Why is my gas mileage worse in the winter? 

By Product Expert | Posted in FAQs, Tips on Monday, November 19th, 2018 at 5:36 pm
thermometer reading 30 degrees

Have you noticed that you need to fill up more often when it gets colder out? That’s a burden on the wallet and it means we have to stand in the cold more than we’d like to. Why is that? Is your fuel economy really worse because of the cold? Keep reading to learn more. 

You might also be interested in: Easy ways to winterize your car 

Why does cold weather hurt your fuel economy? gas meter on empty

When the temperature dips below 40 degrees, it can affect your vehicle in more ways than one. Engine and transmission friction increase due to colder engine oil and other drive-line fluids. It also simply takes longer for your engine to reach its most efficient temperature. On shorter drives, this is even more pronounced because your engine likely won’t reach its most efficient temperature at all. On a scientific note, colder air is denser. That means that there is more aerodynamic drag on your vehicle, especially at higher speeds. Even things as seemingly trivial as heated seats and window defrosters use additional power which can impact your gas mileage. All of these are viable reasons why you may experience worse fuel efficiency in the winter time.  

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How can I help my gas mileage in the winter? 

Of course, you aren’t completely at the mercy of nature. There are always things you can do to help your fuel economy. Parking your car inside overnight will keep the initial engine temperature a bit higher. Try not to idle your car to warm it up. Leaving it run idle for too long is just wasting gas. In fact, the engine itself will warm up faster when it’s being driven. Other ways you can help your gas mileage regardless of the time of year include checking your tire pressure regularly and driving with ease. We hope this helped answer your questions and we always welcome you to come ask us anything else that’s on your mind. 

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