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Methods to Get Better Gas Mileage

improve gas mileage mpg

Achieving better diesel or gas mileage on the highway is a hot topic. Fuel economy efficiency is something you should think about before buying any car. With the rising costs associated with gas and diesel, our tips will help to reduce your money spent at the gas station.

There are three main factors that effects miles per gallon and these include the engine size, type of vehicle (SUV, Sports Car etc) and driving style.

Thanks to technological advances, the majority of new vehicles have seen an increase in fuel efficiency from their predecessors. However, engines are getting smaller with many cars having their V8 engines replaced by a turbocharged V6 to improve fuel economy in the city.

Larger cars also consume more gasoline or diesel than smaller vehicles due to weight and a limited aerodynamic design. Therefore if you are concerned about your miles per gallon, a large boxy SUV is not the obvious choice.

Your driving style is probably one of the biggest factors. Anything from leaving your vehicle idle for long periods to racing from the red lights. Changing your driving style can increase your gas mileage greatly and some small tweaks include:

  • Accelerate using moderate throttle
  • Avoid braking by driving slower to the stopping location
  • Reduce pointless idle time by turning off the engine
  • Drive slowly up a hill and coast down to the bottom
  • Avoid built up areas with high traffic
  • Turn of the air con where not needed
  • Empty unnecessary weight inside of the car

calculate gas mileage mpg

How to Calculate Miles Per Gallon (MPG)?

The calculation for miles per gallon is achieved by dividing the miles covered (starting to ending destination) by the number of gallons of fuel used.

For example, if you drove 150 miles using 6 gallons of fuel, your miles per gallon would be 25 MPG. The best way to find out how many gallons of fuel you have used and calculate mpg is the following:

  1. Drive to gas station
  2. Record current mileage
  3. Fill your tank with fuel to the top
  4. Drive car
  5. Drive to gas station
  6. Record current mileage
  7. Fill your tank with fuel to the top
  8. Record gallons used
  9. Calculate miles driven (Step 2 minus Step 6)
  10. Calculate MPG by Miles Covered ÷ Gallons Used (Step 8)

Now that you are able to calculate your cars miles per gallon, you can also now calculate the cost of a journey. The calculation is as followed:

((Miles Covered x Cost of Fuel) ÷ Miles Per Gallon) ÷ 100

The result of this calculation would be the total fuel cost of the journey.

How To Get Better Gas Mileage?


1. Correct Tire Pressures

Incorrect tire pressures that are under inflated cause additional friction between the tire and the road. This has the effecting of requiring more engine power to maintain or increase the speed. Checking your tire pressures using a car tire inflator on a regular basis is the best protocol to ensure better gas mileage as well as safety concerns regarding incorrect tire pressures.

2. Change Engine Oil

A well serviced car that uses synthetic motor oil as well as clean filters will run more smoothly and efficiently. If your vehicle isn’t serviced regularly, your miles per gallon figures will slowly drop as well as other significant factors.

3. Higher Octane Fuel and Additives

Higher octane gasoline or diesel contains more additives and is more refined than regular fuel. This means that your vehicle will run more efficiently and thus there would be a performance boost. Higher octane fuels cost more, however you will be returned with an increase in fuel economy that will return the initial investment in better quality fuel. There are also many additional fuel injector cleaning additives that improve fuel economy for both diesel and gasoline engines.

4. Remove Roof Bars and Boxes

Unless necessary to keep roof bars or roof cargo boxes on the car, you should take them off to improve fuel economy. As the wind noise from driving suggests, the roof bars and boxes cause extra drag that requires additional engine power to overcome it.

5. ECU Remap/Tuning Boxes

As long as your car isn’t too old, you will be able to get your vehicle remapped . When people hear the term “remap”, they often associate it with increasing the cars performance with extra power and torque. However, you can decide what type of tuning you require and this includes better gas mileage from a remap. As well as remaps, there are also flash programmers that can be adjusted to best suit your requirements.

6. Replace Air Filters

A new car air filter will achieve better gas mileage than a dirty old one because it will help produce a better fuel mixture. With a dirty air filter, the ECU of the car will need to increase fuel in the mixture, which obviously has the result of using more fuel.

My Car Won’t Get Manufacturers MPG Claim

A selling point for the majority of car owners is the excellent fuel economy that they may achieve. However, what if the car doesn’t live up to their expectations that you were led to believe?

Unfortunately, the majority of the time it’s very hard to achieve said results even by following the methods mentioned in this article. The next step would be to take your vehicle to a mechanic, who would look further than just the basics.

There have been many high profile cases of manufacturers falsely claiming fuel economy figures, therefore it’s important that you do your research. If the gas mileage is still bad, take the car to the dealership and complain.

procarreviews author

Written By Dan

About the Author

Dan is an automotive journalist and owner of over 10 cars ranging from supercars, tuned cars, classics and your good old beater cars. He always likes to get his hands dirty with nut and bolt restorations or detailing sessions using the best products on the market.

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