• Ashley Bradish

Why am I losing gas so fast?

There's no question about it; the U.S. is facing difficulties and tension as gas prices rise. The time to get smart and be proactive is now. Let's all get through this together and pass on ways to increase our mileage and save on gas.


Tire Pressure

Underinflated, overinflated, or uneven tires will lower your gas mileage.


Use the guide on the side of your door to find the optimal psi. Do not go by the tire's max pressure!



Air Filter

If you have an old or dirty air filter, your engine won't get enough clean air to burn fuel. It will end up using more to compensate.


Learn more about cabin and air filters here: Cabin Air Filters: A Breath of Fresh Air.


Oxygen Sensors

The oxygen sensors measure air intake and emissions output for your vehicle. A faulty oxygen sensor can lose up to 40% of your vehicle's fuel efficiency!


How could it be responsible for losing so much?


Well, an engine with too much air will have trouble accelerating. Excessive or harsh accelerating uses up more gas and lowers your fuel economy.


Without enough air in the engine, a vehicle will run hot and use more fuel.


Spark Plugs

Your spark plugs provide combustion in the vehicle's engine. An engine that misfires because of old spark plugs will lower fuel efficiency.


Most spark plugs last 60,000 miles to 100,000 miles. Stay on top of when you need to replace them.


Fuel System

A bad fuel injector or fuel filter will affect the fuel's flow into the engine. Damaged or neglected fuel systems are a common cause of low gas mileage.


Air Conditioning

The more you crank your air conditioning, the more gas you use. But that doesn't mean you have to keep your air off in the heat; have it set to a reasonable temperature at a low setting. There's no need to hit the A/C button.


Exhaust System

It can be the oxygen sensor, a pipe leak, muffler, or another emission issue. Your exhaust system plays a crucial role in your fuel economy.


Make sure you have your exhaust system checked routinely by a technician.



Motor Oil

The type of motor oil you use will affect your car's fuel economy. For example, oil with low viscosity will pump through the engine a lot easier. Less resistance leads to higher fuel efficiency!


Without enough oil, the engine will run hotter. With an overheated engine, your vehicle will lose efficiency and power.


If you have too much oil, it will damage the air filter. As stated before, old or dirty air filters will decrease your fuel efficiency.


Driving Habits

Rougher driving habits will drastically lower your fuel efficiency. These habits include:

  1. Rapid acceleration

  2. Revving the engine

  3. Going over the speed limit

  4. Stop-and-go driving

Try not to overexert your vehicle with aggressive driving.


Excessive Idling

It shouldn't be as much of an issue as in the winter, but you should only run your engine when you need to.


Most cars don't need more than 30 seconds to heat up. There's no need to start your car five minutes before you leave for work in the morning.



So what can I do to save gas?

Now that we've talked about what you shouldn't do- let's talk about what you can do to save gas.


You can get better fuel economy for your vehicle by:


Drive the speed limit

Yes, even on the highway. The faster you drive over 60 MPH, the more gas you lose.


Although it can be aggravating, going the highway speed limit will save gas.


Take off your roof rack

An empty roof rack can make the average car 3% less fuel-efficient. It may not seem like much, but think about how often you drive. Those small percentages will continue to add up.


Empty your trunk

For most cars, 100 extra pounds means 2% less fuel economy.


You may not have 100 pounds worth of stuff in your trunk, but every little bit helps.


Don't put your windows down on the highway

It lowers your wind resistance, meaning your car has to use a lot more gas to move. Between the two options, you'd be better off using the A/C.


Bring your car in for tune-ups

Have a technician make sure all your vehicle's parts are working their best. They'll be able to catch any problems before it costs you extra fuel.


Use your heated seat less

Heated seats don't use a lot of fuel, but the more you can save, the better! Heated seats, the radio, and headlights run off your battery and alternator.


The more your battery and alternator have to do, the more strain it places on the engine. Try not to use your heated seat or other luxury features unless you really need them.


Get your oil changed regularly

Routine oil changes keep your engine at peak performance. Lubricating the engine components ensures they are working at peak efficiency. With higher efficiency, the engine will need less fuel!


Old oil will begin to sludge and stop flowing. Rather than drawing heat away from the engine, sludge will trap the heat and cause damage.


If you're wondering, "Why am I losing so much gas?" give Quality Automotive a call at 908-362-9555. We hope these tips will save you fuel and make this growing crisis a little easier.


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Sources


Bell Performance. (2016, January 21). Does oil change affect performance? Bell Performance. Retrieved March 9, 2022, from https://www.bellperformance.com/blog/does-oil-change-affect-performance.

Note: article cites author as Bell Performance