Why Are You Getting Less Gas Mileage Than You Expect?

Gas is getting more and more expensive. It doesn’t matter if you drive a big gas-guzzling truck or a fuel-efficient hybrid. You still want to save as much time and money at the pump as you can. If it seems like your vehicle isn’t getting the gas mileage it should, it could be a result of numerous different automotive issues. Here are 10 of the most common things that can affect your MPG according to the Fairbanks auto repair experts at Simard Automotive:

1. Fuel System Problems

There may be an issue in your fuel system, whether it’s a dirty fuel filter, a clog or leak in one of the fuel lines or something else. Getting a professional fuel system service might be recommended.

2. Using the A/C Too Much

If you really crank up the air conditioner all the time, you won’t get very good gas mileage. You may want to get you’re A/C system inspected and tuned up (especially heading into summer) so it is running efficiently and not wasting battery life or fuel.

3. Tire Pressure Too High or Low

It’s important to have all your tires inflated to the same recommended air pressure. If they have too much air pressure or not enough, it will definitely affect the vehicle’s fuel economy.

4. Damaged Spark Plugs

A failing spark plug that isn’t firing correctly will mean your engine isn’t getting the combustion it needs and the miles per gallon will go down.

5. You Need a New Air Filter

The engine air filter is easy to replace and it should be changed out when it gets too dirty. Otherwise, it prevents air from getting into the engine, which is vital for efficient fuel combustion.

6. Oxygen Sensor Failures

You may have an oxygen sensor that is failing in the engine or exhaust system. This will usually trip the check engine light. Either way a faulty oxygen sensor can hurt your fuel economy.

7. Other Exhaust System Problems

Beyond just the O2 sensors, there might be another exhaust system problem such as a failing catalytic converter or an exhaust leak somewhere between the manifold and the muffler.

8. Time for an Oil Change

Reduced fuel economy may mean that you are simple just due for a routine oil change. Motor oil provides important lubricating properties throughout the engine to keep it running efficiently, so that is why we get oil changes so often.

9. Letting the Car Idle Too Long

Some people let the vehicle idle longer than it needs to when “warming it up” in the morning or waiting in a parking lot. Most cars don’t need any more than 30 seconds to warm up and any extra idling is burning unnecessary fuel.

10. Poor Driving Habits

Lastly, your own driving habits can certainly affect your gas mileage. If you drive too fast, accelerate too quickly and push the vehicle super hard, it will use up more gasoline than if you drive sensibly.

If you notice that your vehicle isn’t getting very good gas mileage and you aren’t sure the cause, bring it into Simard Automotive in Fairbanks for a complete inspection and quality automotive repairs. We’ll get to the source of the problem and get it fixed correctly. Call us today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronce Ave. shop) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd. shop). Or, you can schedule your next service appointment online.


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