Is Your Car Consuming More Fuel Than Usual? Know Why

Rahul Jha
Rahul Jha

Updated on: 29th February, 2024 IST

car consuming more fuel

When it comes to choosing a new car in India, fuel efficiency is a crucial factor that car buyers consider. However, as a car owner, you may have experienced a sudden drop in mileage, which can be frustrating. If you're wondering why your car is using fuel so quickly there are several causes to consider.

Low tyre pressure, dirty air filters, overloading, and poor driving habits are just a few of the many reasons why your car's fuel economy can suffer. If you're a seasoned car owner, you may be able to diagnose and fix some of these issues yourself. However, if you're not confident in your car repair and maintenance skills, don't worry.

To help you improve your car's fuel efficiency and address the causes of high fuel consumption in petrol cars, we've put together this blog post. We'll cover common reasons for excessive fuel consumption, such as problems with the car fuel system or fuel injectors, and provide tips to avoid a loss of fuel economy. By following these tips, you can improve your car's mileage and avoid making frequent trips to the petrol pump.

Read More : India’s 10 Most Fuel-Efficient Cars

5 Reasons Your Car is Consuming More Fuel Than Usual

Reasons Your Car is Consuming More Fuel Than Usual

1. Engine Malfunction/Performance Issues

One of the most serious issues that a vehicle owner can encounter is a faulty engine. A damaged engine cannot perform optimally, leading to increased fuel consumption. It may seem surprising that a car that has only clocked a few kilometres could have engine problems, but this is not necessarily the case. The engine itself may be in good condition, but essential components such as spark plugs or oxygen sensors in a petrol engine, or dirty fuel injectors in diesel engines, can cause fuel inefficiencies and reduced fuel economy. Although the engine may seem to be functioning normally at first, the lack of efficient fuel combustion will eventually result in higher fuel consumption than normal.

Regular maintenance, oil changes, spark plug replacements, and emissions can help identify and prevent engine issues.

2. Incorrect Engine Oil Selection

The type of engine oil used can contribute to increased fuel consumption in your vehicle. Engine oil plays a crucial role in the proper functioning of your engine, and it is important to choose the correct grade. There are various grades of engine oil available and choosing the right one is essential. If you're using an oil that is thicker than the recommended grade, the pistons will have reduced mobility, leading to overheating of the engine and increased fuel consumption.

Checking your car's owner's manual for the recommended type and weight of engine oil can help improve your vehicle’s mileage.

3. Fuel Quality Concerns

It's important to understand that poor-quality fuel can significantly affect both your engine's efficiency and longevity. While fuel additives available at gas stations claim to enhance your car's performance, it's important to be cautious in your choice of additives. An incorrect or substandard additive can end up costing you more than the fuel itself. A good fuel additive cleans the intake valves of petrol engines and diesel injector nozzles, reducing the build-up of harmful deposits, and ultimately improving fuel efficiency.

Avoiding fuels that are contaminated, past their expiration date, or stored in poorly maintained tanks can nudge your vehicle towards improved mileage.

Read More : 10 Tips To Get The Best Mileage From Your Car

4. Inadequate Maintenance and Short Trips

Inadequate vehicle maintenance can result in higher fuel consumption. Neglecting regular service can lead to clogged air elements, requiring more fuel to travel the same distance. Additionally, frequent short trips, such as those less than 5 km, do not allow the engine to reach its optimal operating temperature, leading to higher fuel usage.

Regular maintenance, replacing old tires, oil changes, and tune-ups can vastly improve engine performance and mileage.

Worn clutch is a factor that can lead to decreased fuel efficiency and low fuel mileage. As the clutch ages, it results in a loss of power transfer from the engine to the wheels, reducing transmission efficiency and increasing fuel consumption.

Regularly having your clutch checked and replaced can decrease the wear and tear and increase the mileage of your car.

5. Inefficient Driving Techniques 

Rapid gear shifting, sudden braking and accelerating can increase fuel consumption, especially in busy traffic conditions. Avoid aggressive acceleration and braking, and drive at a consistent, measured pace.

While on the road, you can save fuel by turning off the engine when you must wait for an extended period, such as at a traffic light for over a minute. Restarting the engine uses less fuel than keeping it on, and the wear and tear are negligible.

Not idling the engine for extended periods before starting your journey can significantly increase the mileage of your car. 

Excessive air conditioning can contribute to higher fuel consumption in your car. The AC unit drains power from the engine, leading to increased pressure on the engine and greater fuel consumption. Until the temperature is tolerable, it's advisable to keep the windows open to avoid decreased fuel efficiency. However, if driving at high speeds, opening the windows increases drag and puts additional strain on the engine, so in this case, the AC will not significantly impact fuel consumption.

Using the air conditioning mindfully can help improve the mileage of your car.

Read More : CNG vs Petrol Vs Diesel Cars – Which One Should You Opt For?

Well, there you have it – 5 reasons why your car might be consuming more fuel than it should. From engine malfunctions to inefficient driving techniques, there are a lot of factors that can contribute to poor fuel efficiency. But the good news is, most of these issues can be prevented with a little bit of mindfulness and some more attention to your vehicle.

Think of it this way, when you're driving your car, it's essentially going through its rhythm and motions, just like Michael Phelps in the Olympics. And just like any athlete, your car needs proper nutrition (fuel), maintenance (regular check-ups), and training (efficient driving) to perform at its best. So, give your car the love and care it deserves, and you'll be rewarded with better fuel efficiency, a smoother driving experience, and a fuller, heavier wallet.


Q. Why does my car consume more fuel than normal?

Engine malfunction, fuel quality, and inadequate maintenance are some of the reasons for a car consuming more fuel than normal.

Q. Why is my fuel going down so fast?

High fuel consumption can be caused by a number of factors like speeding, frequent short trips, and excessive idling.

Q. How do you avoid high fuel consumption?

Consider factors such as road conditions, speed, and traffic when driving, maintain your vehicle regularly, keep your tires properly inflated, and avoid excessive idling to avoid high fuel consumption.

Q. Does driving slowly save fuel?

Yes, driving slowly can help you save fuel as it reduces the strain on the engine, allowing it to operate more efficiently.

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