How can I use less gas in my car this winter?
Winter in Edmonton can be brutal. There is just no getting around it. Sustained below freezing temperatures can really hurt your vehicles’ fuel consumption scores. Temperatures of -7 Celsius can cause about a 12 percent drop in fuel economy compared to the same vehicle operating in 25-degree Celsius weather. If you are driving a hybrid, the cold is even worse. Some stats have the fuel efficiency drop anywhere from 31 to 34 percent. We are going to explain few things that cold weather will do to your car as well as provide ways to decrease winter fuel consumption scores.
Why does winter hurt fuel consumption scores?
In short, cold weather simply makes a vehicle work harder. It’s harder for fluids to get to where they need to be and using heaters, defrosters and heated seats put additional strain on an already stressed power plant. Some other reasons winter hurts fuel consumption scores:
- Colder and more dense air adds drag to your vehicle.
- Tire pressure can decrease in faster in cold environments.
- Winter-mix gasoline doesn’t combust as efficiently as summer grades.
- Batteries get sapped of power much quicker, making your car’s alternator work harder.
- Engaging four-wheel drive or all-wheel drive eats up more gas.
How do I increase fuel economy in winter?
There are a few things you can do to draw as much efficiency from your vehicle this winter as possible. One of the biggest things you can do to beat winter’s effects on fuel economy is to limit how long your car idles while warming up. This may seem counterintuitive, but a running parked car gets zero L/100 km. Most automaker suggest letting the car warm up for just 30 seconds. Driving gets heat pumping faster than sitting still in the driveway.
Other tips include:
- Keep your car parked inside.
- Avoid short trips, make each drive worthwhile.
- Limit use of seat heaters and defrosters.
- Keep tires properly inflated.
- Check to make sure you don’t need a winter weight for engine oil.
Contact the Don Wheaton Service Department today if you need to have your vehicle looked over before you get stranded out in the cold.