When you say fuel efficiency, the most reliable and clear attribute would be the gas mileage. In the western part of the world, it is commonly measured by miles per gallon and in the eastern part of the world it’s usually measured by kilometers per second. Either way, it simply measures the total distance your car can travel per unit of fuel. So, let’s say Car A can run 25 miles per gallon and Car B can run 35 miles per gallon. Based on the mileage, Car B is more fuel efficient since it can travel a much longer distance with the same amount of fuel thus, it saves you money as well.
The most common way to determine your car’s gas mileage is to fill your fuel tank completely. Then, record the current mileage on the odometer (it shows you the total miles/kilometers you’ve traveled) on your dashboard. Drive for at least an hour just to be sure then go back to the gas station and refill the tank completely. Theoretically, the amount of gas you are now filling your car up with is the amount that you actually used during the test drive. Now, record the number of gallons or liters that you’ve used and you can start computing for your car’s gas mileage.
Get the number of miles/kilometers on your odometer then subtract the one you recorded before your trip. Then, divide it with the number of gallons or liters you’ve used for the test drive and you’ll get your car’s gas mileage. For example, you traveled a distance of 90 miles and you used 3 gallons. Divide 90 by 3 and you get 30 miles per gallon.
However, the accuracy will depend on several factors and the most influential would be driving conditions. These include stop lights, pedestrians, narrow roads, traffic, debris, road construction, rerouting, other cars, weather and more. It will also depend on your car’s condition. If it’s old, it probably will net you a shorter distance per unit of fuel. Tuning up your car may increase your gas mileage significantly.
Long drive on expressways and freeways can also give you different results since you’ll mostly likely be traveling on a wide road at high speeds without much obstruction such as traffic and intersections, the gas mileage may increase.
The results may also vary depending on the driver. Driving normally will usually give you a higher gas mileage. If you like to speed up even on short distances, you’ll use more fuel since you’re stepping on the gas pedal more often. As advised in Fifth Gear, drive sensibly.
Even with the different factors I presented to you, you will be able to get a good idea on how your car performs. However, I suggest that you test the car depending on how you will use it. If your car is for public use, a whole day’s data may give you a more accurate result. If you are just using your car to and from work or school, test it on that distance. If your vehicle is a delivery vehicle to faraway places such as provinces, test it during one of your trips especially if you’ll travel along an expressway. This should not only help you determine your car’s fuel efficiency but it can help you manage your fuel budget, plan your trips and save your time.
Fifth gear – Fuel efficiency segment
UK TV Show- Episode 2, Season 16