How to Get Maximum Fuel Efficiency in Winter

January 30th, 2019 by

How to Get Maximum Fuel Efficiency in Winter

Each season comes with its own set of challenges for navigating the road and winter is no exception. Fueleconomy.gov reports that gas-powered cars can lose up to 12% of their fuel efficiency when temperatures get to around 20 degrees. Hybrids aren’t immune to this either. In fact, they lose even more fuel efficiency with upwards of a 30% loss.

There are several reasons for this including the fact that it takes longer for a car’s engine to warm up. Your car has a temperature that it performs best at and the longer it takes to get there, the less efficient it will be until that point. Cold weather also affects tire pressure which, when not inflated to optimal levels, will decrease fuel efficiency.

However, while cold weather and efficiency fluctuations are inevitable, there are things you can do to reduce the amount of fuel you waste. To help you keep your car and budget in good shape this winter, here are our top tips for maximizing fuel efficiency in winter:

Check Your Tires

The health of tires is one of the most ignored items in a car owner’s checklist, but properly inflated tires will not only save you fuel, but last longer. By some reports, a poorly inflated tire will cost up to 5% of fuel efficiency. In winter, as your tire pressure is further decreased by cold, your tires could be costing you even more fuel.

Multitask your Trips and Avoid Idling

Short trips will always be less fuel efficient than longer ones because of the time it takes the engine to reach optimal temperatures. Ideally, if you have several short stops to make, you will make them in one trip. The logic behind this is that if you are only stopping in each location for a few minutes, your engine will retain some heat when it is shut off and then heat to optimal levels again faster.

However, this does not mean you should leave the car idling. While older cars could benefit from keeping their engines warm this way, newer cars are able to heat faster as they are driven, making idling an unnecessary waste of fuel.

Improve the Aerodynamics of Your Vehicle

With cold air already increasing drag on your vehicle, it is important that you improve aerodynamics to save fuel. To do this, you should reduce weight on your vehicle by removing any unnecessary equipment, tools, and other items from your trunk or roof. This includes things like cargo boxes on your roof of sporting equipment in the trunk. Cleaning ice and snow from your car is also extremely important for fuel efficiency and general safety.

Keep Your Car Warm

Whenever possible, park your car in a garage or other structure. This will not only reduce the fuel and time it takes for the engine to heat up, it can also go a long way to preventing vehicles (especially older vehicles) from not starting on a cold morning.

Improving Winter Fuel Economy with a New Vehicle

While there can be many things done to improve fuel economy in all seasons, for older cars there are limitations that cannot be overcome with simple hacks. With vehicles getting safer and lighter, now is the time to consider a new model. At Lebanon Chrysler Dodge, we carry a wide assortment of new and pre-owned vehicles that meet and surpass fuel economy standards. To find the perfect car for you this winter, stop in or call us today.