You’ve noticed it, right? Your car’s guzzling more gas than you expected, and it’s not just your wallet feeling the pinch; it’s a puzzle you’re itching to solve. Well, you’re in luck. We found 15 reasons why your car’s fuel economy might be lagging.

Incorrect Tire Pressure

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Let’s start simple. Your tires are the shoes of your car; if they’re not pumped right, you’re not going to walk—or in this case, drive—efficiently. Under or over-inflated tires mess with your fuel efficiency. Check them regularly and keep them at the recommended pressure.

Excessive Weight or Load

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Carrying around a bunch of stuff you don’t need? That’s like running with weights strapped to your back. Your car works harder and uses more fuel. Keep it light, and only haul what you need.

Poor Maintenance

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Neglecting your car’s upkeep is like skipping a checkup. Dirty air filters, old spark plugs, and overdue oil changes can make your car sluggish and thirsty for more fuel.

Use of Air Conditioning

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Cranking the AC on max eats up gas, especially when you’re stuck in traffic. Use it wisely. Sometimes, rolling down the windows is just as good.

Driving Habits


If you’re always in a rush, jamming on the accelerator and brakes, you’re burning more fuel. Ease up, drive smoothly, and watch your efficiency improve.

Wrong Type of Fuel

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Using cheap gas in a car that asks for premium? You might save a few bucks now but pay more at the pump in the long run due to poor performance and efficiency.

Short Trips


Short hops don’t let your engine warm up properly, leading to inefficient fuel use. Bundle your errands into longer trips to give your car a chance to reach its optimal operating temperature.

Traffic Conditions

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Stop-and-go traffic is a fuel economy killer. Whenever possible, opt for routes with smoother flow, even if they’re a bit longer.

Air Filter

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Your engine needs to breathe, and a clogged air filter is like having a stuffed nose. A clean filter means a happier, more efficient engine. It’s an easy and affordable fix that can make a big difference.

Oxygen Sensors

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These little gadgets measure how much oxygen your engine’s using. If they’re off, your engine’s efficiency goes down the drain. Keeping them in check can save you a lot on fuel in the long run.

Spark Plugs

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Think of spark plugs as your engine’s igniters. If they’re not sparking right, your fuel burn is off, leading to waste. Regular checks can keep them firing correctly.

Fuel System

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A clogged fuel injector or dirty filter starves your engine of gas, making it less efficient. Keeping your fuel system clean ensures smooth fuel flow and better mileage.

Exhaust System

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From leaks to a bad catalytic converter, exhaust problems can drag down your fuel economy. If your car’s louder than usual or just feels off, it might be time for a check-up. Keeping your exhaust system in shape helps keep your fuel economy on point.

Motor Oil

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Using the wrong oil can increase friction in your engine, forcing it to work harder. Stick to the manufacturer’s recommendation for the best balance of protection and efficiency.

Excessive Idling

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Letting your car idle while waiting is like burning money. Modern cars don’t need to warm up for ages. Turn off the engine if you’re waiting for more than a minute. It’s a small change that can add up to big savings.

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Author: Abbie Clark

Title: Co-Founder

Expertise: Automotive Industry, Electric Vehicles, DIY Car Repairs


Abbie Clark is a writer, blog, and founder of RideRambler, Hey She Thrives, and The Bearded Bunch.

From clever car cleaning tricks to the freshest car features and reviews, Abbie loves sharing her knowledge on everything automotive. Outside of her time writing for her websites, you’ll find her fishing with her husband, deciphering her toddler’s babbling, or baking up something sweet.

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