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Does the Cold Weather Affect Your Fuel Mileage

Filling up at the gas stationThere’s no denying it; cars tend to burn more fuel in cold winter months. But don’t throw your hands up in defeat. There are reasons why and ways to fight back and maximize fuel economy.

Let’s take a look at what affects fuel mileage in the winter and ways to fight back.

  • People tend to warm up their car before heading out when it’s cold. While no one likes to get into an ice cold vehicle and hold onto a cold steering wheel, limit your engine warm-up time. A few minutes is all you need to get the heater going. And while it’s warming up, make sure you are defrosting the windshield and rear window.
  • The fluids in your car’s engine, transmission, differential and power steering tend to thicken up in cold temperature, making the engine work harder and leading to more fuel being consumed. Make sure your oil is changed just before the winter and have a professional check the condition of all the fluids. Renewing old, worn out fluids, will improve fuel economy and also extend the life of your car.
  • Cold temperatures lower the pressure in your tires. This increasing rolling resistance and wastes fuel. Check your tire pressure often. Maintaining tire pressure will help improve fuel mileage.
  • Gasoline is harder to burn in cold weather. Consequently, if your engine is not maintained properly; you will waste a lot more fuel. Make sure all scheduled services are up to date. Also, check to see when your spark plugs were replaced last and have a professional test the computer sensors, especially the oxygen sensor. And don’t forget your air and fuel filter.

If you ever walked in snow, you know how much more energy is needed. Well, it’s the same for your car. So, plan out your trips in bad weather, go easy on the accelerator and if you feel your car has a tough time in the snow, have a professional check your tires.

I hope that makes you feel a little bit better. I know its cold outside, but it’s winter.
Before you know, we’ll be complaining that it’s too hot and muggy….well then again… maybe not.  For more information visit our website at osceolagarage.com

Be Safe!

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