Environmental Protection Agency: Your Mileage May Vary

The mileage you get depends on a lot of different factors.

Some factors you can control, and others you cannot. If your vehicle provides instantaneous fuel economy information, take advantage and learn from it!

Factors that Affect Fuel Economy

Some factors, like playing the radio, have a small effect on MPG, while others, like aggressive driving, have a greater effect. When you combine multiple factors you have the opportunity to increase or decrease your MPG by a significant amount.

Actions That Decrease Your MPG

  • Speeding
  • Quick acceleration and braking hard
  • Using a remote starter with long idle periods
  • Extra weight (storing unnecessary items in your vehicle)
  • Using a roof rack
  • High A/C and car accessory use
  • Not maintaining your car

Some factors beyond your control may also lower your MPG

  • Driving in hilly or mountainous regions
  • Stop and go driving through congested traffic (unless you own a hybrid)
  • Cold outside temperatures
  • Hot outside temperatures if you use your A/C
  • Driving on bumpy or poor roads

Science Topics
Atmospheric Sciences, Fossil Fuels, Pollution
Middle School, High School, College
6th Grade, 7th Grade, 8th Grade, 9th Grade, 10th Grade, 11th Grade, 12th Grade, College, Adults

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