Cars resemble humans in so many ways. One minute they work just fine. The next, they aren’t. Sometimes they exude signs of an imminent break down, other times they just refuse to start. It is the same case with fuel consumption. Your Porsche can be flawless today, consuming fuel just as it should. Before you know it though, its consumption shoots up and suddenly you have to refuel more than you did the previous week covering the same distance. So why exactly does this happen? Truth is, there are so many reasons why this happens sometimes. The list simply goes on and on. However, there are a few common causes of abnormal fuel consumption. The most common ones include:
Faulty Oxygen Sensors And Air Filters
Faulty oxygen sensors and air filters can reduce your gas mileage by as much as 20%. It is easy to understand why this seemingly minor issue can take a toll on fuel consumption. Oxygen sensors are designed to maintain a ‘healthy’ mix and balance of air and fuel. Anytime this balance goes off or gets uneven results to overconsumption. That’s because air filters get clogged and force the engine to work more than it should. You may also have problems with the A/C. The only solution here is to unclog the air filter and fix the faulty oxygen sensors.
Sometimes the car is not really at fault. The culprit here then becomes the driver with his or her driving habits. It may sound strange but speeding, braking and then rapidly accelerating are all habits that can cumulatively contribute to a sudden increase in fuel consumption. Keep your speed moderate and you will certainly note a big difference on how your car consumes fuel. It is also a good idea to turn off the engine when idling for a minute or two waiting for a loved one.
Poor Wheel Alignment
Misaligned tires drag instead of rolling freely as you drive. This can reduce fuel efficiency by 10%. Note too that misaligned tires also wear out quickly because of uneven tire wear. Speaking of tires, you may also want to have your tired inflated properly. This is because tire pressure has been proven to directly affect fuel consumption. Underinflated tires lose approximately 2psi (pounds per square inch) every month. Each tire underinflated by at least 10psi reduces fuel efficiency by 3.3%. If four tires are underinflated by as much as 10psi, then there will certainly be a significant reduction in a car’s fuel efficiency.
Always be keen on how your car behaves a day or two after a long drive. Any sounds coming off the hood of wheel area indicates a problem. Observe too how your car behaves when you start it. you may not know it but misfiring spark plugs can also cause your car to suddenly consume more fuel than it should. They can also damage the catalytic converter. Having your air conditioner on when you do not use it can also cause a lot of fuel to be wasted when powering the system.