How to calculate your 0-60?

Every car enthusiast knows that 0-60 times are important. 0-60 times are basically the 0 to 60 miles per hour time it takes a vehicle to get 0 feet from 0 MPH to 60 MPH, if you were wondering. The lowest 0-60 speed would be the fastest, obviously. 0-60 times exist for all sorts of vehicles, from motorcycles to cars and trucks, to jet skis and even lawn mowers.

If you want to test how fast your car is, there are a couple options:  you can either get an actual 0-60 timer, or you can use math to calculate it yourself. While both options are perfectly good, the point of this article is to give you a way to calculate your car's 0-60 time without spending money on anything fancy.

We will begin with the assumption that you have already tested how fast your car can accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH. If you haven't, click here to check out 0 to 60 times database.

Typically, when you're buying a 0-60 timer from your local auto parts shop, it'll either be a clicker or a digital readout. For the clickers, all you have to do is hold down the button and let go at 60 MPH. They usually give results in fractions of a second, making them not very accurate.

For the digital readout ones, you drive your car or other vehicle on a certain stretch of road while the timer records. Then, when you get to 60MPH (or whatever speed you want), it'll give you an exact 0-60 time. Unfortunately, these might not be very accurate either if the stretch of road you used wasn't straight. They're also pretty pricey.

For this tutorial on how to calculate your own 0-60 times, we'll assume that you don't have one of those fancy gadgets and instead will only use math. If you'd like, you can still use a clicker and record your time with it. That way, you'll have both math and numbers to compare.

How Speed Is Calculated

First off, we need to know how fast your car speeds up from 0-60 MPH. Most people think that just because they drove their car as quickly as possible from 0-60 MPH, that it'd be accurate. This isn't true for most cars, however. It all really depends on the car you're testing.

If your car is more of an economy car, then it's acceleration might not go up exponentially after 60MPH like a sports car would. The same can apply to boats and motorcycles, which is why you're required to do 0-60 time testing on a flat surface.

You're probably wondering how we can accurately calculate your car's speed from 60 MPH to 0 MPH if the acceleration curve isn't all that straightforward. Luckily, there's an equation for it.

S (60) = 60 + v 0 .5

This means that, if you know your car's speed at 60 MPH, then you can back-calculate your car's speed at 0 MPH. It sounds simple enough, but it gets a bit complicated when we factor in reaction times. If you have a reaction time of 0.5 seconds, then you need to add it in the equation like this:

S (60) = 60 + v 0 .5 + r * t

Reaction times can be measured with stopwatches and other tools, but they're usually only accurate to two decimal points. If you're going to try and measure your own reaction times, be sure to round up. Your 0.49 second reaction time is really a 0.5 second reaction time when you're doing 60MPH-0MPH calculations.