Owning a gas-powered vehicle comes with a wide range of ongoing expenses, none more persistent than filling up at the pump. And while you can’t control gas prices, you can make sure you’re doing all you can to get the best fuel economy possible.
It’s common for gas mileage to fall from factory specs as vehicles age, but it’s not inevitable. With a little attention to preventive maintenance and how you drive, you can maintain and possibly even improve how far you can travel on a tank of gas, lessening the burden on your pocketbook at the pump.
Common Causes of Lost MPG
Like the human body, an internal combustion engine depends on several different systems working together to run smoothly. Almost every The miles per gallon (MPG) your vehicle can drive might fluctuate for a variety of reasons, from driving habits to engine problems. Here are some common causes.
Tires are a common culprit when it comes to bad fuel economy. Certain tires are actually designed to create less resistance and better gas mileage. You might find that a knobbier all-terrain or snow tire produces the opposite effect. Beyond tire design, look for the following.
• Low Pressure: If your tires are low on air, they will have more surface area in contact with the road, creating a greater rolling resistance. Try rolling a flat beach ball and then one filled with air as an example — air pressure makes a big difference.
• Alignment Issues: Wheels that are not properly aligned will cause tires to contact the road unevenly, again producing more resistance while also wearing tires more quickly.
Low Oil Level
Engine oil — and the proper amount of it — is essential for keeping engine parts lubricated and moving properly. Low or old engine oil can put more strain on parts, causing your engine to work harder than it should.
Clogged Air Filter
When your air filter is clogged or dirty, it restricts air flow to the engine, inhibiting its ability to create the right air-fuel mixture for optimal performance. Older vehicles in particular might compensate by burning more fuel than they otherwise would to get up to speed.
Dirty Oxygen Sensor
Your vehicle’s oxygen sensor measures exhaust gasses, sending a message to the computer to adjust fuel delivery. A dirty or faulty oxygen sensor can cause your engine to use more fuel than needed, creating a big impact on fuel efficiency.
Faulty Fuel Injectors
Fuel injectors spray a precise amount of fuel into each cylinder using a specific spray pattern. Dirty, clogged or faulty fuel injectors can spray irregular amounts of fuel in improper patterns, causing gas mileage to suffer. Old fuel or bad gas containing impurities can contribute to clogged injectors.
These little engine parts need routine maintenance or replacement. If your spark plugs are old or corroded, they might cause firing problems, resulting in unburnt fuel, lower power and poor fuel economy.
Sometimes brake calipers can get stuck, creating resistance even when you don’t press the brake pedal. Driving around with your brakes applied will require more power and fuel use.
Frequent stops and starts, hard acceleration, weaving and altering speed can all contribute to poor gas mileage. More conservative driving can help save fuel. For long trips on the freeway, using cruise control can help give your gas mileage a boost.
Other Routine Maintenance
Other factors, including a variety of failing engine components, can contribute to a loss in fuel economy. In general, poorly maintained vehicles will be more likely to develop gas mileage issues. Changing fluids and filters as recommended by the manufacturer, using fresh gas, and keeping an eye on critical components, such as tires and spark plugs, can ensure mileage
SEA FOAM MOTOR TREATMENT can help recover lost MPG by cleaning your vehicle’s entire fuel system.