Factors that affect a car's fuel consumption

By: Kris LeSueur   |   23 May 2022

When shopping for cars, you have to take into consideration a lot of factors. One is a lifestyle. Will the car suit your daily needs? What kind of activities will you use the car for? Another is if you can afford it, not just the purchase price but the maintenance and operating costs. This includes the car’s fuel economy.

To know more, below are the factors that affect a car’s fuel consumption.  


A car’s weight is one of the biggest factors that affect fuel consumption. It’s not rocket science so you probably know that the heavier an object is, the more energy will be required to move it. This is why lighter cars are more budget-friendly.

Not only that, when you add a load to your car, the weight adds to the rolling resistance which means that it is much harder for the vehicle to move forward. Thus, requiring more energy to do so.

How much weight of your carload will significantly affect your car’s fuel consumption. In fact, a 25-kilo added load already affects your car’s fuel economy so go easy on adding unnecessary weight to the car.


Driving behavior

Aggressive driving is a waste of fuel. When you quickly accelerate or make abrupt stops, you unnecessarily burn fuel. According to none other than the US Department of Energy itself, you lower your gas mileage by around 15 to 30% by doing said aggressive driving behavior at highway driving speeds. 

Using the wrong gear and giving the engine extra work, especially when carrying heavy loads will also affect fuel consumption. Always listen to how your engine sounds. If it sounds like it’s overworked, it probably is and you are probably wasting gas.



Keeping your car in top shape definitely affects your car’s fuel efficiency positively. One of the major culprits you should check when you feel like your car’s fuel efficiency is declining is your oil.

Changing your car oil at an interval recommended by the manufacturer will help you maintain your car’s fuel economy. Newer models have improved technologies that allow you to change your car oil after around 7,000 to 10,000 miles. This is a huge jump compared to older models needing an oil change after around 3,000 miles.


Type of vehicle

If in the long run, your goal is to avoid spending excessively on fuel, then there are vehicles suited for that. Check government websites like fueleconomy.gov for mileage estimates on certain car models. This website has a database of cars as old as 1984 releases. A difference in cars (20 MPG vs 30 MP) could save you from spending an excess of around $5000 in fuel in five years.

As a driver, you have to know all these things to keep your car in top shape for a long time. Being an excellent driver and knowing your car, after all, is one of the biggest factors in maintaining it.

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