Reasons Why Your Car's Fuel Efficiency Dropped

The fuel efficiency of your car, or the miles per gallon that you get per tank of gas, varies based on several factors. These factors include your driving conditions, age of your car and how well maintained your car is. One tank may last you a bit longer than another if you are driving on the freeway or in cleaner air conditions. This makes it hard to determine whether you are getting less miles per tank. However, if it feels like you are filling up more frequently lately, you may just be. Here are a few of the reasons why your car's fuel efficiency has dropped and how an auto repair shop can help. 

A Dirty Air Filter

The air filter in your car should be changed about once every 30,000 miles. However, if you drive in a smog-filled area or dusty or dirty conditions, you may need to replace your air filter more frequently. If the air filter becomes full, your car has trouble pulling in the air it needs to cool parts of your car and properly accelerate. In turn, it uses more gas, which decreases your fuel efficiency. Air filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to install, so this is a repair that should not be put off. 

Tire Issues

Another reason why your car's fuel efficiency may decrease is because of tire issues. If your tires are not properly rotated or are under-inflated, you may be getting less miles per gallon than you should. An auto repair shop can ensure the tires are rotated regularly and are properly inflated to help maximize the miles you get per gallon of gas. 

A Bad Oxygen Sensor

The last reason why your car's fuel efficiency may decrease is because of a bad oxygen sensor. If an oxygen sensor is bad, or is going bad, it may trigger your engine to use more gas than it needs. Oxygen sensors should be cleaned and tested often to ensure they are working as they should. If your check engine light comes on, bring it to a mechanic. Many times, the light comes on because of a faulty or bad oxygen sensor. 

If you used to get back and forth to work on one tank of gas per week, and suddenly need to fill your tank a day or two early, it may be time to take your car to an auto repair shop. A mechanic can take a look at your car and determine if these issues or others are causing your car's fuel efficiency to drop. If there is a problem, they can repair it, helping you to use less gas. Visit a site like