Why Am I Not Getting the Advertised Fuel Mileage?
With gas prices surging and little end to the rise in sight, people everywhere have been turning to fuel-efficient alternatives that maximize their miles-per-gallon. Vehicle makers have obliged, offering a wide selection of models that use smaller engines, hybrid technology, and many other ways of keeping gas consumption low and distance traveled high. We’ve even seen miles-per-gallon numbers becoming key focal points of vehicle marketing!
If you purchased a vehicle for its fuel mileage numbers, you may have experienced the same disappointment and shock that many other vehicle owners do: your own MPG experience simply doesn’t live up to the one that’s advertised. There are plenty of reasons for that, and there may be some things you can do to help improve your gas mileage in your own car. In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at a few of them.
Fuel Mileage Tests Are “Best Case” Numbers
First, the nature of the test itself is one reason why you may not be seeing the numbers advertised. Every car needs to be accurately and fairly measured for an adequate comparison to every other vehicle, and the only way to do this is with a standardized, completely controlled test. Vehicle manufacturers actually design their cars to do well in these tests, which leads to higher numbers. But the big thing is, these numbers are obtained in this controlled environment, not the real world. This isn’t to say that a car that scores better on this test isn’t more fuel-efficient: higher numbers do mean better economy and less gas consumption. However, when you take a car out into your daily life, it will be different and more likely than not the fuel economy won’t reach this advertised peak.
Your Driving Habits
The next reason you may not get the numbers that are advertised is your own driving style. Some people tend to keep the foot on the gas a little more. Some people use the air conditioner everywhere they go. Some people drive almost exclusively in the city, while others do pretty much nothing but highway miles. The truth is almost nobody continuously drives in the most optimal fashion, and that means your own fuel consumption numbers will be lower than what your car claims it can get.
The condition of your car plays a big role in how much fuel it burns. A car that has its oil changed regularly, rotates and re-inflates tires frequently, and continually works on the engine, transmission, and other components to ensure optimal condition is going to be far more fuel-efficient than a car which doesn’t get the maintenance it needs nearly often enough.
Be sure to keep a log of how often you change your oil, what oil you use, and what other services are done each time you have your car maintained. This is crucial because you want to keep track of everything from how long you’ve had parts like brake pads and tires to how long you’re going between oil changes. If you start seeing your fuel mileage suffering, you may be able to find the cause of the decline just from these records.
A Problem With Your Vehicle
You may have a problem in your car that you aren’t aware of, and that problem could be costing you—literally—at the gas pump. Things such as leaks in gas lines, worn-out spark plugs, exhaust system issues, and much more could all be leading to a vehicle that’s struggling to get power, and burning more fuel as a result. Over time, any vehicle will see losses in power from general wear and tear, but significant losses usually indicate a more serious issue. When you suspect you have one of these problems, it’s best to have an experienced auto repair expert inspect your vehicle and determine the source of the issue for themselves.
Trust Your Car to Christian Brothers Automotive
At Christian Brothers Automotive, we want to ensure your car not only lasts as long as possible, but remains as enjoyable to drive as it was the day you first drove it off the lot! We’re your complete car care experts, offering a wide range of services for all of your car’s most vital systems like transmissions, suspension, engines, exhaust, and everything in between. Plus we offer customer service you won’t find anywhere else, including offering a comfortable waiting area with complimentary Wi-Fi and even a convenience shuttle that will get you where you need to go while we work!
If your fuel mileage has been suffering, bring your car to your local Christian Brothers Automotive and have it inspected today!
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