The make and model of your car, as well as your driving style, are some of the top factors that affect your car's gas mileage. Unfortunately, even a good driver with a fuel-efficient car won't achieve good gas mileage if the car has some malfunctions. Below are some of the car malfunctions that trigger bad gas mileage.
1. Oxygen Sensor Malfunction
The oxygen sensor is an electronic device that is part of the emissions control system of a car. The sensor detects the volume of oxygen present in the car's exhaust. The feedback is fed back to the engine to control the air/fuel mixture. Too much oxygen in the combustion chamber creates a lean mixture due to little fuel burnt. Too little oxygen creates a rich mixture (more fuel burnt). If the oxygen sensor malfunctions, the engine won't get the right feedback and might burn more fuel than it should. More fuel burnt leads to reduced gas mileage.
2. Spark Plugs Malfunction
The spark plug is an electrical device that is part of the combustion system of a car. Once the combustion chamber has the right mixture of air and fuel, the spark plug delivers an electrical current that creates a spark to ignite the mixture in the combustion chamber. The ignition must occur at the right time to cause complete combustion at the right time.
A spark plug malfunction (for example, if the spark plug is clogged or if the gap between the electrodes is wide) can interfere with the combustion cycle and reduce engine power. As compensation, the engine will burn more fuel than it should to produce the necessary power. This leads to reduced gas mileage.
3. Fuel Injector Malfunction
The fuel injector is the part of the combustion system that introduces fuel in the combustion chamber. The fuel injector, which is electronically controlled, must spray the right amount of fuel into the combustion chamber at the right minute. If something happens, say debris clogs the fuel injection system, it might not spray the right amount of fuel. This means the air/fuel mixture will be lean, the engine power will suffer, and the car will burn more fuel than usual to cover the same distance.
As you can see, it's important to maintain your car and repair all issues as soon as possible if you want good fuel economy. Consult services such as AutoMedics for a diagnosis and solution if your car exhibits poor fuel economy.