What causes bad fuel economy?
Low fuel economy will result in you having to visit a petrol station more often and spend more money. With the rising prices of petrol, it is important that your car is able to use fuel efficiently. There are several different things that can cause low fuel economy. These include:
- Incorrect tyre pressure – Incorrectly inflated tyres are one of the leading causes of bad fuel economy. Periodically checking tyre pressure will increase fuel economy as well as increase the lifespan of your tyres.
- Faulty oxygen sensor – The oxygen sensor detects how much air is entering your engine, allowing your car to match it with the correct amount of fuel. If it fails or starts to receive incorrect readings, the air/fuel mixture in your engine will be affected, resulting in decreased fuel economy.
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- Bad spark plugs – The spark plugs are responsible for igniting the air/fuel mixture in your car’s engine. Eventually, the spark plugs will lose the ability to work correctly, resulting in misfiring and fuel not burning as it should and going to waste.
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- Bad fuel injectors – The fuel injectors are responsible for injecting fuel into your engine. If they are damaged or leaking, your fuel consumption will be affected.
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- Fuel leaks – Petrol can leak from your fuel lines, fuel pump or injectors. This results in it being wasted before it reaches your engine.
- Driving habits – The way you drive can have a significant effect on the amount of fuel your car uses. Below are a few driving habits that can cause increased fuel use:
- Driving mainly while your engine is still cold.
- Driving in heavy traffic.
- Accelerating rapidly rather than letting speed build slowly.
- Using air conditioning while driving.
- Driving in lower gears such as 3rd or 4th more than 5th gear or over drive.
How to improve fuel economy:
- Drive smoothly: Aggressive driving can waste fuel, so avoid rapid acceleration and sudden braking when possible. Instead, try to maintain a steady speed and anticipate stops by coasting instead of braking.
- Keep your tyres properly inflated: Underinflated tires can decrease your car’s fuel efficiency. Check your tyre pressure regularly and keep them inflated to the manufacturer’s recommended level. This information can be found in your car’s manual.
- Reduce weight: The more weight your car carries, the more fuel it consumes. Remove any unnecessary items from your car, including roof racks and cargo boxes, when not in use. Check the boot for excess items that don’t need to be there.
- Use the right motor oil: Using the right motor oil can improve your car’s fuel economy. Look for motor oils that are labeled “energy-conserving” as they contain friction-reducing additives that help your engine run more efficiently.
- Tune-up your car: Regular maintenance of your car, including tune-ups, can improve its fuel economy. A well-maintained car runs more efficiently, so be sure to change your oil and air filters as recommended.
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- Plan your trips: Combining errands and planning your route can help you save fuel. Try to avoid rush hour traffic and choose the most direct route to your destination.
- Turn off the engine: If you’re going to be stopped for more than a minute, turn off your engine. Idling wastes fuel and produces unnecessary emissions.
- Use cruise control: Using cruise control on the highway can improve your car’s fuel efficiency by maintaining a steady speed.
Low fuel economy diagnostics and tuning in Hamilton:
Fuel economy is an important aspect of driving, both for the environment and your wallet.
If your car is using more fuel than it normally does, we can help! Often, a check engine light will appear when the air/fuel mixture in your engine is incorrect. This will store a code in your car’s onboard computer. Our advanced scan tools can read this code, allowing us to quickly detect the cause of your car’s increased fuel use.
For diagnostics and quick fixes for increased fuel consumption, contact Grimmer Motors today!