Best known for their distinctive styles such as the Beetle and the highly desirable VW Camper Van, Volkswagens have been a favourite of drivers for well over 50 years. Particularly loved by multiple owners time and time again, secondhand, thirdhand, and even classic Volkswagens are reliable and well engineered, built with quality German designs that are meant to last.
However, as with any vehicle, time, use, and neglected maintenance can take its toll on even the best made vehicles, and you may find your VW starts to show its age. One of the most common signs an older car will give you in regards to its overall condition is increased fuel consumption, which directly results in reduced fuel efficiency.
In this article we’ll be listing and exploring the most common reasons why your Volkswagen might be displaying increased fuel consumption.
Your Driving Habits
As drivers, over the years, we all develop those little bad habits which would have our driving instructors shaking their heads. However, without the proper retroactive maintenance, these habits can have a direct impact upon your VW’s fuel economy. Aspects such as regularly transporting heavy loads, getting regularly stuck in heavy traffic, being overzealous on the brakes and gas pedals, as well as regularly driving up steep hills can all have a damaging effect on the miles per gallon you can expect from your VW.
Low Engine Oil Quality
Drivers often overlook how much poor quality or poorly maintained engine oil can impact a vehicle’s overall performance, let alone its rate of fuel consumption. You should regularly check your oil levels and oil condition as part of your regular maintenance checks. You should also ideally replace your oil every 3,000 miles, though if you drive less, changing your oil every 4,000-5,000 miles will typically be acceptable.
Aged Spark Plugs
As spark plugs are instrumental in successful ignition and combustion of the engine, if they are failing or in a poor condition, your Volkswagen’s fuel consumption will be impacted. How well you drive and your level of maintenance will definitely reflect upon the longevity of your spark plugs. To help keep this part working effectively, make sure your mechanic inspects them regularly, and if the spark plugs are found to be ineffective, seek replacements as soon as possible.
Faulty Fuel System
Of course, when faced with increased fuel consumption, one of the most common systems responsible will be the fuel system. If this system isn’t working as it should, the flow of fuel in your engine will become misaligned, with the VW’s onboard computer typically over-compensating the amount of fuel injected into the engine, causing you to refuel more regularly than you might like. You can help reduce the risk of fuel system issues by only using quality fuel, keeping the fuel injectors squeaky clean, and replacing filters which are past their best.
One of the most common and simple to fix issues which can largely impact your Volkswagen’s fuel consumption is the condition of your tires. Uneven tire wear, over or under inflated tires, unbalanced, or misaligned tires can all cause excessive resistance between the car and the road. This causes your car to require more effort to achieve the same propulsion as before, resulting in a poor miles per gallon ratio.
Regularly Scheduled Maintenance
Almost all the issues mentioned above can be remedied or prevented by ensuring regularly scheduled maintenance is performed on your Volkswagen. Many maintenance tasks you can keep in check yourself, such as tire pressure and oil levels, but elements such as spark plug care and wheel alignment issues are best handled by a professional. In general, if it’s been a good while since you’ve taken your car in for a service, it’s best to schedule professional maintenance as soon as possible.
If you own a Volkswagen and live in Las Vegas or any of the surrounding areas of Nevada and are experiencing increased fuel consumption, then look no further than EMCNV for your maintenance solution. The team at EMCNV are highly qualified and experienced, and will have your car inspected with the utmost care. We do all repairs done in a timely manner, ensuring you’re back on the road as soon as possible.