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Old 04-27-2011, 09:54 AM   #31
whynotthinkwhynot
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There is a difference between ignorance (not knowing) and incompetence (knowing and not using the knowledge).

As far as the mileage computer, do your own experiments. Even dividing you trip miles by the number of gallons can be off by 1 mpg either direction because it's difficult to gauge how much you've put in a tank exactly. If you find a 1-2 mpg difference, then I'd call that insignificant. If it's more than that, then you'll have to figure out which one is more reliable. Typically, it's the old fashioned method. This applies to all vehicles- including the mighty Prius. I recently had a friend with a new Prius figure his mileage by using the old method, and he came up with only 36 mpg. We're still waiting on several tanks to average it out- that's my excuse to calm him down even though I know it's only going to average around 36.
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Old 04-27-2011, 10:40 AM   #32
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More often then not the read out on the dash changes due to conditions and will give you what your car is averaging at that moment. Its not necessarily what you average will be after a full tank, like what the other equation will dictate. Granted neither of these are 100% accurate.
Where do you get this information from? I've been figuring gas mileage since my dad would yell at me for not figuring it fast enough using long division and a pencil and paper,lol. If you reset the mileage when you fill up and run a full tank before resetting again it will give you the mileage for that tank, not at the moment. I have checked it manually and by using the car computer on my 2005 GMC Sierra, 2008 Mustang and 2003 Freightliner and they have all been very close. I would say in terms of accuracy percentage the vehicle computer is probably closer to 100% than figuring it manually. Although, neither is perfect.
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Old 04-27-2011, 11:59 AM   #33
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First off you need to break the car in. Then you need to be figuring out gas mileage by driving with a full tank, and when you go to fill up again, take the amount of gallons (exact) that went in and divide the miles you drove that your trip readout says with it. (trip readout/gallons put in = cars average mpg.)
What he said. Welcome to FF, BTW.
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Old 04-27-2011, 01:05 PM   #34
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More often then not the read out on the dash changes due to conditions and will give you what your car is averaging at that moment. Its not necessarily what you average will be after a full tank, like what the other equation will dictate. Granted neither of these are 100% accurate.
Can't say I agree with that, but I'll explain why. My gas hogging 2008 4.6L V8 Explorer is a perfect example. If I fill the tank and never reset it, it'll read at or around 17-18 MPG the entire time. Even if I all out floor it a few times. It may change half a MPG or so, but that's about it.

If I hit the reset button, while I'm driving for example, I can be getting 25 MPG for a few minutes before the trip computer corrects itself.

In short, I'm sure that most trip computers are measuring average fuel economy over time. If it were averaging at the moment, my highway mileage or city mileage would reflect on the trip computer instead of my tank average. While I'm on the interstate I'm getting higher than my average, but that doesn't reflect on the trip computer, same for city driving. If I get on the interstate and it says 16.2 MPG, it won't reflect my average highway mileage for a while.

How long that time period it's averaging is unknown to me at least.
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Old 04-28-2011, 12:49 PM   #35
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Just did 175 miles from Palm Beach to appointments in Miami/Hialeah. Hand calculated 38.2 mpg! :). As anyone in South Florida knows this is all types of driving.
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Old 04-28-2011, 02:24 PM   #36
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Your SEL is equipped with what specific packages?
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:33 PM   #37
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I reset the computer today before leaving for work, and by the time I got back it was just over 30 mpg. That's a pretty dead mix of highway and city, plus it's a short ride (13 miles total) so it's not like it to cruise on the freeway for 30 miles and get killer mileage. That's about right with my kentucky windage math. Put just over 10 gallons in last fill up, drove just over 300 miles. Close enough for me...
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Old 04-28-2011, 10:10 PM   #38
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By digital readout: 33.2mpg

- Average over full tank of gas
- 1100 Miles
- 42 mile daily commute, 2/3 highway, 1 day had horrid stop/go traffic one way
- Took it pretty easy...a full throttle blast or two on entrance ramps...definitely takes a hit there!

Gonna take another average doing everything reasonable (?) to improve mileage...I'll post after this tank. My guess is 38mpg best I can do.
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:22 AM   #39
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Getting 34 after my first 120 miles, mostly highway.
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Old 04-29-2011, 05:51 AM   #40
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