How to get better gas mileage in winter
Winter weather isn’t just harsh to all of us – it can do major damage to our vehicles. When the weather is moderate, our vehicles perform at their full, most efficient potential. In moments of extreme heat or cold, our cars aren’t able to truly optimize their gas mileage, but there are things we can do as drivers to balance it out.
Tips on improving winter fuel economy
- Don’t idle your car. Contrary to popular belief, idling your car to warm it up does more harm than good. As we can all imagine, leaving our vehicles running wastes fuel, so drive around gently to ease your car into reaching your desired temperature.
- Park in warm, covered spaces. When possible, avoid parking out in the open during the winter months. Prolonged exposure to the elements can wreak havoc on your vehicle and all of its most vital parts.
- Check your tire pressure. When your tires are filled at the appropriate pressure they allow your vehicle to perform more efficiently overall. Cold weather can cause your tire pressure to decrease, so make sure you’re checking them consistently to prevent underinflation.
- Keep your car’s fluids filled. From gas and antifreeze to engine oil and wiper fluid, ensure all of your vehicle’s fluids are filled and match the manufacturer’s recommended grade. Low levels of any of these fluids can make your car work harder than it needs to in winter, which ultimately means decreased efficiency.
- Sacrifice the seat warmer. Turning on your seat warmer might be a comforting luxury in the colder months, but it uses excessive amounts of electrical power making your alternator pick up the slack. As a result, fuel efficiency is compromised.