Have you recently realized your vehicle no longer gets the great gas mileage you once enjoyed? Are you spending more than normal on your monthly fuel costs? Diminishing gas mileage is typically a sign that your vehicle has undergone normal wear-and-tear and requires one or more replacement parts to improve fuel system functioning. In some cases, though, the issue might simply be a consequence of less-than-stellar driving habits. Fortunately, there are a few simple fixes that can help restore your vehicle’s fuel economy and lighten the burden of frequent fill-ups on your wallet. Our team at AA Auto Tech explains what you can do below.
Change Your Driving Habits
If you’re more of a pedal-to-the-metal rather than a Driving-Miss-Daisy type, your gas mileage will suffer—there’s simply no way around it. And, if you’re not thrilled by the idea of driving the speed limit or curtailing your drag-racing style green-light takeoffs, this tip probably won’t serve you well.
If, however, you’re willing to lighten up on your lead foot, you can save yourself substantial fuel just by following the posted speed limit and gently accelerating your vehicle. When you’re looking to save on your weekly fuel costs, driving by the book isn’t just safe; it’s substantially cheaper, too.
Replace Your Spark Plugs
When your spark plugs are in optimal condition, you’ll get better gas mileage than when they’re partially worn. That’s because your spark plugs function to ignite, or combust, the fuel-air mixture that propels your vehicle. If the plugs misfire, your engine will inevitably use more fuel than necessary.
Ideally, you should follow the manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule for spark plug replacement, which you can find in your vehicle owner’s manual. If you don’t have your owner’s manual or cannot change the spark plugs on your own, take your vehicle to an auto repair shop. There, the technicians can inspect your spark plugs for signs of wear and change out the parts in need of replacement.
Replace Your Fuel Injectors
Your vehicle’s fuel injectors are responsible for delivering fuel to the engine’s combustion chamber, where it’s then used to propel your vehicle. If your vehicle’s fuel injectors are dirty or clogged, though, they cannot efficiently deliver fuel to the engine, which results in a leaner fuel-air mixture (more air, less fuel). When your vehicle’s computer senses the change, it will attempt to adjust by funneling more fuel into the combustion chamber from those injectors that are still relatively clean.
Unfortunately, this process typically results in overcompensation, wasting fuel and prompting more frequent trips to the filling station. To remedy the issue, you can try adding fuel injector cleaner to your fuel tank while the tank is nearly empty. Follow that up with a full tank of gas and drive your vehicle as usual. If that approach proves ineffective, you’ll need to have the fuel injectors replaced by a qualified auto repair technician.
Replace Your Oxygen Sensor
A faulty oxygen sensor cannot accurately determine the air-fuel ratio in your vehicle’s fuel mixture, which impedes its ability to communicate with the engine computer. When the sensor does not accurately communicate with the engine computer, the engine cannot adjust the air-fuel mixture appropriately for optimal fuel combustion. So, to protect the engine, the vehicle will automatically revert to burning a “richer” fuel mixture, meaning more fuel and less air in the fuel system.
Ultimately, your vehicle does not require quite so much fuel to function, though it will continue to consume more than necessary as long as the sensor is faulty. To restore optimal fuel economy, have a qualified auto repair mechanic run your engine’s fault codes to determine if the oxygen sensor requires replacement.
Got Bad Gas Mileage? Contact AA Auto Tech Today
At AA Auto Tech, we’ve been serving Hastings, MN vehicle owners for 25 years, and we’re experts at correcting poor gas mileage, so you can get the most out of your vehicle. Whether you need engine repair to restore your fuel economy or you’re looking for routine, recommended maintenance to maintain your existing gas mileage, our professional team is here to help. To learn more about our auto repair and maintenance services or to schedule your service appointment, give our team a call at 651-427-2218. Or, you can always feel free to message us on our contact page.