The Accuracy of Gas Mileage Monitors


Since the significant increase in the price of fuel in 2008, the optimization of gas mileage has been one of the focuses. In fact, even then-candidate Barack Obama raises the issue of proper tire inflation to improve gas mileage.

Drivers have a problem with the accurate computation of gas mileage. They think that they just need to check their odometer and divide the number by the tank capacity each time the tank is empty. Theoretically, it accurately assesses the distance a driver drives per gallon. But, the reality is that it is just an estimate. The gas mileage may fluctuate every time.

The problem arises when car owners want to maximize their gas mileage. It is difficult to gauge if the gadget or technique is successful if the numbers are just rough estimates. For example, it is difficult to ascertain if the 10% change in the car’s mileage is attributable to the weather or the acetone as an additive.


Factors that Affect a Car’s Mileage

Activities like headlights during the day, defrosting of windshields, and wipers use gas during snowy weather. During the warm months, air conditioning lowers the mileage. Also, gas is denser during the cold months but expands during the summer. As such, the capacity of the tank is not constant.

The frequency of stop lights and road conditions also affect the gas mileage Acceleration that is too quick can cause a decrease in mileage. The injector needs more gas to achieve the driver’s desired speed quickly.Acceleration that is too slow is less efficient because the car remains in low gear for a long time. Drivers are aware that such factors affect the car’s mileage, but aside from awareness, they must make a long-term change in their driving.

The Use of Gas Mileage Monitors

Real-time gas mileage monitors are present in many cars, hybrids and non-hybrids alike. For many years, BMW had this energy gauge, although it was a low-tech version. The instrument panel had a vacuum gauge that monitors the vacuum level as gas and air moved from the carburetor to the intake valves.

If the BMW was cruising in high gear, the vacuum was at its highest. The contrary is also true. This vacuum gauge gave real-time feedback about how the driver’s driving affected the car’s fuel efficiency.

At present, many cars use the high-tech approach. Prius has an energy monitor that monitors data, including miles-per-gallon at that instant.

Are Gas Mileage Monitors Accurate?

It is difficult to ascertain if a car energy monitor is accurate. The monitor may show 25 miles per gallon. Then, it shows 27 miles per gallon. Drivers can be confident that the car’s mileage increased, although the numbers are not very accurate.

Real-time monitors show the increase or decrease in gas mileage. They change the driver’s mindset. If these drivers see a drop in their car’s mileage, they cannot ignore it because these monitors show the amount of gas they are wasting. Because the drivers are now aware, they can change their driving behavior.


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