Fuel Economy Tips for Winter
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Your car or truck's fuel efficiency can take a severe hit when temperatures drop in the winter. Temperatures below seven degrees can decrease the efficiency of conventional engines by as much as 12%. This is because lower temperatures lengthen the time necessary for the fuel to reach its optimum temperature. Fuel below this temperature does not burn as efficiently. Another reason that fuel efficiency decreases in the winter is that colder air lowers your tires' air pressure. Flatter tires do not roll as well, so your car will have to work harder to move forward. Also, oil companies sell different fuels in the winter that are better suited to the cold. Unfortunately, a side-effect of this technology is decreased fuel efficiency. Additionally, the energy that it takes to power features like heated seats or steering wheels, defrosters, or heaters all lower your vehicle's fuel efficiency.
Fuel Economy Tips
To help you get the most out of your vehicle this winter, here are a few handy tips. A few changes to your decision making and some simple maintenance can make a difference for your car's efficiency and your pocketbook. Some factors, such as selecting a motor oil designed for cold weather, are options to check at the beginning of winter. The following tips are variables that you should keep in mind throughout the winter to keep your car running efficiently.
Avoid Short Trips
Short trips are always less efficient because of the time the fuel needs to reach the correct temperature. This is even more true in winter when you could take a short drive to a store and return before your gas even gets as warm as it ought to be. Short trips also tend to have a good bit of starting and stopping, and those are two of the least fuel-efficient activities for a car. If you have a short errand to run, consider saving it until later when you can bundle several trips together. This way, your car or truck can spend a more significant percentage of the trip burning fuel that is the correct temperature. In this case, your vehicle will use far less fuel than if you had gone on each errand separately.
Check Tire Pressure
If your tires are not correctly inflated, your car will not move as effectively as possible; thus, reducing your fuel efficiency. This is because when tires do not have enough air pressure, they get worse traction. Without proper traction, your car will have to work harder to move, and that uses more fuel. Not only that, but the lower temperatures of winter have the effect of naturally decreasing the air pressure in your tires. Ensure that your tires are filled properly at the beginning of winter and regularly check to ensure that they stay in good shape. It is also a good idea to check to make sure your tires have good treads. If your car does not have enough grip, it can take extra energy to start moving.
Minimize Idling Time
Time spent idling is the time when your car is using fuel without transporting you anywhere. While giving your car time to warm up before driving can seem like a good idea, most manufacturers suggest only giving your vehicle about 30 seconds of idle time. Driving is a much more effective way of warming the engine, and it will save you money by reducing the amount of gas you waste. If you dress more warmly, your car does not have to be perfectly warm before you start to drive.
Book a Service Appointment
Contact us to book a service appointment today. When you visit our Service Center, one of our associates can answer any questions you have. Whether you want to find a new vehicle or need tips about how to keep your current one running at peak efficiency, we would love to help.