Better Gas Milage In Winter

How to Improve Gas Mileage in Cold Weather

November is half over, and cold weather is on its way here for winter. Unfortunately, that also means that your fuel economy is likely to drop significantly, whether you drive a hybrid or a full gas vehicle.

Why does Gas Mileage Drop in Cold Weather? How Can I Fix It?

Gas mileage can sink in cold weather for many reasons, some of which you can change, and some are unavoidable.

Cold weather increases friction…

Cold weather causes all of the liquids in your vehicle, like oil, to be thicker than hot weather. This creates more friction in the engine, which requires more energy to overcome. Using more energy means using more fuel.

So, keep your car warm.

The best way to help minimize these effects is to keep your vehicle in a garage, and to make sure to let the engine warm up before you drive. Check your manual to see how long your vehicle needs to warm up so you’re not idling for too long.

Colder air is more dense…

Denser air is more compressed, so you may need to put more air in your tires to keep them at the correct level in cold weather than you do in warm weather. Denser air also puts more resistance on your vehicle as you drive, especially at high speeds.

So, check your tires.

Make sure to keep your tires properly inflated at all temperatures! Low tires may not seem like a big deal, but they can affect gas mileage, speed, and steering, among other things.

Staying warm takes energy…

Winter weather means we have colder temperatures and fewer daylight hours, so vehicles are likely to use more power for things like headlights, taillights, heated seats, heat, and more.

So, dress for the weather.

If you’re looking to improve gas mileage, dress for the weather! That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use the heat at all, but skipping the heated seats (at least sometimes) can make a big difference.

Winter weather isn’t always the safest…

Sometimes, winter means low visibility, slick roads, and traffic jams, all of which have the potential to cause accidents, more traffic, and lower gas mileage.

So, keep your car in shape.

The best way to stay safe on the road is to drive soberly, carefully, and in a well maintained vehicle. Make sure that you keep your gas tank above ¼ of a tank full, change your oil regularly, and have your brakes checked! Your gas mileage will be at its best when your vehicle is at its best.