Tag Archive for gas mileage

Expected Gas Mileage For Your Car

Classic CarI’m not quite sure how, but I unexpectedly found a website from the US Department of Energy that has a feature that tells you the expected mpg (miles per gallon) rating of your car.  This includes new and used vehicles.  The figures for the used vehicles have been updated to show what mileage the vehicle should currently be getting, as well as what the vehicle was rated for when new.

For example, a 2002 Ford Taurus was originally estimated to get a combined highway/city mpg rating of 23.  Currently the site estimates the Jan 2012 mileage would be expected to be 20 mpg.  Additionally, the site allows input from readers. The actual input from a 2002 Ford Taurus owner is 18.6 mpg.

Cool.  This is a good tool for determining if your engine needs a tune-up or perhaps your driving habits need some adjusting. If your actual gas mileage falls short of the estimates, you might even want to check your tires.  Improperly inflated or over-worn tires can reduce gas mileage, too.

If you are thinking of buying another car, then the site allows you to compare up to four vehicles side by side.  You can use this feature to decide which vehicle will have the lowest expected yearly operating costs.

Another good way to use this information is in polishing your monthly expense budget.  If you are not sure how much to put on your budget for monthly gasoline expenses, then the site has an estimated gasoline cost per driving mile to help you get started with a figure.

If your driving habits might be the culprit, then visit The Fat Dollar’s article Save Money on Gas where I share the no-cost changes I made to increase my gas mileage by 26%.




Increased Gas Mileage – It Started With a Remark From My Son

Sometimes things happen that hurt a bit at the time, but end up bringing us to make improvements that are a huge benefit in the long run. A few years ago, I got just that kind of shock from my teenaged son when he made a quite unexpected critical remark about my driving. “Mom, why do you keep accelerating and wait until the last minute to stop at stop signs?” he asked. (In not exactly a nice voice.)

At first I denied the behavior all together – even when the other two boys offered agreement from the back seat. It felt like mutiny! I was the careful driver, the never-had-a-ticket Mom.

That remark gave me a new awareness of my driving. Yes, indeed, I often did accelerate right up to a stop sign and then brake hard to stop in time. Now it made sense why I was only getting 19 mpg in my car. Now I wondered if maybe, just maybe, it wasn’t the car – a four door sedan – but it was me, or at least my driving habits. I recalled a Consumer’s Report article that had tested cars for ways to improve gas mileage (the main one I remember was testing one car using the cruise control around Lake Tahoe.) Now I was determined to give it a try myself.

I experimented with taking my foot off the accelerator earlier, treating the brakes like an enemy, timing lights on my regular routes, proper tire inflation, making slower starts, and especially using the cruise control. It worked. I increased my gas mileage to a little over 24 mpg, an increase of 5 mpg, or a 26% increase!

That was five years ago and I figure I’ve saved at least 658 gallons of gas over that time period. If I use an average of $3.00 per gallon, that is a savings of $1974.00. Since I did not spend any money in the process, that is pure savings. Further, I enjoyed the process and I now consistently get better gas mileage.

I posted an article with much more detail on the methods and the research on the methods on The Fat Dollar site – How I Increased My Gas Mileage by Almost 26% .  I hope that one or more of the tips may help you to increase your gas mileage too.  After all,  I’m here to help you find ways to get bigger results from your Fat Dollars.

With a peaceful challenge that you increase your gas mileage,