Why Is My Car Getting Poor Gas Mileage?

Why Is My Car Getting Poor Gas Mileage? | Don Lee's Tire & Auto in Raleigh, NC

Gas mileage is impacting both your wallet and the environment. But what happens when you notice that your car is guzzling more fuel than usual? Understanding the reasons behind poor gas mileage can help you take the necessary steps to improve it. We'll explore the common causes of decreased fuel efficiency and provide tips on how to get your car back to optimal performance.

Engine Performance Issues

One of the primary culprits behind poor gas mileage is engine performance issues. When your engine is not running efficiently, it requires more fuel to operate. Problems like dirty fuel injectors, worn-out spark plugs, or a malfunctioning oxygen sensor can significantly reduce your car's fuel efficiency. Regular maintenance and tune-ups are necessary to keep your engine in top shape.

Incorrect Tire Pressure

Believe it or not, your tires are crucial to fuel efficiency. Underinflated tires create more rolling resistance, making your engine work harder and burn more fuel. Conversely, overinflated tires can lead to uneven tire wear and reduced traction. Check your tire pressure regularly and keep it at the manufacturer-recommended levels to ensure optimal fuel economy.

Clogged Air Filters

Your car's air filter ensures that clean air reaches the engine. A clogged or dirty air filter restricts airflow, causing the engine to use more fuel to compensate for the reduced oxygen supply. Replacing your air filter, as your vehicle's manufacturer recommends, can improve fuel efficiency and overall engine performance. If you drive on or near dusty off-road roads, you may need to replace filters more often.

Driving Habits

Your driving habits significantly impact your car's gas mileage. Aggressive driving behaviors such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking can dramatically decrease fuel efficiency. On the other hand, maintaining a steady speed, using cruise control on highways, and avoiding unnecessary idling can help you get the most out of each gallon of gas.

Excessive Weight and Roof Racks

Carrying excess weight or using roof racks can negatively affect your fuel economy. Extra weight makes your engine work harder, while roof racks increase aerodynamic drag. Removing unnecessary items from your car and only using roof racks when needed can help improve gas mileage.

Fuel Quality

The quality of the fuel you use also plays a role in your car's fuel efficiency. Using lower-quality fuel can lead to deposits in your engine and fuel system, reducing performance and gas mileage. Always use the recommended fuel type for your vehicle and consider using fuel additives occasionally to clean the fuel system.

Short Trips and Frequent Cold Starts

Short trips and frequent cold starts can reduce your car's fuel efficiency. When your engine is cold, it requires more fuel to reach optimal operating temperature. Combining errands into one trip and avoiding unnecessary short trips can help improve your gas mileage.

Poor Alignment and Suspension Issues

Misaligned wheels and suspension issues can cause your car to use more fuel. Poor alignment leads to uneven tire wear and increased rolling resistance. Regularly checking and adjusting your car's alignment and suspension can ensure smooth driving and better fuel economy.

Ready to improve your car's fuel efficiency? Visit Don Lee's Tire & Auto for expert maintenance and tune-up services, and get back on the road with better gas mileage today!