Why isn't my MPG matching up with the EPA estimate or my car's display?

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Posted 5 years ago

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UPDATED 11/2016

EPA fuel efficiency ratings are a rough estimate of your car’s performance on a standardized test of highway and city driving. Automatic provides MPG readings based on your actual trips but may differ from your car’s dashboard report by 5-10%. In actuality, the MPG reading on your car dash is often off from the true MPGs your car is getting as well. This report from Edmunds, "Your Fuel Economy Gauge is Fibbing", is illuminating.

Particularly the quote from the Honda spokesperson: "Honda spokesman Chris Martin wouldn't comment on the accuracy of Honda gauges, saying he needed to do more research to give a good answer. However, he defends fuel economy gauges in general, and says that people should use them as 'a driving-efficiency tool, not a precise measurement of fuel economy'."

Additionally, getting accurate MPG measurements is more challenging in some cars due to the type of sensor the car contains and whether or not the car is capable of reporting fuel level. Here's a FAQ about how we calculate MPGs.

If you're noticing that your MPGs as reported by Automatic are significantly off please let us know by sending an email to help@automatic.com.
(Edited)

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