Aside from being stuck in traffic, accidents, price tag, maintenance expenses, and car repairs, what do you think is another reason why people are reluctant to buy a car? Gasoline price! Yes! In case you’re not aware, it can be a pain and isn't likely to go significantly cheaper anytime soon. However, we cannot deny how convenient it is to have your own car. But if you start being aware of these poor fuel economy culprits, it should help you make necessary changes and adjustments to improve your car’s fuel efficiency which in return helps you save money, not to mention the overall running condition of the vehicle.
I know, it feels cool to drive fast, it makes you feel like a bad ass racer, but it lowers your gas mileage by 33% at highway speed and 5% around town. So unless it’s an emergency, you might want to slow down.
Skipping Regular Maintenance
This one benefits your car’s overall performance, which is good because if the vehicle is at its tip-top shape then it’ll also mean better gas mileage. Better not skip on your car servicing appointment. Any experienced motorist can appreciate the value of car maintenance. They understand that if problems are diagnosed and rectified on time, it can save a lot of money, time, and most importantly, stress! Getting your vehicle regularly serviced means you won’t be running it down like so many other motorists do. Running on low fuel, running on tires with little to no treading, running with no coolant – these are things that can and will increase the amount of money you put into your car and consume more gasoline which also costs a ton over time.
Defective Fuel Injectors
If your fuel injectors are faulty and insufficient fuel is being injected into the engine, your car won’t run efficiently. A less efficient engine means increased fuel consumption.
Clogged Air Filters
If the air filter is not in its best condition, meaning it’s clogged or too dirty to produce clean and cool air to mix with fuel to create combustion, the more gasoline your car consumes. In the long run, it pays to check it regularly and change when it gets dirty. The manual that comes with the car usually have instructions for changing your engine air filter as well as mileage estimate on how often should you replace it. That should come in handy since it’s imperative that you change it on a regular basis.
Improperly Inflated Tires
This means they shouldn't be overinflated nor under inflated. Otherwise they’ll wear out faster than they typically should and will affect vehicle handling and fuel economy. To avoid this, check your owner’s manual for recommended tire pressure and always stick to that. It’s best to check your tires’ pressure at least once a month but do it more often if you always go on long trips or you carry heavy loads all the time.
Faulty Spark Plugs
When your spark plugs are covered with engine oil, ash or other deposit, it does cause misfire, but once there’s black smoke that may indicate spark problems that can lead to engine damage. Engine damage leads to less efficient engine which as mentioned before consumes more fuel. So if you start noticing that your car backfires a lot or smoke is coming out of your exhaust, especially while you’re on the road, pull up at the roadside and call for a tow. You need to get your vehicle checked by a mechanic immediately.
You should have at least a quart or two of oil as emergency supply, especially if your car requires a specific kind of oil. This should help you run your vehicle further in a safe zone when it suddenly stops in the middle of the highway. Plus, if you aren't using an oil that reduces friction or the oil recommended by the manufacturer of your vehicle, you could be paying the price with poor fuel economy.
Bad Driving Habits
Excessive idling, jackrabbit starts, stepping on the gas as soon as the light turns green, freeway driving, and the likes all contribute to decreased gas mileage.