What Causes Bad Gas Mileage?

Close up of man crouching at the gas station and inflating tire.

Bad gas mileage is your vehicle’s way of telling you that something’s wrong. It’s not running efficiently for some reason, so you have to fill up more often than usual. Let’s go over some of the main causes of bad gas mileage so that you can diagnose and fix the problem before your next trip to the gas station.

Improper Tire Pressure

Bad gas mileage could be a symptom of improperly inflated tires. If your tires are underinflated, you’ll have to give the engine more gas to accelerate. That, in turn, causes you to burn through the gas.

Poor Driving Habits

Your driving habits could be the reason your gas mileage is on the decline. Revving your engine, accelerating quickly, and speeding can cause poor gas mileage. Change your driving habits to see if your mileage goes up. Often, this is the only fix needed to increase gas mileage.

Spending Too Much Time Idling

When your car is idling, it’s burning through the gas. Turn your vehicle off or shift into neutral if you’re waiting for someone or stuck in traffic that isn’t’ moving. Also, avoid idling for too long when warming your car up in the winter. Your engine will be ready to go 30 seconds after you turn it on, even when it’s freezing outside.

Air Conditioner Use

It’s nice to feel the cold air from the air conditioner blowing when you’re driving, but it can reduce your miles per gallon. Glendale’s weather is often lovely in the spring and summer, so avoid turning on the air conditioner if possible. If you do need to use it, don’t overwork it. Blasting your air conditioner can cause your gas mileage to go down.

While you want to limit air conditioner use, you need to be mindful of driving with your windows down. That can reduce your gas mileage when driving fast. If you’re on a highway or interstate, roll the windows back up.

Using the Wrong Oil

Using the wrong oil can force your engine to work harder than it should. Consult your owner’s manual to find out which engine oil you should use. The manufacturer chose the oil to ensure optimal performance, so stick with it.

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Dirty Air Filter

Your car’s air filter keeps the engine clean so that it can run at peak performance. If it’s full of grime and debris, it can become clogged, making it unable to perform its job. Check your owner’s manual to find out how often you should change your air filter. If it’s time, change it yourself or bring it to the dealership for help. Changing a clogged air filter can increase your gas mileage by as much as 20 percent, so it’s quite effective.

If your vehicle is older, you might not be able to get the gas mileage you want, no matter what you do. Manufacturers have improved gas mileage, so it might be a better bang for your buck to upgrade. David Hobbs Honda in Glendale, Wisconsin, has countless options with fantastic gas mileage, plus additional features. Visit us today, and we will help you choose a car, truck, or SUV that fits your driving style and personal needs.

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