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How to Calculate Gas Mileage

With gas prices rising, it is good to learn how to calculate your vehicle’s gas mileage. Knowing your car’s gas mileage can help you plan your route when you take a road trip and factor in time for rest stops, meals, and visits to attractions along the way.

Most modern vehicles have an onboard computer that will calculate gas mileage for you. If yours is an older, used vehicle, it will likely not have one. You can easily calculate your car’s mileage manually by first filling your car’s gas tank completely and resetting the trip odometer. Then drive normally using at least a half-tank of gas. When the indicator is at the half-tank, refill the gas tank once more. Write down how much gas it took to refill the tank and the number of miles you drove. Then divide the number of miles you drove by the number of gallons that you put in your car. This will give you the vehicle’s typical miles per gallon. As an example, if you drove 100 miles using 4 gallons of gas, your car averaged 25 miles per gallon.

Once you have an idea of your car’s average gas mileage, you will be able to calculate how many gallons of gas you would need and the average amount of gas it would cost to go from point A to point B. You will also be able to roughly calculate an average drive time and compare routes to take and select sites to visit along the way.

Since gas prices can vary enormously by region, there are online tools you can use to estimate gas costs in different parts of the country. Always consider more than less in case you take wrong turns, detours, sit in traffic jams or decide to take a scenic route, which will lengthen your driving time and fuel usage. Remember to always give yourself a quarter-tank reserve between fill-ups.

You can find 24-hour gas stations in major cities, but smaller towns might have gas stations that are only open for limited hours. In some rural areas there may be long stretches between gas stations. A mobile app like Gas Guru can all help you find gas stations and also estimate gas prices. The free AAA Mobile app can also find current gas prices along your route or map a route, find discounts, book a hotel, and access AAA roadside assistance. Learn more at AAA.com/mobile.

When in the market for a used car, stop by Carousel Preowned.  Carousel Preowned serving Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Davenport, North Liberty, Marion, and Coralville, IA, is proud to be an automotive leader in our community. We do our best to ensure your complete satisfaction every time you step into our car dealership. This is why we offer the widest selection of used and pre-owned cars, trucks, and SUVs and provide true ease of purchase in Iowa.

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