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Improving fuel economy is easy - just take it easy. It willmake your vehicle last longer, too. Here are some specific tips on how to savemoney on both fuel and repairs.
Keep your tires inflated at the correct pressure. Under-inflation causes tire wear and wastes fuel.
Do not carry unneeded weight in your vehicle. Excess weight puts a heavier load on the engine, causing greater fuel consumption.
Avoid lengthy warm-up idling. Once the engine is running smoothly, begin driving - but gently. Remember, however, that on cold winder days this may take a little longer.
Keep automatic transmission selector lever into "D" when engine breaking is not required. Driver with the selector lever in "4" will reduce the fuel economy. (This is referring to vehicles with Automatic drive)
Accelerate slowly and smoothly. Avoid jackrabbit starts. Get into the high gear as quickly as possible.
Avoid long engine idling. If your have a long wait and you are not in traffic, it is better to turn off the engine and start again later.
Avoid engine lugging or over-reversing. Use a gear position suitable for the road on which you are traveling.
Avoid continuous speeding up and slowing down. Stop-and-go driving wastes fuel.
Avoid unnecessary stopping and braking. Maintain a steady pace. Try to time the traffic signals so you only need to stop as little as possible or take advantage of through streets to avoid traffic lights. Keep a proper distance from other vehicle to avoid sudden breaking. This will also reduce wear on your breaks.
Avoid heaving traffic or traffic jams whenever possible.
Do not rest your foot on the clutch or break pedal. This causes premature wear, overheating and poor fuel economy.
Maintain a moderate speed on high ways. The faster you drive, the greater the fuel consumption. By reducing your speed, you will cut down on fuel consumption.
Keep the front wheels in proper alignment. Avoid hitting the curb and slow on rough roads. Improper alignment not only causes faster tire wear, but also puts an extra load on the engine, which, in turn, wastes fuel.
Keep the bottom of your vehicle free from mud, etc. This not only lessens weight but also helps prevent corrosion.
Keep your vehicle tuned-up and in top shape. A dirty air cleaner, carburetor out of adjustment, improper valve clearance, dirty plugs, dirty oil and grease, breaks not adjusted, etc. all lower engine performance and contribute to poor fuel economy. For longer life of all parts and lower operating costs, keep all maintenance work on schedule, and if you often drive under severe conditions, see that your vehicle receives more frequent maintenance.
When the engine is under load it uses more fuel then normal .First replace the fuel filter then check the fuel pressure and flow. the pressure and flow are checked with gauges. For a rough check remove the return pipe from the fuel rail, if fuel is flowing there the fuel system should be ok providing the pressure valve is not stuck open. if there is no flow there the pump may be at fault.
I'm sorry to say you will not find an answer online for this. As a mechanic I would have to be there in person, and the problem would have to be happening for me to track down the cause. I will say I did not understand your statement about the gears behind the dash, what you described sounded like a wiring problem or something in one of the electrical components. If the check engine light or the ABS light came on while the engine was running, you could have trouble codes stored in the computer. So it may be worth a visit to a shop or auto parts store to get the computer scanned. The codes would give you a direction to look in.
Hi Pocketlock. Have you tried tuning it up? Try changing your spark plugs, wires, and change your air filter. You can also put an injector cleaner in your gas tank. (Techron or Seafoam are good products, Techron is better in my opinion). You should see a difference in engine performance. Hope this helps.
YOU MAY HAVE A BAD DOOR AJAR SWITCH. HOWEVER, YO HAVE A TIMER THAT SHUTS OFF THE INTERIOR LIGHTS AFTER 300 MINUTES. IT'S CALLED A BATTERY SAVER FEATURE. TEST IT OUT.
THE EXTENDED CRANK MAY BE A CHECK VALVE IN THE FUEL PUMP IN THE TANK, ALLOWING PRESSURE TO DROP WHEN YOU TURN THE ENGINE OFF.
OR A BAD FUEL PRESSURE REGULATOR ON THE ENGIEN FUEL RAIL.
TRY THIS TEST, TURN KEY TO "ON" POSITION, WAIT 5 SECONDS, SHUT OFF KEY FOR 30 SECONDS. TURN KEY ON, WAIT 5 SECONDS, THEN START ENGINE. IF IT STARTS RIGHT UP, YOU ARE LOSING FUEL PRESSURE WITH ENGINE OFF.
THIS BUILDS UP PRESSURE IF IT DROPPED DURING SHUT DOWN.
REPORT TEST RESULTS.
You need to take it back to the shop you have a fuel problem and the engine light is telling you lean fuel condtion and the fuel pump is not working or the fuel injector. Ask them if they tested fuel pump pressure I worked on one of that vintage and I found that the wireing hadsome problems in the engine compartment. But have the code pulled if I knew the codes I could help you, and the 1990 will be hard to find a mechanic that knows how to troubleshoot your car, and you want to find a older mechanic to work on it. 19 years is a long time for cars now days. If I am remembering correctly you pull the codes by jumping two wires and the engine flashs the codes,
This is a common problem of Volvo S40. You can try this trick to turn off the flashing arrow light.
1) Turn off Engine
2) Turn key to "On" position (Not start the engine), you will see the panel light will on
3) Step on the break paddle
4) Shift the gear from "P" to "L" 10 times
5) Turn key to " Off" position
6) Now you can start the engine.
7) If doesn't work, you can repeat the procedure.