When you buy your vehicle, it’s up to you to maintain it well enough so it will achieve the highest possible fuel economy. At first, it may sound like an easy task, but it is more complicated. You could end up neglecting your vehicle due to having not enough time or money to invest in it. If your vehicle isn’t getting the needed preventive maintenance, you might end up asking yourself ”Why is my car burning gas so fast”?
Why Is My Car Burning Gas So Fast
Your vehicle might be burning more gas than usual. If your car is burning gas more than usual, the issue could be mechanical or something else. Here are the top 10 reasons why your car is burning gas so fast:
1. Low Tire Pressure
A vehicle with low tire pressure causes the engine to increase its RPMs resulting in a loss of miles per gallon. Inflating the tires with the correct psi will ensure that your vehicle gets the best fuel economy. A good rule of thumb is to inflate the tires to four to five psi less than the maximum amount. The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle will be located on a sticker on the driver’s side, or on the tire itself. Also, having the right size of tires is also key.
2. Vacuum Leak
When your vehicle has a vacuum leak, it causes the air-fuel ratio to lean out. Once this happens, the oxygen sensor communicates with the electronic control unit to increase the fuel so the engine doesn’t run lean. This results in a richer fuel mixture causing poor fuel economy.
In most cases, you’ll notice the engine has a rough idle or up-and-down idle like a search. These are all indicators of a vacuum leak. Other sources of vacuum leaks are fuel injector seals, take manifold gaskets, and throttle body gaskets. Repairing the vacuum leak will increase mpg and fix the idle issues.
3. Leaking Fuel Injector
A leaking fuel injector will definitely cause poor fuel economy. The fuel injectors are in charge of spraying fuel into the combustion chamber. if they are leaking, more fuel will be sprayed and that fuel will be wasted. Some people choose to repair their fuel injectors instead of replacing them. Me personally, I always will go for a new fuel injector.
4. Fouled or Dirty Spark Plugs
Having fouled or dirty spark plugs can cause bad MPG. This happens when fuel is sprayed into the combustion chamber, but the spark does not ignite the fuel. When fuel is added to a cylinder and it doesn’t combust, it gets wasted. This causes bad gas mileage. Replacing the spark plugs with new ones will ensure a good idle and better fuel economy.
5. Dirty Air Filter
A dirty air filter will definitely cause bad MPG. When an air filter is dirty and clogged, that causes the engine to struggle. This can even leave the lean conditions causing your engine to overheat. Replacing the air filter with a new one or cleaning it, if it’s a K&N filter, can improve miles per gallon up to ten percent. It’s been reported that clean air filters can save up to thirty-two cents per gallon or add up to 23 miles per tank.
6. Stuck Brakes
Stuck brake pads and calipers may not sound like something you’ve heard of, but it will most definitely cause bad gas mileage. I have personally seen as much as 15 miles per gallon loss from stuck brake calipers. Once the brake caliper guides and clips were clean and properly installed, the MPG increased from 18 miles per gallon to 36 miles per gallon.
In most cases, this can result from over greasing the caliper guide bolts. This causes air pockets that don’t allow the caliper to rest in the correct position and results in the brake pads being pressed against the rotor. In some cases, the brake caliper is bad and needs to be replaced. Ensuring your brake clips and caliper guide bolts are properly assembled will help yield the best fuel economy.
7. Loose Gas Cap
A loose gas cap can and will cause poor fuel economy. This happens because the gas vapors are able to evaporate out of the gas tank. Think of it like rubbing alcohol in an open environment. If the rubbing alcohol isn’t sealed, then it will evaporate to nothing quickly. This is the same principle as gasoline. Turning your gas cap three clicks will ensure the gas cap is properly sealed and gas vapors will not escape. Studies find that a loose gas cap can cause up to 10% decrease in fuel economy.
8. Driving with a cold engine
A vehicle reaches its maximum fuel economy after the engine reaches the optimal engine temperature. Some engines warm up faster, some slower. It is important that you warm up your engine before you go for a ride. Now, if you have 5,6 short trips throughout the day, that means you will have to warm up the engine 5,6 times. This is where planning your day comes into play. if you plan your short trips and group them together, you won’t have to warm up your engine that many times per day.
9. Avoid using the A/C
Try driving without using the A/C, when the weather allows it. If you live in a place where it’s hot, driving without the A/c can be impossible. But, if you live in a country with mild temperatures, try rolling down your windows and drive like that whenever possible.
10. Avoid sudden acceleration
This is the last reason why your vehicle is burning more gas than usual, but it can be the most important one. You could be the biggest obstacle to maximizing your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. If you are a fan of sudden acceleration, speeding, and not driving at a constant speed, all of this can impact your vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Try to accelerate smoothly and try to maintain a driving speed of 55 miles per hour. That speed is the best if you want to have good MPG.