per gallon.
5. High Wind/snow resistance:
If you live in an area with a lot of wind or snow, your car’s aerodynamic shape and tire design can affect fuel economy. Some vehicles are designed to better resist the elements and are more efficient than cars that aren’t. For instance, a car with improved aerodynamics will be able to handle windy conditions without difficulty and use less gas in the process.
6. Car weight:
When looking for fuel efficiency, less weight is better; if you choose a car with more features or accessories, the heavier it will be and the more gas you’ll use. Remember that four-cylinder engines are usually your best bet when it comes to MPG – they burn fuel more efficiently than vehicles with more cylinders. Your pocketbook (and the environment) will thank you!
7. Road condition:
When driving on rough roads, hilly or rocky terrains, and in traffic, vehicle owners know to expect a decrease in their MPG. This is because the energy that your engine has to use navigating these conditions is significant when compared to just driving on flat streets with no obstructions.
While it’s inconvenient, it’s unavoidable when out on the open road and should be taken into account for those planning long trips and extended drives. Investing in a high performance car with excellent suspension systems is one way to counter this loss, but even then you’ll still take an MPG hit for certain terrain types, so always prepare accordingly.
Regular maintenance, such as keeping tires properly inflated and ensuring the engine is running smoothly, can help improve fuel economy. Underinflated tires can reduce your gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1-psi drop in pressure.
10 Easy Ways to Increase Your Gas Mileage
Go Easy on the Pedal
Speeding, braking, and rapid acceleration can put a serious dent in your wallet if you’re not careful. How much? Poor driving habits can reduce fuel economy by as much as 30% when all is said and done. That translates to approximately 31 cents to $1.24 per gallon of regular gas, based on the current national average.
At a speed of over 50 miles per hour, each vehicle experiences reduced fuel economy and drivers will pay on average 22 cents more for every five miles in excess of that speed. This can equal up to 43 cents extra for each gallon of gas!
Use Cruise Control (When Appropriate)
If you want to save on your miles-per-gallon, Bradscartunes.com recommends using cruise control when an appropriate road is safe to do so. Not only will it help you travel in a more relaxed manner, but cruise control can also help improve fuel economy by up to 14%. That’s a savings of about 43 cents per gallon—what could be better?!
Turn off the Car
Idling may seem like a small or non-existent inconvenience, but it adds up in the long run – according to the U.S Department of Energy, the collective amount of fuel we consume by idling per year is significant. The CEC recommends people turn their vehicles off if they are expectant of a wait longer than 10 seconds – since an idling vehicle can burn up to one gallon of gas an hour.
Check Tire Pressure
According to the U.S. Department of Energy, just one out of every 100 gallons of gasoline used each year is wasted because of underinflated tires, costing consumers 31 cents per gallon. Tires naturally lose two pounds per square inch (psi) every month and when each tire is underinflated by 10 psi it causes a 3.3% decrease in fuel economy; imagine the damage of four tires that are each 10 psi underinflated, resulting in at least a 10% hit on your gas mileage!
Replace Spark Plugs
Replacing your spark plugs is an inexpensive solution that could save you a significant amount of money at the pump. According to the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, bad spark plugs can decrease fuel economy by up to 30%, which translates to about 94 cents per gallon at today’s prices!
Check the Alignment
When the tread on your tires is misaligned, it causes them to drag instead of rolling freely. As a result, your car’s fuel efficiency can be reduced by up to 10%, which equates to an additional 31 cents for every gallon that you buy! Not only will this be hard on your wallet but it also wears down your tires much faster.
Check the Air Filter Regularly
Keeping your air filter clean can drastically reduce gasoline costs! Replacing a clogged air filter can improve fuel efficiency by up to 10%, which is equal to about 30 cents per gallon of gas. Over the course of a year, this could help you save an average of $100 or more.
Don’t Carry Unnecessary Weight
Many vehicles are loaded with unnecessary items such as furniture, bike racks, and golf clubs. This added weight reduces fuel economy by up to 2 percent for every extra 100 pounds that your car carries. That means an additional 6 cents per gallon at current prices. So make sure you’re only carrying what is necessary in the car when you’re out and about.
Using low-rolling-resistance tires
Low-rolling-resistance tires are specifically designed to reduce the amount of friction between the tire and the road, which can improve fuel economy by up to 3%. That’s equivalent to about 9 cents per gallon at current prices.
How to Calculate Your Vehicle’s MPG Step-by-Step
Understanding how many miles you get on a gallon of gas is essential in helping you budget for your next fill-up. To calculate your vehicle’s MPG, follow these steps:
1. Fill up your gas tank completely, and make a note of how much fuel was added in gallons. This can typically be found on the gas pump receipt.
2. Record the odometer reading on your car’s dashboard before you start driving. The odometer measures the total distance your car has traveled.
3. Drive your car as you normally would until you need to fill up your gas tank again. When you refill your gas tank, record the new odometer reading in miles.
4. To calculate your car’s MPG, subtract the original odometer reading from the new odometer reading to find out how many miles you drove during that period.
For example, if your original odometer reading was 10,000 miles and your new reading is 10,400 miles, you would have driven 400 miles.
5. Next, divide the number of miles you drove by the amount of fuel that was added to your tank. For example, if you added 10 gallons of gas to your tank, divide 400 miles by 10 gallons to get 40 MPG.
6. The resulting number is your car’s MPG for that period of time. Repeat this process each time you fill up your gas tank to get a more accurate estimate of your car’s average MPG.
Bonus tip: If you have an older car, fuel additives can also help improve MPG. By adding a few drops of fuel injector cleaner to your tank, it can reduce the amount of fuel that is wasted and give you a few extra miles per gallon. Although this may not be a huge difference, every little bit counts.
However, it is important to note that the extent to which fuel additives can improve fuel efficiency varies depending on the condition of the car and the specific additive used. In some cases, fuel additives may even cause harm to the engine if not used properly. Consult your car’s owner manual or a qualified mechanic for advice before using fuel additives.
Improving your car’s fuel efficiency can be cost-efficient and eco-friendly. How many miles in a gallon you get matters not just because of the extra cash saved, but also because of the reduction in your carbon footprint. The tips provided by this article are incredibly useful for getting the most out of every gallon – from changing your driving habits to taking care of your car.
Being mindful of fuel consumption when running errands or taking that vacation drive can be immensely rewarding for both your wallet and the environment. Now that you’ve taken the time to read through these awesome tips on how to increase your car’s fuel efficiency, we hope they will come in handy and help you maximize those miles per gallon!
I’m Timothy Ballard, owner of a used car dealership in Springfield. I love just about everything automotive, but I have a special place in my heart for trucks. I’m an ASE Certified Master Technician, so I know my way around a car. In my spare time, I enjoy traveling with my family and hiking new trails.