In the European luxury car market, Germany dominates with its Volkswagen models. Their cars stand out from the crowd, offering fun and freedom alongside practicality and fuel economy. However, without the right care and maintenance practices, you can find yourself heading to the pumps way more often than you’d like. Your Volkswagen might be guzzling more fuel more often than it used to. In this article, we will explore reasons for poor fuel economy and also discuss how to prevent it and where to go for help with this common issue.
Bad Driving Habits
The way you drive your car can greatly impact the frequency in which you find yourself at the pumps. Many of us have some pretty bad driving habits that we’ve developed over the years without even knowing it. However, by being more conscious of the way in which we drive, we can ensure our vehicle doesn’t guzzle fuel.
Some of the top habits which increase consumption include:
- Transporting loads heavier than advised in the owner’s manual
- Regularly being stuck in traffic/excessive idling
- Hitting the gas hard when accelerating
- Driving at top speed, particularly on hills or inclines
- Using accessories excessively
- Engine revving
Low Quality Engine Oil
Many of us like to save money where possible, but an area you shouldn’t scrimp on is your engine oil, as it will only cost you more in the long run. It is called low-quality oil for a reason. It breaks down faster, meaning you’ll need to change it out quicker, and it usually lacks the quality ingredients needed to maintain a healthy engine, such as conditioners. Poor oil impacts the overall performance of your vehicle, including its fuel economy.
Old Spark Plugs
Spark plugs are responsible for igniting the fuel in your engine when you start your car as well as while you are driving. Spark plugs that are old or heading towards the end of their lifespan are likely to be less reliable and therefore, will often fail to ignite the fuel correctly. This will result in fuel wastage and an increase in fuel consumption.
Failed MAF Sensor
Failure of the mass airflow sensor, or MAF sensor, can have a huge impact upon the miles per gallon you can expect from your Volkswagen. The MAF sensor monitors the airflow into your engine and informs the onboard computer. This, in turn, allows the onboard computer to be highly accurate in the amount of fuel needed for optimal ignition and overall engine performance. If the MAF sensor isn’t working properly, the computer has to guess and will usually overcompensate. This results in bad fuel economy.
When faced with fuel consumption issues, many drivers immediately look under the hood for the cause. However, your tires can be just as damaging to your economy. If your tires are incorrectly inflated or have uneven wear patterns, then there is increased resistance between the tire and the road that your engine has to compensate for to ensure speeds are maintained. This will result in the burning of extra fuel.
Failed Fuel Injectors
Fuel injectors pump fuel into the engine at a rate and angle decided by the onboard computer. However, if there is a malfunction in the injectors, then they can over-inject fuel. Also, if there is a clog, it can under-inject. Either way, this throws out the delicate balance of air and fuel needed for perfect engine operation, resulting in faster rates of fuel consumption.
Overuse of the Air Conditioning
The A/C runs off energy created by the engine, meaning that when it is running, your engine is having to work harder to compensate for AC use. It is therefore burning through more fuel. To help prevent this, only use your A/C when necessary and do not leave it running for extended periods of time.
Master Mechanics Auto Repair
For residents of Battle Creek, Portage, and Kalamazoo, MI who are plagued with poor fuel economy in their Volkswagens, help is nearby. Master Mechanics Auto Repair have been helping the communities with their cars for over 30 years. We are specialists in European cars with expert knowledge and the ability to care for your Volkswagen’s maintenance needs. Our friendly team of technicians will make sure everything is taken care of, meaning you’ll always drive away happy.