Actual Mileage and EPA Fuel Economy Estimates Comparison.
Fuel economy is not a fixed number.
It varies based on driving conditions, driving habits and vehicle condition.
Therefore, it is not possible for one set of estimates to predict fuel economy precisely for all drivers in all environments.
The EPA fuel economy estimates shown in the example to the right are a useful tool for comparison when buying a vehicle. EPA estimates include:
City MPG -
Represents urban driving in a vehicle in light traffic. A range of miles per gallon achieved is also provided.
Highway MPG -
Represents a mixture of rural and interstate driving, in a warmed-up vehicle, typical of longer trips in free-flowing traffic. A range of miles per gallon achieved is also provided.
Combined Fuel Economy -
Represents a combination of city and highway driving. The scale represents the range of combined fuel economy for other vehicles in the class.
Estimated Annual Fuel C -
Provides an estimated annual fuel cost, based on 15,000 miles (20,000 km) per year multiplied by the cost per gallon (based on EPA fuel cost data) divided by the combined fuel economy.
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Fuel Economy Factors
The following factors can lower your vehicle’s fuel economy:
• Aggressive driving (hard acceleration and braking) • Excessive idling, accelerating and braking in stop-and-go traffic • Cold engine operation (engines are more efficient whenwarmed up) • Driving with a heavy load or the air conditioner running • Improperly inflated tires
Improving Fuel Economy
A properly maintained vehicle maximizes fuel economy. Poor maintenance can significantly reduce fuel economy. Always maintain your vehicle according to the maintenance messages displayed on the information display.
• Use the recommended viscosity motor oil, displaying the API Certification Seal
• Maintain proper tire inflation -
An under-inflated tire increases ‘‘rolling resistance,’’ which reduces fuel economy.
• Avoid carrying excess weight in your vehicle -
It puts a heavier load on the engine, increasing fuel consumption.
• Keep your vehicle clean -
In particular, a build-up of snow or mud on your vehicle’s underside adds weight and rolling resistance.
Frequent cleaning helps your fuel economy.
• Drive moderately -
Rapid acceleration, abrupt cornering, and hard braking increase fuel consumption.
• Observe the speed limit -
Aerodynamic drag has a big effect on fuel mileage at speeds above 45 mph (75 km/h). Reduce your speed and you reduce the drag.
Trailers, car top carriers, roof racks and bike racks are also big contributors to increased drag.
• Always drive in the highest gear possible -
If your vehicle has a manual transmission, you can boost your fuel economy by up shifting as early as possible.
• Avoid excessive idling -
Idling results in 0 miles per gallon.
• Minimize the use of the air conditioning system -
The A/C puts an extra load on the engine which makes it use more fuel. Use the fresh-air ventilation when possible.
• Plan and combine trips -
Combine several short trips into one. A warmed-up engine is more fuel efficient than a cold one.
Calculating Fuel Economy
Direct calculation is the recommended source of information about your actual fuel economy.
Using frequency of fill-ups or taking fuel gauge readings are NOT accurate measures of fuel economy.
Fuel economy may improve over the first several thousand miles.
Checking Your Fuel Economy
1) Fill the fuel tank until the nozzle automatically clicks off.
2) Reset trip counter to zero.
3) Record the total gallons (liters) needed to refill.
4) Follow one of the simple calculations above.