10 most common causes of poor gas mileage

Written by bridie cavanaugh
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Introduction
  • Introduction

    10 most common causes of poor gas mileage

    Gasoline costs can be a major part of a household budget. You use gasoline every time you take the car out to run an errand, get to work or take a trip. Gasoline consumption also contributes to air pollution. Recognising the 10 most common causes of poor gas mileage and finding ways to manage those causes can lead to monetary savings and a cleaner environment.

    Minimise trips to the gas pump. (Medioimages/Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images)

  • 1 / 10

    Tires

    Under-inflated tires are a common cause of poor gas mileage. Pull out your owner’s manual and note the recommended tire inflation for your vehicle. Gas mileage drops by one per cent for every 0.907kg the tires are underinflated. Properly inflated tires increase gas mileage by up to 3 per cent.

    Tires (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

  • 2 / 10

    Speed

    The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that gas mileage rates begin to decrease at speeds over 60mph. Maintaining a slower speed can result in a 7 to 23 per cent savings in fuel economy.

    Speed (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

  • 3 / 10

    Heavy Trunk

    Extra weight in your car causes the engine to work harder and lowers gas mileage. Remove excess items from your boot and any car carriers. A reduction of 45.4kg in excess weight can save 1 to 2 per cent in fuel economy.

    Heavy Trunk (Flying Colours Ltd/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

  • 4 / 10

    Inconsistent Driving

    Cars perform best when driven consistently. Sudden acceleration, or braking, can decrease gas mileage. The U.S. Department of Energy indicates that erratic driving can decrease gas mileage by as much as 5 to 33 per cent. The use of cruise control on the highway can help you maintain a constant driving speed and improve gas mileage.

    Inconsistent Driving (David De Lossy/Photodisc/Getty Images)

  • 5 / 10

    Tune-Ups

    Not following the recommended schedule for your car’s tune-ups can increase your gas consumption. Regular tune-ups will increase gas mileage by up to 4 per cent. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct tune-up schedule for your car.

    Tune-Ups (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

  • 6 / 10

    Roof Rack

    A roof rack may help you load extra items onto your car, but it will also decrease your gas mileage. A roof rack changes the aerodynamics of your car and increases the air resistance, resulting in poor gas mileage. Extra items carried on the rack add weight to the car and contribute to poor mileage. Remove the rack if it is not needed. A loaded roof rack may decrease your gas mileage by 5 per cent.

    Roof Rack (Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

  • 7 / 10

    Errands

    The amount of gas your car consumes is greatly increased by the number of trips you make trying to finish your daily errands. Combine trips to cut down on gas expense. Review your errands for the week and plan to take care of errands in the same general location on one trip.

    Errands (Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images)

  • 8 / 10

    Idling

    Keeping your car running, while not going anywhere, is a waste of gasoline. Idling contributes to gas consumption and contributes nothing to gas mileage. It also contributes to pollution. Turn off your car when waiting.

    Idling (Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

  • 9 / 10

    Oil Choice

    It is important to use the proper oil for your automobile. The incorrect choice can result in poor gas mileage. Use the type of oil recommended by your car’s manufacturer. Look for the American Petroleum Institute symbol on the motor oil container. If the symbol indicates “Energy Conserving” the oil has been designed to improve fuel economy.

    Oil Choice (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

  • 10 / 10

    Oxygen Sensor

    An oxygen sensor interprets the amount of oxygen in your car’s exhaust and uses that information to adjust the car’s fuel consumption. An improperly functioning oxygen sensor can to lead to poor gas mileage. Fixing an oxygen sensor may improve your car’s gas consumption by as much as 40 per cent.

    Oxygen Sensor (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

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