Are MPG Ratings Accurate?

  • Are MPG Ratings Accurate?

    Are MPG Ratings Accurate?

    Since gas prices started climbing in the mid-2000s, fuel efficiency has become one of the most important considerations for consumers who are shopping for vehicles. A recent survey showed that about 30 percent of the participants believed miles-per-gallon or MPG ratings were inaccurate. Many people complain of vehicles they buy not measuring up with MPG ratings. To avoid disappointment, it is important to understand whether this is true and what can affect MPG ratings.

    External Factors

    After reading numerous reports of unhappy customers who had similar types of vehicles, experts decided to perform research on the so-called offending vehicles. While manufacturer defects may be a slight possibility in some cases, the results of their research showed that manufacturer defects were not the issue. The issues they suspected were improper use or maintenance of vehicles and external factors.

    What Affects MPG Ratings?

    There are many reasons gas mileage may not measure up to the manufacturer’s numbers. Keep in mind that the MPG ratings for highways and city streets are based on ideal conditions of the vehicle and external environment. An external factor such as strong winds blowing against a moving vehicle may affect gas mileage. Running the air conditioner on full blast while driving through city streets can also lower the MPG average.

    Something as seemingly minor as pushing the gas pedal hard each time to accelerate or not changing the air filter regularly can noticeably affect MPG numbers. To enjoy optimal fuel efficiency when external conditions are good, it is important to maintain the vehicle properly. Have the oil changed as recommended by the manufacturer. Read the manual to see what types of maintenance are required at various milestones. For example, the transmission fluid may need to be changed after the vehicle reaches a specific mileage threshold on the odometer.

    Pushing hard on the accelerator to move forward after stopping, braking hard at a higher speed and driving at higher speeds are all common ways to burn gas faster. Such driving behavior and poor maintenance may reduce a vehicle’s MPG average by as much as 45 percent.

    Fuel efficiency is also an important issue in transportation logistics. It is smart to work with a company that optimizes travel to ensure quality service at an affordable cost. To learn more about transportation logistics for fleets, private owners, corporations, armored vehicles and more, contact Balch Logistics.

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