Does Vehicle Maintenance Affect Your MPG?

Vehicle maintenance always seems to be a chore. However, it is a necessary one that should be according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Interestingly, with expensive fuel prices, some maintenance services can improve fuel economy. Here’s a list of maintenance services that affect your gas mileage. 

1. Engine Air Filters

A dirty air filter affects fuel mileage in older cars. But it doesn’t have much impact on newer vehicles, thanks to the computer and emissions systems. 

A dirty air filter does affect the vehicle’s ability to accelerate. A clogged air filter could keep diesel vehicles from idling or starting.

Does Vehicle Maintenance Affect Your MPG? Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo, WI. Image of a car mechanic changing the clogged air filter to maintain engine performance.

2. Oil Change

The oil you use for an oil change could decrease fuel efficiency by one to six miles per gallon.

If a manufacturer recommends 5W30 and you use 10W30, you could see a decrease in gas mileage. In vehicles with cylinder deactivation, dirty oil could clog the oil filter for the cam phasers and decrease fuel efficiency.

When you bring your vehicle to our shop in Antigo, WI, rest assured we use the oil the manufacturer recommends, so you get the best fuel economy possible.

3. Tire Maintenance

Does Vehicle Maintenance Affect Your MPG? Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo, WI. Image of a man using a gauge to check tire pressure of a red car.Maintaining the tires is a must if you want your vehicle to get the best gas mileage it can get.

Low air pressure decreases gas mileage due to the extra friction between the tires and the road.

  • When tire pressure drop to 75% of the recommendation, fuel economy decreases by roughly 3%.
  • At a 50% drop in tire pressure, you’ll get a further decrease in gas mileage at 10%!

Unbalanced tires could also affect fuel efficiency, but not as much as low tire pressure.

4. Tune-Ups

A tune-up isn’t like it was in the old days when you had to replace wires, plugs, coils, and points. Many newer vehicles use coil-on-plug coils, so the engine doesn’t have plug wires.

However, you still have to change the spark plugs. A dirty or worn plug won’t fire the air and fuel mixture in the cylinder properly, decreasing horsepower and fuel economy.

Have Your Vehicle Maintenance Done at Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo, WI

You can find your vehicle’s maintenance schedule in your owner’s manual. If you no longer have it or bought a used car and the manual was not included, Little Wolf Automotive in Antigo, WI can help.

Little Wolf Automotive provides maintenance for most types of vehicles. If you are unsure when to get an oil change, change the plugs and filters, or need more air to fill your tires, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Call us at (715) 350-4287 to schedule an appointment. You can also fill out this form or visit our shop at 1436 Neva Road, Antigo, WI 54409.