Have you ever wondered why your gas mileage significantly decreases during the winter months? Perhaps you’ve even thought you were experiencing déjà vu because you visited the pump more often than usual. Well, you’re not going crazy.
There are several factors that contribute to a decline in fuel efficiency, such as lower tire pressure, friction from wet road conditions and idling to keep the vehicle’s engine warm. To help you keep more money in your wallet, we’ve compiled a list of 5 ways that you can save fuel during the cold, winter months.
Keep Your Exterior Clean
It’s important that you keep the outside of your vehicle as clean as possible during the winter. No, we don’t mean you wash it every day, but rather that you keep it free of any debris such as snow, ice or slush. Take a little extra time to clear your vehicle off in order to eliminate any unnecessary weight as well as to prevent drag.
Minimize Idling as Much as Possible
You will save more fuel if you warm your engine while driving rather than letting it idle. If your body is sensitive to the cold weather, make sure you bundle up before starting your car.
It’s also a good idea to turn your car off while you wait in the drive-thru or for a friend. Idling for more than ten seconds wastes more fuel than restarting your vehicle.
Check Your Tire Pressure Often
Did you know that your vehicle’s tires lose a pound of pressure for every 10°F drop in temperature? Under-inflated tires will decrease your fuel efficiency because your vehicle will need to exert more energy to operate. Every time you climb into your car, check the pressure of your tires to make sure they’re properly inflated.
Maintain a Slightly Slower Speed
According to studies, most vehicles reach their peak performance while still retaining the best fuel efficiency around 60 mph. If you maintain a slightly slower speed, you’ll be able to save fuel as well as keep others on the road safe.
Driving slowly in winter weather is always advised whether or not you are trying to save money.
Drive on Clear Days When Possible
If you have errands to run during unfavorable weather, consider postponing your plans until the weather clears up. The messy road conditions will make your vehicle work a lot harder than necessary. You’ll also be less likely to run into weather-related traffic that causes your vehicle to idle and waste even more fuel.