Hyundai vehicles are well-known for being affordable, practical cars. Most models are engineered to deliver great gas mileage. Whether you drive an Elantra, Sonata, Santa Fe, Tucson, Veloster, or similar, here are some of the potential reasons why your Hyundai’s fuel economy has started to go south.
Clogged Air Filter
Many Hyundai owners make the mistake of failing to routinely inspect their air filter. This simple component is designed to keep dirt and other debris out of the engine, When the air filter becomes clogged, your engine won’t be able to develop as much horsepower and torque.
To counteract this loss of power, many drivers push down further on the accelerator. Poor gas mileage is often the result. Fortunately, air filter replacement is not expensive. On average, most Hyundai vehicles will need a new air filter every 30,000 miles.
Air Conditioner Use
During a summer heatwave hits, outdoor temperatures can rise quickly. Rolling down your vehicle’s windows may not cool things down quick enough. Turning on the air conditioner will instantly improve comfort. Unfortunately, this can cause your Hyundai’s fuel economy to drop dramatically.
Many people don’t realize that their car’s air conditioner is actually powered by the engine. When climbing hills and traveling in city traffic, running the air conditioner wastes a lot of gas. This impact is even more noticeable on cars equipped with a small engine.
Incorrect Tire Pressure In Hyundai Vehicles
Similar to most all other cars and trucks on the road, Hyundai vehicles need to have the proper tire pressure in all four tires. Not only does low pressure increase the likelihood of a dangerous tire blowout, but it can also reduce fuel economy by up to 10 percent. Over time, this means you could be spending a lot of extra money at the pump.
Ideally, you should develop a habit of checking the tire pressure at least once a month. Because cold weather tends to reduce pressure more quickly, you may need to check the pressure more frequently during the winter.
Drivers should take advantage of the convenience offered in most all modern vehicles, the tire pressure monitoring system. Also known as the TPMS for short. This system enables drivers to check and keep up with the air pressure in each tire, in real time. Additionally, similar to all the other vehicle systems, the TPMS may require maintenance. This is one of the reasons it’s still important that drivers keep a simple tire pressure gauge in their vehicle for a backup method, should the tire pressure monitoring system need service.
You Need a Tune-Up
If your Hyundai has started to idle roughly and hesitate when accelerating, there’s a good chance you need a tune-up. This important service involves replacing the spark plugs. While some modern spark plugs are engineered to last for up to 100,000 miles, poor vehicle maintenance can shorten their life.
When a spark plug’s electrode begins to wear down, it won’t be able to send the proper amount of electrical current to the engine combustion’s chamber. Your vehicle’s efficiency will eventually go down the drain.
Bad Oxygen Sensor
Most Hyundai vehicles come equipped with two oxygen sensors. The upstream oxygen sensor, which is situated before the catalytic converter, has the greatest impact of fuel economy. When it goes bad, your car’s efficiency can be reduced by 20 percent or more.
Along with a bad oxygen sensor usually comes a check engine light. With the use of advanced diagnostic equipment, an experienced automotive technician can quickly determine if your upstream or downstream oxygen sensor has failed. While some people suggest cleaning a dirty oxygen sensor, this is typically only a temporary solution.
It’s not a good idea to allow your Hyundai to idle for long periods. It can place greater wear and tear on the engine. Excessive idling also leads to lowered fuel economy.
Even on cold days, you should only allow your vehicle to idle for about one minute. Modern fuel-injected engines actually warm up quicker by simply driving the vehicle. After about two to three miles, your vehicle should be at normal operating temperature.