Several different things can cause lousy fuel mileage. Suppose your car starts consuming more fuel than usual. In that case, it usually means that your vehicle is not running as efficiently as possible or losing money at the pumps because you are filling up more often. All of us consider the significant factors when buying a new car and fuel efficiency is the most commonly preferred checklist item that Indians want their vehicles to have.
A car that delivers low mileage can indicate many things, some of which are easily fixable in your own garage! But if you aren’t so handy with car tools, and you find serious problems that need trained mechanics to diagnose your car, Pitstop can step in as your best friend.
But before we go any further, let us take a look at all the reasons why your car could be consuming more fuel than usual and giving you bad mileage.
Although this habit seems like a no-brainer, it is a significant fuel waster and is often overlooked, forgotten, or ignored. If you can turn off your engine, do it. Shutting off your car is better for your fuel usage and prevents unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle (while also saving the environment). However, if you find yourself someplace where you can’t turn off your engine, like on a hot day while you’re waiting for someone at the store, the least you can do is put it into neutral.
This bad habit can be divided into three distinct categories – driving too fast, accelerating too quickly, and stopping suddenly. These actions lead to high fuel consumption, so wherever possible, accelerate slowly and drive at traffic speed. Leave ample space between you and the car ahead of you to stop gradually without slamming on the brakes. A natural, brakeless deceleration can help you increase your fuel efficiency.
Poor maintenance also causes your vehicle to consume more fuel. If you ignore your car’s service intervals, you will surely burn more fuel as your engine won’t run smoothly. The air elements get clogged, and therefore, more petrol/diesel will be required by the car to run for the same kilometre range. Make sure you get your car serviced regularly so that there’s no room for any underlying issues and your car gets back to running smoothly.
Excessive short trips
If you take your vehicle out on short trips often, you will also notice your car consuming more fuel. This is because all the cars are the least efficient and most polluting at the start of their journey and short trips. Trips that are less than 5kms don’t let the engine reach its optimum operating temperature; therefore, the engine uses more fuel.
Using the AC constantly.
Keeping your air conditioner switched on causes a lot of fuel wastage. Depending on the climate, you might want to turn off the air conditioner when it makes sense and drives with your windows open. When driving at a high speed, close the windows, though, to reduce drag.
Unclean/leaky fuel injectors
The main job of the fuel injectors is to provide the engine with fuel. In case of a leak, with less fuel provided, the machine has to work harder, hence consuming more energy to make sure other parts of the car work properly. In addition to that, dirty fuel injection cleaners can cause lousy mileage and engine misfires by reducing the fuel/air mixture in the fuel injectors (because the car takes up fuel varnish). Opt for Pitstop’s hassle-free car inspection service and our in-house mechanics will check and perform the necessary repairs.
Incorrect tyre pressure, while a common cause of bad mileage, is also one of the easiest issues to correct. Checking your tyres from time to time with an inexpensive pressure gauge is an excellent way to catch this. Use your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels that are ideally stamped onto the driver’s side doorplate instead of the maximum pressure unit on the tyre itself, and you’ll be good to go!
Poor Fuel Quality
Be more careful about what goes into your engine. A low-quality fuel can severely affect your engine’s efficiency and life also. There are many additives available at gas stations that make your car run better with the same fuel. However, be careful while selecting any additive for your vehicle. A good fuel additive will clean the intake valves of petrol engines and injector nozzles of diesel engines to reduce after-burn deposits’ buildup and make the car more fuel-efficient.
Wrong Gear Use
If your car has a manual transmission or a stick shift, use the appropriate gear. When pulling heavy loads, use a lower gear, ensuring that your engine doesn’t work harder than it needs to. Reversibly, use a higher gear when traveling at faster speeds. The basic idea is to listen to your engine. If it sounds like it is overworking/underworking, you are most likely wasting precious fuel.
If you notice your fuel efficiency being below par or if it seems to have decreased over time, go through the above checklist and make the necessary modifications to help put some of that fuel money back in your pocket. And while some of those are just to be taken as a precautionary measure, some are beyond your capacity to repair the damage that has been already done, in that case, get a Pitstop expert to check your car and make it as new as the day you bought it!