at a gasoline station

Fixing the Common Causes of Poor Fuel Economy

A vehicle with poor fuel economy is a colossal headache for motorists. Bad gas mileage means that your truck or car isn’t performing at optimum efficiency. On top of that, you’re losing money, as you’re filling up your car more often.

Poor gas mileage has many causes. By identifying the common factors behind the reduced fuel economy, you could take steps to fix the problem and get better fuel efficiency.

Here are some of the top offenders that contribute to bad gas mileage:

Unbalanced Tires

Tires with a healthy tread allow drivers to enjoy optimal fuel efficiency and better vehicle handling. If the tires are out of alignment, they can cause an array of problems, including uneven tread wear, difficulty turning in corners, and less smooth driving experience.

If you notice symptoms of unbalanced tires, get your tire checked by an auto shop as soon as possible. Technicians will use various pieces of equipment, such as a quality four-post vehicle lift and a wheel balancer, to check the condition of your vehicle and fix the problem.

Clogged Fuel Injectors and Air Filters

The purpose of the fuel injector is to supply oil to the engine. When the injector becomes dirty, the engine loses power and begins stalling. This results in the vehicle consuming more fuel than needed.

Similarly, an air filter aids combustion by allowing an adequate supply of air to enter into the engine. A clogged air filter undermines the combustion process and boosts the burning of fuel.

The solution for both these problems is simple: Remove the clog from the air filter or fuel injector. If this is not possible, you’ll need to replace these defective components.

Frequent Use of the Air Conditioner


Although cranking up the AC is fine when the weather is hot, you shouldn’t have this device turned on every time you hit the road. As much as possible, keep your AC off and drive with your windows open.

Terrible Driving Habits

Sometimes, the problem isn’t with the vehicle. Poor fuel economy happens when the motorist is driving his/her vehicle carelessly. A few of the negative driving behaviors that undermine fuel efficiency are:

  • Impulsive Driving Habits – Impulsive actions, such as engaging the gas pedals and brakes without a sound reason, cause excessive loss of fuel. If you can’t give up the thrill of revving and rapid acceleration, be prepared to shell out money on gas.
  • Too Much Vehicle Idle Time – Some drivers forget to turn their engine off when they step out of the car to smoke or go shopping. When the engine’s running and the car’s not going anywhere, it translates to wasted fuel and money flushed down the drain. So, turn off your engine before stepping out of the vehicle.
  • Over Speeding – Speeding up, specifically hitting over 75 miles per hour, will lead to poor gas mileage. Additionally, it could endanger the lives of people on the road. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), speeding took the lives of 9,378 people in 2018. So, avoid speeding by adjusting your driving behavior accordingly.

These are just a few of the causes that contribute to poor gas mileage. By maintaining your car and adjusting your establishing good driving habits, you could improve your vehicle’s fuel efficiency and avoid making multiple trips to the gas station.

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