Vehicle Warranty Blog

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Bad Mileage on a CarSometimes, the reason for bad fuel mileage is obvious. You might have a lead foot and drive a car with a high-displacement carbureted engine. However, the issue is not always so black and white. Let’s look at factors that can deeply impact your fuel consumption.

It’s Time to Change the Oil

As oil ages, it gets thicker. As this happens, your car’s engine will have to work harder to circulate that oil, and it will end up clogging the filter and lines. Make sure you’re changing the oil according to the manufacturer’s recommended timeline, both in terms of mileage and time.

It’s Time to Replace Your Air Filter

Engines need a mixture of fuel and air. If your air filter is clogged, it’s starving the engine of the oxygen it needs to breathe. Most filters should be replaced every 15,000 to 30,000 miles, though some filters (such as those from K&N) can be washed and reused.

Inspect the air filter and see if it’s full of particulates and gunk. If so, it’s time for a replacement.

Your Fuel Injectors Are Clogged

Speaking of fuel, the fuel injectors are responsible for precisely metering fuel into your engine’s combustion chambers. When they get clogged, they can’t move enough fuel, and the car won’t run properly. This will reduce the efficiency of your engine and lower its power output.

Sometimes, the solution is as simple as using a bottle of fuel injector cleaner, or you may just need to get new fuel injectors.

Your Tire Pressure Is Low

Rolling around on low-pressure tires can not only make your car handle worse, but it can also eat up fuel. When the tires have too little air in them, resistance increases, and your car needs to expend more energy to go the same speed. Check your tires periodically to make sure they’re at the right pressure.

You Have Weak Spark

When the spark is weak, it won’t ignite the air and fuel properly, leading to low performance and efficiency. A common reason for weak spark is that the spark plugs are old and gummed up, but there can also be a problem with the engine control unit or the wiring to the plugs.

If All Else Fails, Change Your Driving Habits

If you’ve checked into all these factors in an effort to improve your fuel economy and none help, you may just have to change your driving habits. Do you drive too fast? Do you accelerate more quickly than you used to? Analyze how you behave behind the wheel and alter accordingly.

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