Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

Q: Bad gas mileage

asked by on

2 days ago I noticed when I stopped at red. light and it was llike missing or choking out, today I noticed the black suite all over the tailgate and when i bent down its like solid gas smell out the dual tailpipe s and burning gas like crazy do you think distributor and plugs? or what?

My car has 301900 miles.
My car has an automatic transmission.

There are a number of things that can cause poor fuel mileage. A faulty camshaft position sensor is one of them. The camshaft position sensor is a magnetic sensor that monitors camshaft speed to regulate ignition timing and fuel injection timing. It gathers and sends information about the car’s camshaft speed (and as a result the position of each piston) to the car’s electronic control module. This information is received by the computer, which then uses this data to further calculate the time of ignition and the timing of fuel injection required by the engine. When this is not working properly, you may experience a drop in power, poor idling, poor fuel mileage and problems starting the vehicle.

A clogged or dirty EGR valve may also cause poor fuel mileage. The EGR valve is a small component designed to allow the flow of exhaust gases into the intake manifold in controlled amounts. As such, it’s a simple valve that closes and opens as needed. The EGR valve has one single job to do, regardless of the system configuration, type of control and number of sensors: that is, to either open and direct exhaust gases into the combustion chamber, or to close and keep them from entering. Whenever you start the engine, the valve comes alive and waits in a closed position, blocking the flow of exhaust gases. Once the engine reaches operating temperature and speed increases, the valve, either through vacuum or electronic control will gradually open, allowing burned exhaust gases to enter and combine with the air-fuel mixture inside the combustion chamber. When the EGR valve is clogged or dirty, as they are prone to, it may not function properly causing the engine idle rough, stall at idle speeds, cause the car to get poor fuel mileage, or emit a strong smell of fuel due to excess hydrocarbons which also results in failing emissions tests.

A clogged or failing catalytic converter can cause the vehicle to have poor fuel economy. As you may already know, the catalytic converter converts toxic exhaust gases into less harmful pollutants that are suitable to be expelled into the atmosphere. When this is clogged, this causes these gases to be backed up into the exhaust system not allowing the engine to breathe properly. When this happens, the engine is forced to work much harder to expel these gases. This often results in the engine bogging down, hesitating, shaking and causing very poor fuel economy. I would recommend having a professional from YourMechanic come to your location to diagnose and inspect your vehicle.

Was this answer helpful?

Need advice from certified mechanic? Get help now!

Over 1000 mechanics are ready to answer your question.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
  1. Home
  2. Questions
  3. Bad gas mileage

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing

Get a quote

What others are asking

Q: Front heat won't work, but rear heat does ..how to fix

In order to verify that the blower motor is bad you will need to disconnect the bower connection to see if harness is getting power and ground in all speeds? You can put a test light between blower connector and...

Q: I have an engine knock and my oil pressure guage is reading high, then stops shortly after starting to drive.

Hello, You may want to inspect your oil pump to see if it may not be causing the problem. If it is not pumping or circulating oil properly, it may also cause this type of increase in oil pressure that...

Q: Oil filter

Conventional spin on oil filters have a tightening limit, typically no more than one full turn (often less), once the gasket just touches the block mount. If you tighten past that point, the case seal could leak. If after looking...

Related articles

What Causes Hoses to Leak?
While the largest part of your engine is mechanical, hydraulics plays a significant role. You’ll find fluids at work in a number of different areas. Your car's fluids include: Engine oil Transmission...
How Long Does a Distributor O Ring Last?
The distributor is part of the ignition system in your vehicle and its purpose is to route high voltage from the ignition coil to the spark plug. The spark plug then...
P2103 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle Actuator Control Motor Circuit High
P2103 means there is a fault with the throttle actuator control motor circuit, likely due to a defective electrical component or part.