How to Calculate Gas Mileage

April 28th, 2021 by
odometer displaying higher mileage on used car

All new vehicles are rated by the Environmental Protection Agency, commonly known as the EPA. As you may have noticed, many gas mileage ratings are accompanied by a disclaimer stating that “actual mileage may vary.” If you want to be sure that you’re getting the best possible mileage from your vehicle, you can learn how to calculate gas mileage yourself. Find out how the EPA rates vehicles for fuel efficiency, and then use our gas mileage calculator in the guide below. If you have any further questions, the team of auto experts at Cactus Jack's Auto is happy to help provide maintenance tips!

What is Good Gas Mileage?

There’s no single standard for good gas mileage, but you can look at the average specs for each vehicle class to see how a car compares to similar models. If gas mileage is a top priority for you on your Surprise commute, it may be a key factor in the type of vehicle you choose. Here’s what to keep in mind as you start your research:

  • Vehicle Size – Smaller vehicles like sedans and hatchbacks typically earn higher MPG than larger vehicles with more power, like SUVs. If you’re shopping for a compact SUV, you’ll want to compare its gas mileage against other compact SUVs rather than full-size SUVs or compact cars. 
  • Performance – A sporty sedan with a high-performance engine may earn lower gas mileage than a front-wheel drive compact SUV.
  • Drivetrain – Because they send power to all four wheels, AWD and 4WD vehicles use more fuel than FWD vehicles. And of course, gas-electric hybrids earn better gas mileage than their gas-powered counterparts.

Gas Mileage Calculator

Learning how to calculate gas mileage is simpler than you might think! Use the steps below as your DIY gas mileage calculator:

  • Fill up with a full tank of gas. Then note your exact mileage or reset your trip calculator.
  • Find your gas tank capacity in your owner’s manual and make a note of it.
  • Drive until it’s time to refill your tank. It doesn’t need to be empty, but you’ll get a more accurate calculation if you drive longer. You’ll also want to drive as normally as possible for an accurate record of your typical fuel use.
  • Record your mileage when you refill your tank.
  • To calculate your gas mileage, divide the number of miles travelled by the number of gallons of gas it took to refill your tank. In other words, divide miles driven by gallons of gas used.

Learn More About Maximizing Your Gas Mileage in Phoenix

If your actual gas mileage isn’t what you hoped it would be, you can easily save fuel by learning how to drive more efficiently in Glendale. Plus, keeping up with your vehicle’s recommended service schedule can preserve efficiency and help your car perform at its best! Questions about DIY car-care and service? Contact a Cactus Jack's Auto location near you to speak with an auto expert today.


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