Maintenance is critical in keeping your vehicle running its best and minimizing fuel consumption. Knowing the common causes of poor fuel economy is just the tip of the iceberg. It may not seem like that big a deal but staying on top of oil changes, replacing the air filters when necessary and throwing some fuel-system cleaner in the tank every now and then can go a long way in keeping your engine running the way it should.
Gasoline expands in heat, so to get your money’s worth, try to purchase fuel during the coolest part of the day. For those in warm climates, this might mean a visit to the pump early in the morning after the underground tanks have had a chance to cool overnight.
Also try to combine short trips, as the engine runs more efficiently when warm. If you’ll be idling one minute or longer in a standard gasoline powered vehicle, cut the engine. This saves money at railroad crossings, when chatting out the window, or when picking up passengers.
These little tricks will go a long way in boosting your mileage, though as always it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Is your vehicle delivering poor fuel economy? Have you noticed a gradual or sudden drop in the mileage you were once getting?
The following are common causes of poor fuel economy that may or may not turn on your Check Engine Light:
- Sluggish Oxygen Sensors
- Inaccurate or Defective Coolant Sensor
- Defective Engine Thermostat
- Engine Misfire
- Intake Manifold or EGR Valve Leak
- Worn or Fouled Spark Plugs
- Dirty Fuel Injectors
- Low Compression
- Wrong Oil Viscosity
- Dirty Air Filter
- Clogged Converter or Exhaust Restriction
- Slipping Clutch or Transmission
- Low Tires
- Dragging Brakes
- Too Much Junk in Your Trunk
- Poor Driving Habits
To get the better fuel mileage you should also do the following:
- Regular changing of your car oil so as to reduce more friction. This help you in getting the better gas mileage.
- Since air conditioner is a the worse consumer of gas, turn it off while riding. Use your windows to cool yourself.
- Always plan before driving. Know the specific routes that will economize your fuel consumption. Use a smooth sailing route.
- You should avoid idling your engine since you waste your fuel while doing nothing.
- Changing your style of driving. Don’t accelerate your car when it is not needed as this will increase fuel consumption.
- If it is possible, ensure that you lighten the load in your vehicle. This also improve gas mileage reducing the number of trips that you make to the gas station.
- Inflate your car tires properly. Inflating them will help in increasing the economy of fuel use besides making your tires look good.
- Embrace regular maintenance.
This will help you in detecting factors affecting your gas mileage and finding solution to those factors which may include malfunctioning oxygen sensors, injectors and air filters. Check your tire pressures regularly – make it part of your Sunday routine or something.
All motoring sites and magazines tell you the same thing and that’s for a reason. If your tire pressures are low, you will be increasing the rolling resistance of the tire on the road and that will be robbing your fuel efficiency – your gas mileage will be down.
So make sure they’re up to manufacturer recommended values (at the very least) and watch your mpg get a little better.