San Jose European Auto Repair Review Ratings250 Reviews

Volkswagens have long been known for their reliability and fuel efficiency. However, in recent years, consumers have complained about fuel inefficiency in VWs. Some models seem to be more prone to this than others. The good news is many of these issues are easily fixable. Regular maintenance, professional tune-ups, and services can significantly improve your Volkswagen’s gas mileage.

Let’s look at some of these issues that can cause your VW to get lower gas mileage.

Driving Habits

We address this first because this entirely depends on you, the driver!

  • Aggressive driving like jackrabbiting and gunning your car, in other words, rapid acceleration and hard braking, can have an adverse effect on the fuel consumption of your VW. Studies have shown that this type of driving can consume 50% more fuel than smooth driving.
  • Speeding causes decreased fuel efficiency.
  • Whenever possible, try and use your cruise function, while on the freeway to reduce gas consumption.
  • Idling your car, which means leaving your engine on, while the car is stationary, uses up fuel at a much faster rate.

Tire Pressure, Rotation, and Alignment

The condition of your tires has a strong impact on your fuel efficiency.

  • Under-inflated tires cause more friction and resistance with the surface of the road and make it more difficult for the car to roll. This causes the engine to work harder, thus causing poor fuel economy.
  • If the tires are being worn unevenly, this will cause issues and have an effect on gas mileage. A simple tire rotation can help.
  • When wheels are misaligned they cause uneven wear on the tires. The contact with the road is no longer smooth, and this impacts fuel consumption. Periodic tire alignments are a must.

Engine Maintenance

Proper engine maintenance is a top priority in being able to have good gas mileage. Issues such as:

  • a faulty oxygen sensor,
  • dirty fuel injectors,
  • clogged air filters,
  • worn out spark plugs
  • waiting too long to change the engine oil
  • using the wrong kind of engine oil

All of these can cause the engine to run less efficiently, which increases fuel consumption.

Overloading Your Car

Your Volkswagen is made with a certain amount of weight and tow capacity. If you exceed that, your car will consume more fuel.

  • Be mindful of your car’s weight limit, and don’t put undue pressure on your car with excess baggage. This will not only hurt fuel consumption, but it’ll also ruin your suspension system.
  • If your car is rated for towing a trailer, be extremely mindful of the weight restrictions. Even if you’re within the weight limit, pulling a laden trailer or fifth wheel will get reduced gas mileage for your VW. However, if you exceed the weight limit, you’ll end up having more problems than just bad gas mileage.

Environment and Weather Conditions

Weather and terrain influence your car and gas mileage.

  • Cold weather has an effect on fuel usage because the engine has to work harder to maintain its operating temperature.
  • Also, be it winter or summer, using the HVAC (heating-ventilation-air conditioning) system of your car will cause lower gas mileage.
  • Driving uphill will definitely increase gas consumption. So if you are driving in a hilly area, that might be the cause.


Whether you bought our Volkswagen with these extras or you made modifications to your vehicle, if they affect the aerodynamics of your car, it will have an impact on fuel consumption.

Some examples of these are:

  • roof racks,
  • spoilers,
  • sunroofs.

These may cause more drag during high-speed driving and lower fuel economy.

What can YOU do to Improve Your Volkswagen’s Fuel Efficiency?

There are ways to mitigate and improve the fuel efficiency of your Volkswagen.

  • You can adopt a smoother driving habit
  • Take care of your tires by keeping them inflated at the correct PSI and have them rotated and aligned on a regular basis, by bringing your car to a certified service center.
  • Proper and scheduled engine maintenance is absolutely crucial to your car’s health—in general. A healthy engine will produce a more fuel-efficient car.
  • Stay within the weight limits. Don’t overload your car. Just don’t do it!
  • It may be tricky to always avoid bad weather and terrain. Just be cognizant that you may not get the best fuel mileage, but you could at least try and drive smoothly.
  • If you like the extra accouterments to your car, like spoilers and racks and such, then you’ve made the choice to accept a little less fuel efficiency—and that’s okay! Enjoy your Volkswagen!

Give Your Volkswagen the Best

If you see any of the issues mentioned above, Volkswagen Tire Alignment Check make sure to bring your Volkswagen to us at Fast Lane European. Our highly trained mechanics can inspect and diagnose any issues before they become irreparable problems. We are located in San Jose, California.