// MPG Display in Dashboards
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  1. #1

    MPG Display in Dashboards

    The way I see it, the real "problem" with hybrid cars with respect to mileage, is that they show you immediately and over time what your actual gas mileage really is. Prior to hybrids, you didn't have this immediate feedback.

    Imagine if all cars were required to have an mpg display like you see in hybrids. I would imagine that a number of people would look at their mileage and would begin to slightly adapt their driving style to get better mileage.

    Traditionally, the tendency for most folks -- myself included -- has been to report their mpg in terms of the best mpg they have ever gotten on the car. As in, "Well, I got <mpg> on a trip from A to B.

    But with the mpg gauge, you have a constant and never-ending reminder of your mileage. You can't say "I get 20/28 mpg" (because that's what the EPA sticker said), or "I get 32 mpg" because you once got that on a trip to grandma's. It would have a tendency to make us more honest about our actual mileage.

    This is not to minimize the situations of posters to this forum who are having real, honest problems getting the gas mileage they hope for. Rather it's just an observation that:

    - If every car had this mpg display, the nation's collective (mis)use of gas would probably be dimished by some amount, as people saw first-hand how their driving behavior effected mpg.
    - Some people who tend to get poor hybrid mileage would realize that in their previous non-hybrid (with an mpg display), they got poor mileage
    as well.

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  3. #2

    mpg display in dashboards

    That does bring up a good point. Ppl who can't really see what MPG they are getting at a moment's glance don't pay much attention to their economy. And the egotists in all of us automatically assume their 12 yr old car is still getting 30 mpg cause "it still runs right" even though we haven't meaasured. &gt;guilty&lt;

    If all cars were required to have a gauge of this type in their cars, or even if it was offered as an option, I think people would drive more conservatively, possibly even preventing a few accidents!

  4. #3

    mpg display in dashboards

    i wonder if the country could see a 3 MPG gain thru just requiring all cars to have a MPG gage?

    feedback works!

    see ya

  5. #4

    mpg display in dashboards

    I learned to drive more efficiently by using the gage that came in my GMC Duramax truck. It calculated an instintaneous MPG which up dated every 2 seconds and a trip MPG. If I drove like I did in high school I would get between 13 and 14 MPG. If I drove the speed limit using my cruise control I would average between 17 and 18. I think your Idea would work for many people!

    I just want to know where to buy an aftermarket add-on MPG gage? My new Civic does not have one?

  6. #5

    mpg display in dashboards

    Alan, you can get the Instant, Current Trip, Todays Trip, Previous Day and over all TANK average MPG with a Scangauge. On all car models sold in the US after 1996, the law required a "On Board Diagnostic" (OBD 11) connection under your dash. The scangauge plugs into it in seconds, and the gauge can sit on your dash. The scangauge has so many other functions, you need to go to their Web site at
    http://scangauge.com/ . The cost is $129 with free shipping.

    I've learn how to squeeze over 70mpg on a 20 mile round trip. in my '05 FWD Escape Hybrid with this gauge's help. It is very accurate when compared to my Nav computer, and if anything happen to it, I'd buy another one.

  7. #6

    mpg display in dashboards

    "Prior to hybrids, you didn't have this immediate feedback. "

    Actually, trip computers have been available in some cars for at least a couple of decades, and they're not that uncommon in the more expensive iron. As examples, they are available in Audi A4's and Jeep Grand Cherokees, and have been since the 90's. I had a 99 A4 and learned quite a bit about the effects of various speeds and driving conditions from the display. A buddy had one in his 99 Grand Cherokee. What he learned caused him to leave it turned off.

  8. #7

    mpg display in dashboards

    I think requiring these guages in all cars is a good idea too.

    However, I have heard that some guages in the Hybrids are not accurate. I believe it was in a Motortrend magazine last year, which I might be wrong on the source. It said that only the Honda Civic Hybrid's computer was accurate, displaying lower mileage that what it actually achieved, while the Toyota Prius got something like 7mpg lower when calculated than what the computer displayed.

  9. #8

    mpg display in dashboards

    The Ford Escape Hybrid has an optional Nav Sys that seems to read pretty much the same as the scangauge. I think it's much better than tring to fill the tank and get a correct reading with a few tanks. The Honda and Toyota gauges may be better than you think also. Not that many complaints on these forums I've seen.

  10. #9

    mpg display in dashboards

    My Audi 5000CS Quattro 1987 came standard with
    MPG dashboard display and I believe the same car
    had it back in 1984 so nothing new.

  11. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    My dads 2004 Silverado Z71 has two different MPG readers. They are located in the DIC (Drivers Information Center) and one is an average from tank to tank and the other is what your getting at that very moment.

    Reminds me of one time he stomped it down going up a hill and it read "0 MPG". But we have seen it as high as 30-somthing.

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