Fuel efficiency/gas mileage

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Updated: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm Published: 3/28/2003 12:53 pm

Gas mileage should be an important consideration when buying a car. Your fuel costs can differ by hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year, depending on the vehicle and the distances you drive. Gas mileage is determined by how many miles a car can operate on one gallon of gas, usually abbreviated MPG (M-P-G), or miles per gallon. If the miles per gallon are high, the vehicle gets 'good' gas mileage. If the miles are low, it gets 'bad' gas mileage. New-car stickers indicate two separate figures regarding the MPG of each automobile: the first number is gas mileage when driving in the city; the second number is gas mileage on the highway. The highway gas mileage is usually higher because there are less starts and stops that reduce fuel efficiency. Both numbers are based on the average miles per gallon for each vehicle, so the gas mileage of each car may differ somewhat from the posted figures. In general, the size, weight, and transmission of the vehicle determine the gas mileage. Smaller cars typically have high gas mileage, while larger cars have lower gas mileage. Automatic transmissions usually decrease fuel efficiency, as does four-wheel drive. Many other factors influence the fuel efficiency of your car, such as your driving technique, tire pressure and engine maintenance, so the more you know about gas mileage, the more money you'll save in the long run. For more information on gas mileage, consult an automobile professional.

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