The Evolution of MPG Calculation

The Unexpected Way Car Manufacturers Calculate Gas Mileage
March 14, 2016
March 16, 2016

Now that you have a better understanding of how automobile manufacturers test and determine vehicle mpg, it’s time to learn how you can accurately calculate mpg out in the real world.

  1. Drive to the nearest gas station and fill up your vehicle. Easy enough, right?
  2. Before you leave the gas station (preferably before you pull away from the pump), write down your vehicles current mileage. We’ll call this figure, “Mileage A.”
  3. Now it’s time to go about your business and drive around, just as you would any other day. Run errands, go out to dinner, and see a movie, drive home, whatever your heart desires. Just keep in mind now is not the time to start trying to radically alter your driving habits to conserve gas.
  4. After your tank is less than half full (Or half empty, depending on how the glass looks to you), drive back to the same gas station and fill up the tank using the same pump (if possible). Jot down how many how many gallons it took to fill up the tank. Be specific. If it took 12.392 gallons, write down, 12.392 gallons, not 12ish gallons.
  5. Write down your mileage, again. We’ll call this figure, “Mileage B.”
  6. Now it’s time to brush off your 8th grade math skills and do some math. Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it. It will be okay.

MPG= (Mileage B – Mileage A) ÷ Gallons

So, let’s say “Mileage A” is 10,200 miles, “Gallons” is 7.265, and “Mileage B” is 10,567. Our math equation should like this, MPG= (10,567-10,200) ÷ 7.265, which reduces to MPG= 367 ÷ 7.265 and therefore our MPG=50.516.

We could say, “It’s so easy a cave man could do it!” but we’re not going to. Instead we’ll just ask you to save pen and paper, and visit the Google Play store to download the Clutch Optimized Driving app! And don’t forget to check out our blog post, “3 Ways to Become the MacGyber of Better Winter Gas Mileage.”