San Francisco Automotive Solutions

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10 Reasons Why You Might Be Getting Poor Gas Mileage

We all want to try and save a little money at the pumps and we also want our cars to be performing their best. When it comes to fuel economy, these two goals go hand in hand. If you don’t seem to be getting the overall gas mileage you desire, there can be several reasons why. It may be a mechanical issue or your personal driving habits.

San Francisco Automotive Solutions has put together this list of causes for poor gas mileage, along with solutions you can consider.

1. Tire Pressure

If your tires are not at the correct air pressure, you will lose fuel economy. This is the case if they are underinflated, overinflated or each tire has a different pressure. The panel inside your driver’s side door will show you the ideal air pressure. Do not go based on the “max pressure” as listed on the tires themselves.

2. Air Filter

If your air filter is old and dirty, the engine won’t get the right amount of clean air it needs to burn the fuel. Air filters are inexpensive and easy to replace.

3. Oxygen Sensors

Most vehicles have multiple oxygen sensors to measure the air intake and emissions output. If the sensor is failing or is tripping the check engine light, you’ll want to have it checked out.

4. Spark Plugs

Your spark plugs provide the combustion within in your engine. If they are misfiring or not working properly, your fuel economy will definitely be affected.

5. Fuel System

A bad fuel injector or dirty/old fuel filter can drastically affect the flow of fuel into the engine. A fuel system problem is one of the most common causes of poor gas mileage.

6. Air Conditioner

The more you run your A/C, the lower gas mileage you will get. It’s a simple fact, so just know that any time you turn on the air conditioner and try to avoid cranking it all the way up on hot days.

7. Exhaust System

Whether it’s an oxygen sensor, the catalytic converter, an exhaust pipe leak, muffler or some other emissions issue, your exhaust system plays a crucial role in fuel economy. If you are not getting the mileage you expect, it’s a good idea to get your exhaust system looked at by a professional mechanic.

8. Motor Oil

The type of motor oil you use will have an impact on your gas mileage. Make sure and use the right weight and type for your vehicle to ensure optimal engine performance.

9. Driving Habits

Your own driving habits also make a difference. If you are a very aggressive driver and like to accelerate quickly, go fast and/or rev your engine, you are burning more fuel. Drive sensibly if you want to conserve gas.

10. Excessive Idling

When your car is parked, you don’t have to let your car idle so long. Most cars don’t need more than 30 seconds to warm up in the morning and if you are sitting in your car running the engine while parked or waiting to pick someone up, it’s just wasting fuel. Turn your car off or put it in neutral unless you absolutely need the engine running.

These are just a few tips and reasons why you might not be getting the best possible gas mileage in your vehicle. For more information or to get your car inspected and tuned up for excellent performance and fuel economy, call San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 957-1170 or schedule your service appointment online.


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