What Causes Poor Fuel Economy?

What Causes Poor Fuel Economy?

December 13, 2021

With higher fuel prices these days, stopping at a gas station can put a real dent in your wallet. Unfortunately, there are a variety of factors that can limit your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.

This post will cover a few of the leading bad gas mileage causes and teach you what you can do to improve your fuel efficiency:

  • Tire pressure: Underinflated or overinflated tires can have a drastic effect on your gas mileage. We recommend checking your air pressure frequently to ensure they’re always properly inflated.
  • Dirty air filter: As your air filter gets old and dirty, your engine doesn’t get enough clean air to adequately burn fuel. Air filter replacement is a quick and easy task that anyone can do on their own.
  • Failing oxygen sensors: Vehicles have multiple oxygen sensors to measure air intake and emissions output. If these sensors fail or trigger the check engine light, you may experience worse fuel economy. Your best bet is to have a mechanic inspect your car to see if the oxygen sensors are working.
  • Bad spark plugs: Your spark plugs provide the combustion required to start your engine. As spark plugs age and start to misfire, poor fuel economy is sure to follow. Replacing old spark plugs—or having a mechanic do it—can resolve this issue.
  • Air conditioner use: This one isn’t much of an issue in the winter, but keeping your AC on full blast can rob your fuel efficiency in the summertime. Instead of cranking the air next summer, consider driving with the windows down to help boost your miles per gallon (mpg).
  • Malfunctioning exhaust system: The catalytic converter, exhaust pipe and muffler all play a crucial role in your fuel economy. If you’re filling up more frequently than you used to, it may be due to issues with your exhaust system.

How can I improve my fuel economy?

It’s important to know these bad gas mileage causes, and it’s also crucial to know that you might be able to fix it. Here are a few ways you can get better gas mileage:

  • Get a tune-up: The longer our cars go without a tune-up, the less efficient our vehicles become. A quick inspection and tune-up could increase your fuel economy by 4 miles per gallon.
  • Upgrade your motor oil: Using the wrong type of motor oil for your engine can increase your fuel consumption by about 2 Although higher-end motor oil might cost a bit more, that premium oil can pay for itself in no time.
  • Watch how you drive: Gunning the engine before rapidly applying the brakes is hard on your car and can devastate your fuel economy. Make a habit of driving slow and steady to get better mileage.

Come in for your tune-up today

If you have poor fuel economy and are driving anywhere for the holidays this year, be sure to bring your vehicle to us for a tune-up. Our mechanics at Auto Truck Service Inc. will perform a full diagnostic test to see why your car has poor gas mileage and teach you how to improve your fuel economy.

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