8 Main Causes of Bad Gas Mileage
Bad gas mileage is caused by a number of different things. The list goes on and on, but there are various things that attribute to this problem. Bad gas mileage means that your car is not running as efficiently as it could, and it also means you are losing money at the pumps because you are filling up more often. Here are some of the main causes of poor gas mileage.
Bad Gas Mileage Causes:
Overall, these are the major causes of bad gas mileage, but the list goes on even further than this.
How to Get the Best Fuel Mileage Out of Your Car
Learn how to increase gas mileage by installing a fuel mileage calculator, upgrading your tires, and 8 other tips to save gas.
There are some easy things you can do to get the best fuel mileage out of your car. Some are things you can do while you are driving, and others are maintenance issues. Either way, improving your gas mileage is a real possibility. Some of these methods improve your mileage by only a few percentage points, others by more. When you add them all up, it becomes a large increase.
1. Properly Inflate Your Tires
The first simple thing you can do is properly inflate your tires. They may look good, but making sure they have the right amount of air is important. This can increase fuel economy up to five percent.
2. Perform Regular Maintenance
There are a few different things a mechanic should look for when it comes to things that affect your gas mileage. The oxygen sensor makes sure that there is a good balance of fuel and air in the engine. Fixing a malfunctioning one can give a 10 percent increase. Air filters can get clogged and can drag you down up to 20 percent when it comes to gas mileage. Fuel injectors deal with how much fuel gets to your engine. It is common that there are leaks, and leaks mean that less gas gets to your engine. This causes poor gas mileage. Finally, dirty spark plugs which don’t ignite properly can also affect the car. These can all be fixed easily by a mechanic and can drastically improve you gas mileage.
3. Change Your Oil
Using the manufacturer’s recommended oil type in your car will improve fuel economy. The more friction that can be reduced by the oil, the better gas mileage you will get. The right oil can help improve your mileage by over 10 percent.
4. Turn off Your Air Conditioner
The air conditioning system is a big drain of gas. The less you use it, the less gas you burn. If you can bare a little heat, turn it off. Put your windows down to cool you off. But on the highway, keep the windows up. Open windows create drag, and at highway speeds, this offsets the advantage of turning off the A/C.
5. Change Your Driving Style
If you are an aggressive driver, you likely accelerate a lot when it is not needed. Many times you accelerate even if there is a car in front of you, or just to get to a red light quicker. There is no point in accelerating because it wastes gas. In fact, this kind of aggressive driving only gets you to your destination five percent faster. That’s only three minutes in an hour of driving. Try to stay at a constant speed because that means no acceleration. Use cruise control while you are on the highway.
6. Plan Your Drive
Try to plan your routes around the peak traffic times. The more you have to brake to stop and then accelerate to start the faster you burn gas. Having a route where it is smooth sailing is not only a better driving experience, but also a way to improve your gas mileage.
7. Don’t Idle Your Engine
Idling means leaving your car running while you aren’t driving. You are wasting gas by doing nothing. If you let your car sit for 10 minutes while not moving, you actually use up about two percent of your tank. Think about it, over a year’s time, you could be filling up several times more because of this and never going anywhere.
8. Lighten Your Load
If you can lighten the load in your car, you can improve mileage. Hybrids and other fuel efficient cars are extremely light for a reason, to help their fuel economy. Take things you don’t need out of your trunk, and take away many unwanted pounds. Other things, such as your roof rack can be removed as well. The more weight you can take away, the better off you will be.