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How To Figure Out Your Gas Mileage: Calculate It The Easy Way

Feb 20, 2008
Figuring out your gas mileage yourself is very easy to do, and if you remember this simple method you can figure it out for yourself every time you fill up your tank.

Here's how - we're going to figure out how many miles you drive between fill-ups, then we're going to figure out how much gas you used. Finally, we're going to do some really simple math and come up with a very accurate estimate of your gas mileage. All you'll need is a piece of paper, a simple calculator (the one in your cell phone will work fine), and a minute or two at the gas station right after you fill up.

Step 1: Fill your gas tank completely full.

Step 2: Push the trip odometer in your vehicle so that resets to zero. If you can't for whatever reason, then you can just write down the total mileage of your vehicle on the piece of paper.

Step 3: Drive as you normally do until the gas tank is almost empty.

Step 4: When the tank is almost empty, fill it back up with gas.

Step 5: Now you need to calculate the number of miles you have driven since between fill-ups. If you reset your trip odometer (in Step2), check it now for this number. If you wrote down your vehicle's mileage in Step 2, subtract it from the current total mileage of your vehicle. Write down the number you get because this is the number of miles you have driven between fill-ups.

NOTE: The number you get in step 5 will be between 100-500 miles. If it isn't, there is most likely a problem with your math. Either that or you are getting excellent gas mileage.

Step 6: Now that you know how far you've driven since your last fill-up, it's time to figure out how much gas you've used. This is easy - just look at the gas pump. You'll see exactly how many gallons of gas you just put in your car - that's the amount of gas you used since your last fill-up. Make sure to write down the amount of gas you used, and make sure to include the numbers after the decimal point.

Step 7: Now get out your calculator. Divide the number in step 5 by the number in step 6. This divides the number of miles driven by the number of gallons of gas between fill-ups. The number you get is your gas mileage!

For a truck or large SUV, your gas mileage will probably be between 12 and 20. For a small SUV or a large car, your gas mileage will probably be between 18 and 25. For a compact or mid-sized car, your gas mileage will probably be between 25 and 35. For a scooter, your gas mileage will be so good that you probably won't even need to calculate it. If the number you came up with for your gas mileage is considerably more or less than what is listed above, there may be a problem with your math or with your car.
About the Author
Author Jason Lancaster, an auto business veteran, developed AccurateAutoAdvice.com. You'll find accurate advice on how to figure gas mileage and gas mileage advice.
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