How to Check Fuel Efficiency | Scott's Fort Collins Auto

How to Check Fuel Efficiency

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Fuel Efficiency

With climbing fuel prices, checking your fuel efficiency can help you save more money than you might think. Discovering the exact fuel consumption of your vehicle depends on how you use your car (road type, road conditions, tire pressure, etc.). But finding out your car’s fuel consumption rate is actually quite simple.

What Is Fuel Efficiency or Fuel Economy?

In simplest terms, fuel economy is the measurement of the distance a car can travel per unit of fuel (miles per gallon or mpg). Cars that have good fuel economy can go farther while burning less gas and using less oil.

Improving the fuel efficiency of U.S. vehicles is the biggest single step we can take to cut America’s oil consumption in half. In fact, doubling the fuel efficiency of new cars, trucks, and commercial vehicles would, by 2035, save over 5 million barrels of oil per day,” writes the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Why is Fuel Economy Significant?

“Americans drove more than 3.15 trillion miles in 2015, equivalent to around 337 round trips from Earth to Pluto. The previous record, around 3 trillion miles, was set in 2007,” reports Scientific American. What’s driving these drivers? Lower gas prices and urban sprawl.

Now more than ever, we have to be thinking about fuel efficiency. Global warming emissions from vehicles directly impact our environment. Writes Scientific American, “The transportation sector, mostly vehicles, contributes nearly a third of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions from the sector increased nearly 16 percent from 1990 to 2013, according to U.S. EPA, reflecting a 35 percent rise in miles driven.” Carbon dioxide (CO2) from burning gasoline and diesel contributes to global climate change.

But environmental concerns aren’t the only reason fuel economy is important. Other reasons to do your part: 1) it saves you money; 2) it reduces our dependence on oil and the associated costs; and 3) it increases energy resources.

Seven Steps to Calculating Fuel Efficiency

Want to find out how fuel efficient your current vehicle is? Try these seven steps:

  1. Know that the equation for fuel consumption is “Miles Driven divided by Amount of Gas Used.”
  2. Reset the “trip odometer” after you fill up your tank.
  3. Record the miles on the trip odometer right before you buy more gas.
  4. Drive your car until the tank is almost empty.
  5. Record the amount of gas you buy in gallons.
  6. Divide mileage by fuel usage to see your car’s fuel consumption.
  7. Practice calculating with an example. (Fuel Consumption = (Final Mileage – Starting Mileage) / Fuel Usage )

Still unsure what the numbers mean? We can help! Give Scott’s Fort Collins Auto a call or stop in with your car for a quick assessment.

What More Can You Do?

In an effort to help all take part in practicing better fuel efficiency and fuel economy, the U.S. Department of Energy has an official U.S. government source for fuel economy information at To help reduce CO2 emissions, they suggest you:

Do your part by educating yourself on ways to get the most out of your car and help protect our air and natural resources. Focusing on fuel economy helps curb the effects of fuel costs on your wallet, and our environment, every time you fuel.

Call to Learn More About Fuel Efficiency and to See How Your Car Ranks

At Scott’s Fort Collins Auto & Repair, we can bring you up to speed on fuel efficiency while examining how your car is currently processing and using the fuel you are feeding it. Call us at (970) 682-4202 to schedule an appointment!

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