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Ways to improve your gas mileage this winter

Posted by Scott Stueber, CPCU, CISR, AAI on Feb 8, 2022 10:57:22 AM

Tips for winter fuel savingWinter weather can cause many challenges. Snow and ice can make driving difficult. Freezing temperatures can make it dangerous to be outside. In fact, cold temperatures also reduce our cars’ fuel economy.

This table shows what happens to our fuel economy during the winter months.

Car Type Winter Fuel Economy
Conventional Gasoline 15% less than it would be at 77 degrees Fahrenheit
Hybrid 30 – 40% less than it would be at 77 degrees Fahrenheit

Here are some things you can try to help improve your fuel economy this winter.

1. Combine your errands.

Getting into your car to run an errand during the warmer months isn’t a big deal. But during the winter months, errands should be combined. Cars run more efficiently when the engine is warm. Short trips make this difficult.

2. Check your tire pressure.

It’s essential to check your tire pressure regularly during the winter months. Underinflated tires aren’t only dangerous, but the increased drag can reduce your gas mileage.

3. Reduce idling time.

While there are many benefits to remote car starters, fuel economy isn’t one of them. If you don’t have remote start, idling your car 30-60 seconds is sufficient. Driving your car gently is the best way to bring your engine up to operating temperature. By driving your car, the engine and its components (brakes, transmission, etc.) will warm up faster, allowing your car to run more efficiently.

4. Wash your car regularly.

Packed snow and ice in your wheel wells can negatively impact your car’s handling and gas mileage. It’s a good idea to clean off as much snow and ice as possible. A car wash during the winter months can help with this. If you own a pickup truck, don’t forget to remove excess snow from your truck bed. 

5. Clean out your trunk.

Keeping winter accessories in your trunk is a good idea, especially if you get stranded. However, removing other items not used during winter, such as golf clubs, helps improve efficiency.

Do you have any suggestions or information you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you. Please share them in the box below.

Topics: Auto Safety, Weather

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