Many people aren’t really sure what L/100km (better known as MPG in the US) is.
As soon as they notice that their car devours more and more fuel, they learn the meaning of this acronym all too fast. It stands for Litres Per Kilometres (or Miles per Gallon), that is the fuel economy. In the bottom line, it means how much fuel their car consumes per mile. If it’s low, not only might it hurt our pockets (imagine what it means on a yearly basis). The ecological balance suffers too.
If you live in North America, you are one of the reasons why the average fuel consumption rate in your part of the globe triples that of the rest of the world.
This doesn’t mean we should stop driving altogether. A renewable source of energy is probably going to be put to use, sooner or later. But until then we can at least try to control our vehicle’s appetites, as well as fix the issues with its digestive system.
That being said, some of the reasons for poor fuel economy may be part of your driving habits. Then there are those which could point to something gone wrong. You should mind all of these reasons. Some of them could be symptoms of a greater problem than money leaking from your wallet. Use them to figure out what’s wrong with your car and how to fix it.
When it’s “our fault”
● Too much idling
Either drive the car or turn off the engine. Of course, there is a reason why you deem it necessary to actually have the engine running, while you sit there patiently waiting for someone or something, or just getting warm. But keep in mind that there’s money oozing down that tube.
● Driving too impulsively
Hitting gas and brake pedals unreasonably or aggressively can also cause oil loss. As every motorist knows, cars are almost like human beings. They like to be treated gently. However, if you’re hooked up to the thrill of rapidly accelerating and revving, be prepared to spend some more money on it.
● Excessive use of air conditioner
Air conditioner wastes a tremendous amount of gas. Turn it on only when necessary. After all, nothing makes for a good ol’ fashioned hair waving in the wind while riding with windows open. You can play Thelma & Louise, or Mad Max, or any other road movie characters.
The car needs a doctor
● Low tire pressure
This is the simple law of mechanics, which can have an impact on an even simpler law of house economy. The lower the tire pressure, the harder the car moves, that is, it has to put in more effort. When it comes to cars effort is made of gas, and gas is made of money. So, adjust your tire pressure. We can’t tell you what the ideal pressure for your tires is, as it depends. You can find the maximum value on the tire, but check the owner’s pocketbook and find the recommended value. Therefore, it is vital not to overinflate. You don’t need an unstable vehicle, let alone one which is virtually dangerous to operate. You might consider acquiring a pressure gauge. The cheapest ones cost only about $10, and they are really a valuable tool to keep in your trunk.
● Clogged fuel injectors or air filters
The function of these things is, obviously, to inject fuel into the engine by sprinkling it evenly. Every so often they will get dirty. How are you to know that this is the reason why your car eats more food than it needs? If the engine loses power and falters and hesitates every now and again, followed by the sound of laboring hard while doing simple things, you should definitely consider cleaning the injectors. That being said, you should clean all of them, not only one.
When it comes to air filters, they are supposed to let just enough air into the engine to enable combustion, while keeping any foreign objects out of the way. There may be dust, straws, bugs, or even mice droppings! Of course, it impedes the engine’s breathing process. Cleaning and replacing the filters isn’t expensive.
● Low engine oil
The car is an organism, and it has a heart. It’s called engine. Your car’s heart needs… hm, lubricating, in this case, so as to reduce friction, absorb heat and oxidation.
So, how to know if the oil needs changing? You should have an oil indicator in your car. If not, consider changing it every 3.000 miles. Or switch to synthetic oil, if you’re a proud owner of a newer vehicle. Contrary to what one would expect, synthetic oils last longer than mineral ones.
● Old spark plugs
Just like anything else, spark plugs have their own life cycle. When they grow old, they don’t function properly, which can cause misfiring. The first symptom is, of course, bad fuel economy. When performing poorly, these little things can affect your fuel consumption by up to 30%.
If you are worried about the fuel consumption of your automotive pet, come to our repair shops in Hamilton and Stoney Creek today! We are expecting you!