With the recent gas shortages, you want to make sure your vehicle is getting the best fuel economy possibly. Here is a quick common sense checklist to keep in mind, especially when fuel is in short supply.
1) Tire Pressure
This is the number one killer of fuel economy. Under inflated tires will destroy gas mileage and if the pressure is too low can even be dangerous.
2) Driving Habits
I definitely consider this the number 2 cause of poor fuel economy. Anyone can easily get a couple of miles per gallon increase just by slowing down and avoiding jackrabbit starts. Also consolidating your trips as much as possible, or even carpooling saves gas.
3) Air Conditioner
Turn off the Air Conditioner if not needed. Also any unnecessary weight that you might have in the back seat or trunk, get rid of it.
4) Know Your Vehicle
Find out your vehicle’s normal MPG at https://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/bymake/bymanuNF.shtml. Do your homework and verify what your actual gas mileage is before spending money on repair shop diagnostics. Fill tank and reset trip odometer or record current odometer reading. Next time you fill up write down how many gallons you just put in, and the mileage driven since last fill up. Divide the 2 and that’s your average MPG for that last tank. For more accurate number do the math over several tank fill ups.
We frequently have customers bring us vehicles with the symptom of “bad gas mileage”. If there is a mechanical issue with the engine, most of the time the short or long term fuel trim numbers will reflect that something is going on with engine performance. Also if your check engine light is on, it could be that whatever’s going on could affect economy. A mechanical issue with the drivetrain could also have a definite effect on MPG.