Last week, a friend asked me what kind of gas mileage I was getting from my car. I told him I had no idea. You would have thought I told him I was an axe murder, from the look on his face.
He could not believe that I wasn’t tracking, and doing whatever I could to improve, my gas mileage, given the higher gas prices we’ve endured over the past few years.
I told him that I didn’t really care about how many miles per gallon I was getting.
Again, you would have thought I told him the Pope wasn’t Catholic. He had that deer in the headlights look. Then I started hearing crickets chirping. It was awkward.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a few things I track and pay attention to when it comes to my money. But gas mileage isn’t really one of them.
How to Calculate Your Car’s Gas Mileage (MPG)
By the way, in case you’re not familiar, here’s how to track your car’s gas mileage, or miles per gallon:
- The next time you fill up your vehicle with fuel, reset the trip odometer or write down your vehicle’s current mileage.
- Drive your car until the tank is close to being empty.
- Refill your fuel tank and (a) take notice of the number of gallons needed to fill the tank, and (b) note how many miles you’ve gone since you reset your trip odometer, or write down your current vehicle mileage and subtract it from your starting mileage from the last time you filled up, to calculate the total number of miles driven since your previous fill-up.
- Divide the number of miles driven by the amount of gallons used to fill the tank. For example: 200 miles driven ÷ 10 gallons used to fill your car = 20 miles per gallon.
Improving Your Car’s Gas Mileage
While I don’t care to track my gas mileage, here are a few things I do care about that will hopefully improve my car’s gas mileage, or at least maintain it:
- To begin with, my vehicle is a Honda Pilot, and it’s only four years old. I figure it must get pretty good gas mileage, anyway, right? 🙂
- I get regular oil changes, and my mechanic gives everything the “once over” every time I’m there.
- I keep my tires inflated at the proper pressure.
That’s all good enough for me.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t track your gas mileage if it is important to you and you enjoy seeing if you can tweak things to eek out another mile per gallon. Just don’t make me feel guilty if I don’t do it.
After all, there are things that I track that you probably don’t care about, like the price of tea in China.
Is it important for you to track your car’s gas mileage? Why or why not?
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