One thing we here at Fairfax Auto Repair caution our customers about is manufacturer estimated gas mileage numbers. Yes, your vehicle should get approximately the miles per gallon touted on the sticker and in your owner’s manual, but manufacturers can also inflate those numbers. If your vehicle isn’t getting quite the miles-per-gallon it should be, that’s one thing. If its fuel economy has reduced significantly, there’s something wrong.
Causes of Poor Fuel Economy
One of the most common causes of poor fuel economy is low tire pressure and, thankfully, this is an easy fix. We here in the auto service industry recommend checking the air pressure in all of your tires (and the spare) every other fill up. Keep a tire gauge in your car and while you’re filling your fuel tank, check the pressure quickly.
Another issue could be your oxygen sensor. If it is failing, it can cut 20 percent off your vehicle’s normal fuel efficiency. A dirty or clogged air filter can produce the same results, so make certain to change the air filter at the recommended mileage intervals. Another clog that can cut fuel efficiency are clogged fuel injectors.
The fuel injectors work in tandem with the spark plugs to ignite the fuel in your engine. If your spark plugs need changing, usually every 30,000 to 100,000 miles depending on the make, model, and year of the vehicle you drive, they can reduce your fuel efficiency. As can dirty or old motor oil. Regular maintenance keeps your vehicle fuel efficient.
You Affect it, Too
You can also reduce your fuel efficiency without even realizing. In the summer, your comfort system (or AC) draws power from your vehicle’s electrical system which eats up fuel. Yes, you want the AC on when it’s hot and humid but try to go without it in the morning and the evening if you can. Roll down your windows if you’re driving slowly.
If you drive like a maniac this, too, will reduce how efficiently your vehicle burns fuel. Don’t speed. The slower you drive the more fuel efficient you are. Don’t push the pedal to the metal, slam on the brakes, and repeat, either. This also reduces your fuel efficiency. Stay calm behind the wheel and take it easy on your automobile.
Call Fairfax Auto Repair in Fairfax, VA, at 703-822-5911. We’ll run a diagnostic inspection on your vehicle and also inspect it visually to determine why your car, truck, or SUV isn’t getting the miles-per-gallon it should be.