Actually Applicable Application Problems and Brainteasers/Fuel Efficiency

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This method can be used to calculate your car's fuel consumption in miles per gallon, often called MPG. Depending on the type of car, most cars' MPG value will be in or near the 20-40 range. If you are planning a trip, splitting the cost of gas with a carpool group, or looking out for drastic reductions in your car's MPG that may be a sign of an engine problem, this strategy is Actually Applicable for you.

General Method

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  1. Fill your car's gas tank and reset the tripmeter.
    • It does need to be a true fill-up, for comparison purposes later.
  2. Drive normally for a while.
  3. Next time you get gas, notice on the pump or receipt how many gallons it took to fill up again, and how many miles are on your tripmeter.
    • Like the other, this also needs to be a true fill-up.
  4. Divide the miles on the tripmeter by the gallons of gas you purchased. This is your car's fuel consumption in MPG.


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Someone drives 337.4 miles on 14.357 gallons of gas. How many MPG did they get?

Make Your Own Problem

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Calculate the MPG of your car (or a family member's or friend's car).


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A car's MPG can vary depending on how it is driven, fuel quality, etc. How could you calculate a point estimate and interval estimate for a car's average MPG?