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My Olds converted itself to Metric. Does that mean I get better mileage?

Help, my car converted to metric, and tells me how many kilometers I have driven. Here is why this is important: The gas gauge gave out years ago. We were told it would cost $400 to fix the gas gauge, which we could not afford, so we just make sure to fill the tank every 350 miles. But now it is in metric. This is confusing. There must be a way to turn it back. It is a 2,000 Olds and was the top of the line when it was new. Please help.

You could just remember to fill it every 550 kilometers.

There’s got to be a button on the dash that toggles the instruments between metric and English. Just take a look around.

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I never found one on any car. And the users manual says nothing, the ones I have looked at. It’s a factory switch. Perhaps the service manual?

Look on page 2-101 of your owner’s manual

It involves the “driver information center”

E/M (English/Metric Button): You can change the
display to a metric or English reading at any time by
pressing E/M. This button will also toggle the
odometer display


OK, seems like some cars you can switch, some it requires the dealer.

I’ll bet if you ask the parts window guy nicely for the procedure to reset the odometer/speedometer he’ll be happy to look it up for you. Free.

It was a common feature on GM cars. Instead of 2 sets of markings on the speedometer for mph and kph, there would just be one set of marks and the needle would switch. You could push the button while driving and watch the speedo needle move from 60 to 100 instantly. Also the climate control would display *F or *C.

Did you read my comment

I looked at the 2000 Olds Silhouette manual online, at an official GM website

It clearly says how to switch, and I said what page it was on

I seriously doubt a trip to the dealer is required

More than likely, OP or a passenger inadvertently pushed that button and changed it from miles to kilometers


I had a 2000 Ford Aerostar Eddie Bauer and there was a button on the dash to change the display from English units to metric units. I often had it on metric units so that I could learn to think in the metric system.

My stepmom’s old 2003 Bonneville had that feature. I remember once I was driving on the highway on the way home after visiting the Marine Corp Museum. Traffic was moving about around 75 MPH. I nonchalantly pushed the U.S/Metric button on the dash, and the speedometer shot up 120. I casually mentioned that traffic was moving along briskly today, she asked what do you mean? I pointed at the speedometer, she looked and immediately demanded that I slow down, then she saw another car drive past us on the left lane and then also noticed that there were semis that were traveling at a similar clip, and came to the realization that we weren’t doing 120 MPH. She pushed the U.S. Metric button again and the speedometer dropped back to 75. We both had a good chuckle over it.

Interesting, never saw that feature on a car…

My Bonneville has that button. As one would expect, the odometer changes immediately to kilometers travelled, too. It would be handy for people who commute between Canada and the U.S on a daily basis.

My Grand Prix and my Impalas don’t have a dedicated button, but are easy to switch using the Driver Information Center. On the Grand Prix it’s super easy.

My 1985 and '86 Honda Elite 250 scooters have a mi/km button on the dash. It’s a real grin to see the gauge showing I’m going 105!

if it is “gas mileage” in standard terms, would it be “petrol kilometerage” is metric terms?

KPL (kilometers per litre) is the way it’s figured.

I’m not sure about that. I’ve always seen liters per 100 kilometers in metric countries.


Your experience is probably broader than mine. Both formulas accurately describe how the metric system can state what we in the USA use “MPG” to describe.

I don’t think gasoline has a metric name, besides, the Germans call it “Benzin”, yes, all nouns are capitalized in German, not just proper nouns.
But since the metric system originated in France, we should call gasoline “de l’essence”.

I think that English has sort of become the metric system of languages though. A universal second language that a large percentage of non-English speakers learn as a second language. If a Russian speaker and an Italian speaker encounter each other in some third country, they will probably speak to each other in English. Perhaps not fluent English but enough to ask directions to the bathroom.

I’m curious. Does anybody here know if when the speedo/odo system is set to “metric” the computer also changes its fuel use variable to imperial gallons?

???. Please explain. In metric, it’s liters, either km (kilometer). per liter or liters per 100 km. depending on your whereabouts, in DK we use km./l.
An imperial gallon is - as far as I know - only used in UK and maybe in their territories and amounts to 4,54609 liters.

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