Increased fuel usage is frequently a sign of needing auto repair in Williston, ND. Not only can this increase your expenses, but you could also be sitting on a ticking time bomb for a future breakdown. If you are finding your fuel efficiency is not what it used to be, here is what may be going on with your car’s engine—and how we might repair it:
- Old spark plugs: Replacing spark plugs is a regular part of auto maintenance. When they are left to linger beyond their lifespan, it can affect fuel efficiency. Spark plugs ignite the air/fuel mixture in the combustion chambers. As they age, they will stop firing in a timely fashion, and that increases fuel consumption. You should have them replace every 60,000 miles unless your owner’s manual indicates otherwise. If you do not remember the last time they were replaced and you are going through fuel like crazy, consider scheduling that appointment. The problem can also be your spark plug wires, which also require routine replacement.
- New oxygen (O2) sensor needed: If your vehicle was manufactured in 1995 or later, it comes equipped with an O2 sensor. It is located on your exhaust system and monitors airflow on the catalytic converter. Based on its readings, your engine will vary its fuel demand. Much like other parts, the O2 sensor can wear out as well, and that can make your engine demand more fuel than necessary. Replacing the sensor restores fuel economy and maintains your engine’s previous efficiency.
- Malfunctioning airflow sensor: Much like the O2 sensor, the mass airflow sensor monitors airflow into your engine and adjusts the fuel injection. While it rarely fails and normally lasts the lifetime of your vehicle, it can get dirty, and if you do not have it cleaned, you may have to replace it. This is not a cheap repair, but fortunately, it normally gives some warning by illuminating the “check engine” light. Usually, it works again once we clean it.
- Air filter needs replacement: The air filter is normally replaced every other oil change. This frequency depends on how much you drive, and where—if you are constantly driving through dusty farms, for example, you likely have to replace it more often. You want to monitor the filter because it maintains the air quality in the passenger compartment and also traps debris before it gets in your engine. This is a quick and easy repair that normally does not cost much. Your vehicle may also have a reusable air filter that only requires cleaning, making this repair even less expensive.
- Poor tire tread: Tire inflation makes a big difference for fuel economy. With winter coming up, be aware that cold nighttime temperatures can cause tires to deflate. Worn out tread also challenges efficiency. It has a direct effect on fuel consumption because it takes more engine power to make up for the lack of tread. You will see the same effects if your alignment is off. Once the cold temperatures hit, check your tire pressure once a week, and top off on air when you need to do so.
For auto repair in Williston, ND, call Chaney Total Auto & Exhaust Repair to schedule an appointment. We are here to help you get ready for winter!