While German engineering does dominate the European car market, the Swedish manufacturer Volvo is able to stand out, offering inspired Swedish design and Scandinavian functionality that is perfectly suited for tackling modern life. However, some Volvo owners may find themselves paying more for gas fill ups than they used. In this article we will explore how you can get the most out of this fabulous range of cars and save money in the meantime by learning some of the factors which could impact your Volvo’s fuel economy. This will allow you to drive farther and smarter on the same tank of gas.
None of us can be perfect drivers all the time. Over the years, as time passes since we took our first driver’s tests, bad driving habits start to become more frequent, usually occurring out of habit or convenience. However, these little short cuts and bad behaviors can actually cost you money by increasing your fuel consumption.
If you regularly transport loads heavier than advised in your owner’s manual, you could be decreasing your car’s fuel efficiency. Likewise, if you regularly get stuck idling in heavy traffic, or if you speed or stomp on the gas during acceleration, you may find yourself paying more out of pocket at the gas pump. Driving at top speed up steep hills can also heavily impact your Volvo’s fuel efficiency, meaning you need to hit the pumps way more often, costing you more money annually.
There are ways to reduce fuel consumption while still preserving the integrity of your Volvo’s engine yet maintaining the excitement of your Volvo driving experience.
Poor Engine Oil
With everything becoming more expensive year after year, we’re all eager to score bargains where we can. Using cheap, low-quality oil may seem savvy at first, but this will set you up for more frequent refuelling, which will actually cost you more in the long run. Poor oil impacts your vehicle’s overall performance, which is why fuel consumption is likely to increase.
Ideally, you should check your oil levels regularly as part of good maintenance and should certainly replace your engine oil every 3000-5000 miles, depending on how frequently your Volvo is driven.
Worn Out Spark Plugs
The spark plugs in your engine are what ignite the fuel when you start your car’s engine. Failed spark plugs can make this process difficult, causing misfires and wasting fuel. This can lead to increased fuel consumption. Your spark plugs are more likely to fail if they are unmaintained and if you have poor driving habits.
MAF Sensor Failure
The MAF sensor of your Volvo can increase your fuel consumption dramatically. In charge of monitoring the amount of air entering the vehicle’s engine, the MAF sensor relays this to the onboard computer. This allows the computer to correctly provide the right amount of fuel for optimum driving conditions. If the MAF sensor is faulty or failing, then the onboard computer is left guessing to the amount of fuel needed and will often overcompensate, providing too much fuel, resulting in increased fuel consumption.
A factor of fuel consumption often overlooked by drivers is the state of their tires. Tires that are over or under inflated, or have uneven wear, will cause more exertion from the engine due to lack of grip and an uneven ride. Misaligned tires can also cause excessive resistance, which requires the engine to work over time, thus requiring more fuel.
Faulty Fuel Injectors
As their name might suggest, the fuel injectors are responsible for supplying the engine with fuel. However, if these injectors are clogged or leaking, less fuel will be able to enter the engine, causing an air/fuel imbalance, which not only can increase your fuel consumption but also could result in lean engine misfire.
Excessive Air Conditioning Use
While being stuck in a hot, stuffy car is uncomfortable, running the air conditioning excessively can cause quite a dramatic increase in fuel consumption. This is down to the engine having to work harder and guzzle more fuel to provide power to a/c. Therefore, on a hot day, try driving instead with the windows down. After all, the outside air is free!
If you live in Redwood City, CA, or any other surrounding areas of California, and are concerned about your Volvo’s fuel consumption, Cerrone’s European is the auto speciality for your Volvo needs. We are experts in European cars. The knowledgeable team at Cerrone’s will be able to give you the best advice to maintain and repair your Volvo. To sweeten the pot, we offer a 10% discount to new customers.