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Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

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Recently updated on January 23, 2022 at 12:17 am

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

There are many aspects that can have a positive or negative effect on fuel consumption. A higher fuel consumption does not necessarily have to be a sign of a defect - it is rather factors such as the load on the vehicle, whether the vehicle is being driven over a short or long distance, or the time of year (summer or winter). And tuning also plays a role here. Is a performance increase installed, then this does not have to be directly responsible for higher consumption, but often the power is then used more so that the fuel consumption increases due to the different driving style. A so-called ECO-Tuning on the other hand, can have the opposite effect and reduce the vehicle's consumption with the same driving style. Incidentally, this is the case with both gasoline and diesel engines.

Fuel consumption too high?


Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!Who is only interested in very specific areas around the topic Fuel consumption too high iIf you are interested, you can use the following jump labels to navigate directly to the desired topic with just one click. And just as quickly you can return to this overview from the selected menu item with just one click. However, we recommend our readers to always read through the entire article. Some menu items are only really comprehensible and understandable once the complete information article has been read.

  1. Driving style and area of ​​application are decisive
  2. Formula for calculating fuel consumption!
  3. Method to determine consumption!
  4. Factors you can check for yourself!
  5. don't panic if consumption increases
  6. Is the air filter in good condition?
  7. Are mechanical factors to blame?
  8. Bearings can be a problem!
  9. Which wheel is the vehicle blocking?
  10. Clogged injectors maybe the reason?
  11. Auxiliary unit defective?
  12. Defective engine control sensors!
  13. Is chip tuning to blame?
  14. Too many consumers activated?
  15. Bad fuel as the cause?
  16. Old fuel in the tank?
  17. Tutorials on the topic of consumption
  18. summary information on the increased fuel consumption

Driving style and area of ​​application are decisive

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

One of the most important factors that influence fuel consumption is of course the individual driving style and the area of ​​application. Adjusting or changing this is a relatively simple method to reduce fuel consumption. The situation is different if the increased consumption is the result of a defect. Finding this defect can be extremely time consuming. Mainly because the defect cannot be determined on the basis of the additional consumption. Consumption can only be a few percent higher, but also by 50 percent or even more. This is particularly noticeable when consumption increases, although all other aspects (such as the route, the driving style or the traffic) remain unchanged. If you notice such an increase, it is important to find the cause of the additional consumption. (I.e.

Formula for calculating fuel consumption!

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

Of course, you first have to know the specific fuel consumption of your vehicle in order to be able to notice any increased consumption at all. Here you can save the given value of the on-board computer as reference point use, but this is not 100 percent reliable and often deviates from the actual consumption from. To get an exact value, it is advisable to do the math yourself. The method that is available for this is, on the one hand, very simple to carry out and, on the other hand, fairly accurate. (I.e.

Method to determine consumption!

To do this, proceed as follows: You fill up your vehicle to the brim, which can take some time. Make sure that the nozzle switches itself off and then fill up not manually after. If the vehicle is filled to the brim, put on the daily kilometer zero back and drive the car just like you would otherwise. Make sure that the route is long enough - it should be at least 100 kilometers. Of course you can also drive 300 or 400 km. Then return to the same gas station and refuel the car to the brim again. Now multiply the amount of fuel (liters) used by 100 and divide the result by the number of kilometers you drove between the two refueling. The end result you get here is that average amount of fuel that you use for 100 kilometers. An example of this after 600 kilometers driven: 40,56 liters of fuel x 100 : 600 km = 6,76 liters Average consumption over 100 kilometers. (I.e.

Factors you can check for yourself!

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

If a Air pressure of your tires is too low, this can also result in increased consumption. An increase to the prescribed amount can up to 30 percent have less consumption as a result. To save even more fuel, you can adjust the air pressure increase slightly than recommended ex works - but never higher than 0,2 to 0,5 bar, in order to guarantee sufficient safety and to prevent increased tire wear. The slightly increased air pressure is responsible for reducing the rolling resistance of the tires. (I.e.

don't panic if consumption increases

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

If you notice an increase in consumption, that's it no reason to drive straight to the workshop. Before you do that, there are a few simple things you can check to help you resolve the problem yourself. As already mentioned, this includes the correct air pressure of your tires. If this is too low, you can be relatively sure that you have already found the cause of the increased consumption. Another factor that influences fuel consumption is that Vehicle aerodynamics and the associated air resistance. This is how it works, for example, when using a roof box or one bike rack noticeable, but loose parts can also be responsible for increased air resistance, which ultimately results in higher fuel consumption. Even a new one rear spoiler, a spoiler and of course a fat one bodykit can be responsible for an increase in consumption. The same applies to larger and wider ones Tires rim. (I.e.

Is the air filter in good condition?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

You should also use the Air Filter check. This is both a simple and a less time-consuming method. If the air filter is dirty, the air throughput is reduced, which in turn means that the engine can work less efficiently: The production of the optimal fuel mixture is practically no longer possible and therefore increased consumption at the same time. The engine output can also decrease. (Tip: this is how the change from the air filter succeeds)  (I.e.

Are mechanical factors to blame?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

Mechanical factors can also be responsible for higher fuel consumption. Such mechanical factors include, for example, defective brake pistons on the brake system, which causes the brake to seize. If there is such damage, a repair by a qualified workshop is necessary. Squeaky brakes can indicate such a defect. Repairs are often not expensive either. The complete brake caliper does not have to be replaced immediately, because the piston is often made usable again with a repair kit. (I.e.

Bearings can be a problem!

However, all bearings, which are intended to ensure that the shafts of the engine and gearbox run freely, can also contribute to higher fuel consumption, which is due to increased resistance. If the resistance is very strong, you will notice a defect in a different background noise in the form of Grinding and grinding noisesbefore the increased consumption becomes noticeable. Incidentally, this is also the case when the Wheel bearings are defective. However, if the brake “hangs”, things look different. You will usually not notice this that quickly. However, you can check that the brake is free running relatively easily by letting the car coast down from a low speed. The decisive factor here is how the vehicle comes to a standstill. If the car stops jerkily and abnormally, it is a sign that the brake piston is stuck. (I.e.

Which wheel is the vehicle blocking?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

To be able to determine which wheel the piston is stuck to, you can check the temperature of the rims. As a rule, the rim behind which the brake is stuck is significantly warmer than the rest of the rims. Alternatively, the temperature on the brake disc can also be determined after a short driving distance of a few meters. If one of the brake discs is unusually warm compared to the others after only approx. 500 m of travel, this indicates a stiff piston. But be careful, you can burn your fingers here quickly. If you really want to be on the safe side, it is advisable to turn the wheel on a lifting platform. If a disc brake is installed, you may be able to see the brake pad permanently in contact. If so, you should go to a repair shop immediately so that the problem can be resolved. It becomes more difficult with a drum brake. This often first has to be dismantled in order to identify a defect. (I.e.

Clogged injectors maybe the reason?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

Increased fuel consumption can also be due to clogged injectors occurrence. A modern engine has at least one injection valve per cylinder. Those valves are also called injectors in diesel engines. If these get dirty, it affects the combustion, which can no longer be carried out efficiently. Ultimately, this leads to a loss of performance and often results in higher fuel consumption. The use of an approved (!) AdditiveHowever, in particularly severe cases, the nozzles must be removed and professionally cleaned. The costs are of course significantly higher in this case. (I.e.

Auxiliary unit defective?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

If ancillary units are defective, this can also result in higher fuel consumption. These include, for example, the air conditioning compressor or the alternator - both components that cost the engine power. The pulleys and belts connected to them can also increase fuel consumption. If one or more pulleys are defective, the engine has to use more power to drive the alternator and the like. This also ends in increased consumption. (I.e.

Defective engine control sensors!

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

Increased fuel consumption due to defective engine management sensors can also be to blame. The electronic engine control should be examined more closely with increased consumption. However, the control itself is usually not defective. Instead, there is usually a defect in the sensors. These sensors include, for example, the Air flow sensor, the crankshaft sensor, the Lambda probe, the throttle position sensor, the air temperature sensor, the TDC sensor, the knock sensor and the coolant temperature sensor. This data is used to determine the point in time of the injection and also the injection quantity. If this data is not correct, the consumption may be due to too much fuel being injected or to fuel being injected at the wrong time. (I.e.

Is chip tuning to blame?

And chip tuning that has been carried out can also be responsible for increased consumption. If the new software is of poor quality, this can have a significant impact on consumption. Bad software often hardly improves performance but increases consumption. If, on the other hand, professional chip tuning is installed, then fuel consumption can even be reduced if the driving style is identical. (I.e.

Too many consumers activated?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

Too many consumers used can also be responsible for increased fuel consumption. If you are often out and about in winter with heated seats, heated rear windows, heated steering wheels, rear fog lights and fog lights, this can have a significant impact on fuel consumption. If the rear windows and seat heating are running, plus the ventilation and lighting are switched on, then the Lima has to produce a good 500 watts of electricity. As a result, consumption increases by half a liter per 100 kilometers. The following rule of thumb fits: 100 watt power consumption results in approx. 0,1 liters more fuel consumption per 100 kilometers. (I.e.

Bad fuel as the cause?

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

The possibility that the fuel in the tank is of poor quality is also not completely ruled out. Diluted or poor quality fuel can put the engine to death and also cause increased fuel consumption. The danger of filling up with such fuel is particularly high at unchecked filling stations. But even if the authorities check the quality of the fuel, that is no guarantee that it will fit in the end and that it has not been adulterated. But if you refuel at well-known petrol pumps from Aral, Shell & Co., the risk is very low. (I.e.

Old fuel in the tank?

Basically, gasoline and diesel have a long shelf life. But only if the fuel is well sealed, i.e. stored airtight. This is not the case in the vehicle tank. The vehicle tank is not hermetically sealed. The ignitable fuel mixture can breathe and loses quality due to the effect of oxygen. This also reduces the octane number and thus the knock resistance. In the end, the fuel is useless for the engine. If the vehicle is standing for an unusually long time, this can become a problem. If you are traveling with such fuel, the engine has to use more power to achieve identical performance. This also leads to increased consumption in the end. (I.e.

Tutorials on the topic of consumption


Increased fuel consumption? The possible causes at a glance:

  • fuel consumption depends on numerous factors and varies depending on driving style (sporty or anticipatory), tire pressure, load, any roof box, bicycle rack, route profile (short or long distance, etc.)
  • first check
    – Check tire pressure (is on a sticker in the driver's or passenger's door, fuel filler cap or in the manual)
  • Determine fuel consumption
    – using the on-board computer
    – or manually (Fill up the car, reset short-term route memory, drive 100 km, fill up again, calculate)
    – Calculate fuel consumption per 100 km: fuel consumed in liters x 100 : (through) the distance traveled in kilometers (alternatively with our calculator above)
  • Causes: increased fuel consumption
    – defective sensors (Engine control unit may not receive/incorrect data), too much fuel may be injected and fuel consumption increases
    – Defective air mass meter
    – Defective coolant temperature sensor
    – defective intake air temperature sensor
    – defective lambda probe
    – defective boost pressure sensor
    – Defective intake manifold pressure sensor
    – defective fuel pressure sensor
    Error memory entries should give an indication of which sensor is defective (a defective sensor should always be replaced with a new part)
  • stuck brakes as the cause
    – is a brake caliper, a brake cable or the handbrake stuck in the drum? (Any resistance that arises is compensated for by accelerating more, resulting in increased fuel consumption)
  • the engine gets false air
    – a defect in the intake area (Defective hose or seal)
    - the engine draws "false air" (secondary air), consumption increases (too much air gets into the engine and the engine control unit therefore injects more fuel, fuel consumption increases)
    – the leak must be identified and eliminated (Determining the cause, for example using a fog machine in the workshop)
  • a clogged air filter is the problem
    – an air filter in the intake tract that is clogged delivers too little air into the engine and performance drops
    – if you step on the gas, the fuel consumption increases
    - A new air filter must be installed
  • EGR valve not working properly
    – EGR valve (also EGR valve) is controlled/regulated by the engine control unit
    - It regulates the amount of exhaust gas that is added to the intake air
    – Exhaust particles can clog the valve until it no longer works
    – a defective EGR valve ensures limited performance (you therefore give more gas, the fuel consumption increases)
    - EGR valve can be cleaned or replaced with a new part
  • are there problems with the fuel injection?
    – Defects in fuel injection components sometimes cause too much fuel to be injected (consumption increases)
    - The causes can be dripping injectors, a defective injection valve, defective pump-nozzle elements
  • incorrectly set timing
    - Control times are used to determine when the combustion engine valves open and close
    - Various things such as an elongated timing chain, a defective tensioner pulley on the timing belt, an assembly error on the timing chain or on the timing belt often ensure that the timing is wrong
    - typical symptoms are an uneven engine running and then the fuel consumption is increased
    – engine damage may be imminent
  • other possible causes
    – a full/clogged diesel particulate filter (DPF) (many regeneration attempts increase consumption)
    – a defective magnetic clutch (the air conditioning compressor runs constantly, which increases fuel consumption)
    – Leaky manifold/manifold gasket (This often results in an incorrect lambda probe signal, too much fuel is injected, consumption increases)
  • Main inspection with increased fuel consumption?
    – that depends on the cause of the problem
    - the emission values ​​no longer match due to the defect, there is no new sticker
  • (I.e.

Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

Of course that had not happened yet!

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Fuel consumption too high? That could be the causes!

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About Thomas Wachsmuth

Thomas Wachsmuth - He has been an integral part of since 2013. His passion for cars is so intense that he invests every available penny in them. While he dreams of a BMW E31 850CSI and a Hennessey 6x6 Ford F-150, he currently drives a rather inconspicuous BMW 540i (G31/LCI). His collection of books, magazines and brochures on the subject of car tuning has now reached such proportions that he himself has become a walking reference work for the tuning scene.  More about Thomas

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