How to Maintain Your Vehicle

The Different Reasons Why Your Car's Fuel Economy Can Fall

No matter how well you look after your car, its fuel efficiency is bound to decline as the vehicle ages. That said, a sudden drop in fuel economy is never a good sign as it indicates that your car may have a failed component. 

While there are many reasons why your vehicle's fuel consumption rate may suddenly increase, below are some of the usual culprits.

A failing engine

Your car's engine is made up of several parts that work together to convert the chemical energy in fuel into the mechanical energy needed for the vehicle to move. If one or more of your engine components are dirty or faulty, they may put a strain on the engine, thus hurting the vehicle's fuel efficiency.

Some common engine-related issues that can result in poor fuel economy include the following:

  • Dirty engine oil and oil filters
  • Clogged engine air filters
  • Dirty fuel filters 
  • Bad oxygen sensors
  • Leaking fuel injectors
  • Faulty fuel pump
  • Misfiring spark plugs

Generally, anything that affects the quality of the fuel-air mixture and the supply of fuel and air to the engine is bound to hurt your vehicle's fuel economy.

Tyre issues

Falling vehicle mileage can also be caused by issues with your tyres. If your tyres are not inflated correctly or have been thrown out of alignment, they can increase the vehicle's rolling resistance.

The greater the rolling resistance of your car, the harder it will need to run to overcome the forces. The added strain put on your car will result in increased fuel usage. Regularly checking your tyre pressure and alignment is a great way to keep the vehicle running as efficiently as possible.

Poor driving habits

While it's easy to bang on the steering wheel, frustrated with your car for not running as efficiently as it used to, you should check yourself before blaming your car for using too much fuel. If you have recently adopted an aggressive style of driving, it may not do much to help with your car's fuel economy. Reverting to a normal style of driving can help restore normal vehicle fuel consumption.

It's also recommended you only use your air conditioning system on hot days. Keeping the AC turned on when not necessary puts extra stress on your engine and hurts your car's fuel economy.

Most car problems don't cost much to repair if caught early on. Ignore these problems and you could end up spending thousands of dollars on car repair bills. If you suspect any problem with your car, never hesitate to visit a mechanic near you for car repair services.