With rising gas prices, it’s more important than ever to be aware of your vehicle’s fuel economy. In general, many aspects of your car’s overall system can affect how well your gas mileage does, but here are some of the most common reasons why there may be an issue.

Tire Pressure

While easy to overlook, incorrect tire pressure can actually affect your vehicle’s fuel economy. Underinflated tires, for example, will increase resistance with the road, which means your vehicle will have to work harder and use more fuel. Try to regularly check your tire pressure—especially around the spring and fall when temperature changes can be drastic—to keep it at the correct PSI.

Air Filter

Engines require proper air flow to “breathe” as they work, and the engine air filter helps ensure it’s getting clean air. An old engine air filter will make it harder for that air to reach the engine, so it will have to burn more fuel to compensate.

Air Conditioner

A vehicle’s air conditioning uses up fuel, so you want to avoid constantly turning it up all the way during the summer. If you do start out at full blast because of a hot car, lower it considerably once the temperature has evened out more.

Oxygen Sensors

Engines need a proper air-to-fuel balance for combustion, and oxygen sensors are needed to measure that and adjust as needed. When the oxygen sensors aren’t working properly, they send incorrect results to your car, which may cause the vehicle to start burning too much fuel.

Fuel Filters

Just like the air in your engine, the fluid that runs through your motor should be free of contaminants. The fuel filters keep the solution clean so that debris can’t get in and potentially damage the fuel injectors or other parts of the system. When that filter gets clogged, the fluid can’t move as well through the system and the fuel pressure may lower, so the whole engine runs less efficiently.

Motor Oil

The right type of motor oil does more than just make sure your engine is running at peak capacity. If your engine isn’t properly lubricated, it has to work harder and affects many other parts of the vehicle such as gas mileage. More resistance between the parts equals a lower fuel efficiency, which could all be solved by making sure you’re using the manufacturer-recommended oil in your car and that it’s replaced routinely.

If you’ve noticed you’re getting poor gas mileage, it’s important to bring your car in for an inspection. Superior Service Center has a location in Eagan and Apple Valley, so we can expertly serve the Southern Twin Cities.