Even the slightest drop in temperature can affect your vehicle’s fuel economy, as a car’s gas mileage is much lower in chiller weather. A reduced fuel economy can result in you spending more time and money at the gas station. The team at Convoy Auto Repair wants to keep this from happening, which is why we have compiled a few tips and tricks designed to improve your vehicle’s fuel economy during winter.
What exactly causes your vehicle’s fuel economy to lower in the winter? First, engine and transmission friction increases in cold weather because it causes your engine fluid’s temperature to drop. Next, heated seats, window defrosters, and heater fans all use additional power. Colder air is also much more dense, increasing aerodynamic drag on your vehicle. Finally, your alternator has to work that much harder to keep your battery charged, which in turn leads to decreased battery performance. However, there are several steps you can take to drive more efficiently in winter, including:
- If possible, park your vehicle in a warmer place, such as a garage, to maintain a warmer temperature in both your cabin and engine.
- Try and combine trips so that you can drive less with a cold engine.
- Don’t idle for more than thirty seconds -- your engine will warm up faster when driving, which means you can turn your heat on faster and reduce emissions.
- Keep an eye on your vehicle’s tire pressure.
- Get rid of all accessories that increase wind resistance, such as roof racks, especially if you plan to drive to the snow.
- If you drive a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, you can preheat the cabin while plugged into the charger to extend your vehicle’s range.
- If you drive a plug-in hybrid or electric car, you can also use the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater to extend your overall range.
A properly maintained vehicle also means better fuel economy. You can bring your vehicle to Convoy Auto Repair, and we will perform a thorough inspection designed to ensure optimal performance in each of your vehicle’s systems. Schedule an appointment today. We are located at 3909 Convoy Street, San Diego, CA 92111, and look forward to seeing you soon.