The newer Fords dash computer actual measures based on the fuel put through the injectors(pressure*Pulse time*revs/ABS wheel revs). In every case where I have ever checked they have been within 5% of what the "fill it up and watch your miles" method gives, IMHO 5% is as close as you can get with the fill up method. As such I'd trust the dash first. Pretty fun toy to play with when you reset it at a stop light and screw around some.
Short trips and cold weather will make your mileage suffer terribly. Particularly if you let the car "warm up". My daily driver DOHC V6 Ford is is under 20 right now an usually does 27 or so.
Pushing snow, snow/studded tires?, increased rolling resistance from lower tire pressure, more alcohol in the fuel, warm ups... it all adds up.
Re: car fuel mileage in reply to RGMartin, 01-25-2013 04:53:23
We have an '07 Ford 500 and the computer gives the same result as manual calculation. It's surprisingly accurate.
I usually get between 31 and 32 with mostly highway miles but on some tanks it will drop to 29 or even 28. I think there's a difference in the fuel density from station to station or batch to batch that is hard to account for.
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