Highway Miles per Gallon vs. City MPG: What’s the Difference?

Reading the odometer is often seen as the best way in gauging the health of a vehicle. Unfortunately, just looking at the numbers may not always be helpful, and there are many reasons for that. One of the most important reasons looking the odometer may not always helpful is that there is a difference between city mpg and highway miles per gallon.

Driving on Highways vs. Driving in the City   

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When you drive on the highway, there are fewer obstacles when compared to driving in the city. You don’t need to change gears often, and you can put your vehicle on cruise control. Cruise control allows your vehicle to maintain a regular pace.

When driving in the city, there are more stops and it can be difficult to maintain a steady speed. Additionally, city speed limits are much lower than highway limits. Due to these differences in driving speeds and conditions, highway and city driving affect your car differently.

In many instances, it is a requirement that you maintain a certain speed to ensure a smooth flow of traffic on the highway. The high speeds over long distances can be quite taxing to the engine, but a consistent speed is easier on your engine than constantly accelerating and decelerating.

Driving in city streets is often much tougher on the vehicle’s engine and transmission system when you frequently stop and go. Changing gears when accelerating and decelerating, constant braking, and tough road conditions can cause wear and tear on your engine, brakes, suspension, tires, and more. Idling in traffic also reduces fuel efficiency. 

So What’s the Verdict?

All factors considered, highway miles are kinder to a vehicle than city miles. A car that spends more time on the highway has higher fuel efficiency, better shock absorbers, a stronger engine, and a more effective transmission system than a city car does.

Eventually, however, all vehicles require servicing. Keeping up with a routine maintenance schedule will help preempt major issues and will prolong the life of your car. Bring your vehicle to Valley Automall for reliable service that will keep your car in optimal condition for years to come.