A Clean Car = Better MPG

2002 Black Porsche Turbo

It may be overlooked, but the appearance of your car can actually effect it’s miles per gallon. When it comes to aerodynamics, a waxed or clean car will allow air to move freely across the surface (less resistance). Unlike a clean surface, a dirty car limits the amount of airflow, causing increased friction and less MPG.¬†Unfortunately, we didn’t coin this finding, but the experts at MythBusters did it for us.

In their study, on Episode 127, they tested the same car twice (once dirty, once clean) to determine if the myth was plausible. After a series of tests, the clean car averaged 2 MPG more than the dirty car.

“Adam and Jamie covered a car in dirt and mud and drove it down a track at highway speeds to measure its fuel efficiency, and repeated the test after the car was cleaned. They discovered that the average gas mileage for the dirty car was 24 miles per gallon while the clean car performed better at 26 miles per gallon.”

As you can see, even the experts know it… a clean car means more than a great shine.

  • Jesse

    I remember this episode! Such a cool myth.. all the more support for keeping my car clean! Thanks for the post.

  • Pingback: Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Wax Your Car |()

  • Mike Cornett

    I would say in general, that less drag on your car/truck/RV would give you better gas Mileage. It would be like driving into a head wind or a tail wind. Ask any pilot. So, I would say yes to a clean, waxed car/truck/RV
    So will: Less weight in your car. Higher tire pressure. Driving 60 mph on the freeway. I like to drive pretty fast. When I’m retired and driving thousands of miles in my RV…Which I plan to do….I will try to drive 60mph
    But, I hate it like heck when 16 wheelers have to pass me all the time. It seems that 75 to 78 mph is the norm (in a 70 mph zone…. 70 & 75 mph speed limits seems quite common on major highways)
    In my car I usually press the speed limit 70 I’ll drive 78. 75 I’ll drive 82. In Germany on the Autobahn, if the traffic is clear, I will drive 90 to 100 mph. (It’s just to darn fun)

  • Pingback: Does a Clean Vehicle Save Gas? – ishineforyouautodetailing.com()