Did you know cold weather and winter driving conditions (20°F) can reduce a car’s gas mileage by 12% compared to ordinary driving conditions at 77°F? Fuel economy can decrease by 22% during short trips spanning 3 to 4 miles. It’s crazy to think about, isn’t it?
Several factors affect winter gas mileage, including increased aerodynamic drag due to denser, colder air, decreased tire pressure, and use of heated seats and window defrosters. And if you’re saying to yourself, “I don’t have to worry about fuel economy, I drive a hybrid!” You’ll be surprised to find out you’re wrong, gas mileage can drop up to an astonishing 34% for these vehicles.
Luckily there are several things we can do to improve winter fuel economy:
- Always try to park your car in a warmer place, such as a garage or in a sunny area to help increase the starting temperature of your car’s engine and cabin.
- Don’t use your car’s comfort features such as seat warmers or defrosters, unless it’s absolutely necessary.
- Routinely check tire pressure, and adjust as necessary to tire manufacturers’ recommendations.
- Combine smaller trips to decrease time spent driving with a cold engine.
- Perform routine maintenance (Oil changes, etc.) and check to see what oil is recommended by the car manufacturer during colder months.
- Remove roof racks, bike racks and other wind resistance increasing accessories
Plug-In Hybrid and Electric Vehicles:
- While you’re plugged into the charger, preheat the cabin to help extend vehicle’s range.
- Use seat warmers to warm vehicle instead of the car’ cabin heater to help save energy and extend battery range
How are you planning to take back control of your gas mileage this winter? Tell us on Facebook or in the comment’s section!