The fuel economy of your car in the wintertime is quite different than in warm weather! The fuel economy of your vehicle is the relationship between how much distance you travel and the amount of fuel consumed by your vehicle. Cold weather will affect your car’s mileage per gallon, especially in severe winter conditions. Gas mileage on conventional vehicles is about 12 percent lower at 20 degrees Fahrenheit than it is at 77 degrees, according to So if you’re wanting to improve your fuel economy this winter, here is more advice!

Why is fuel economy so important?

-You can save money and the environment

There are numerous benefits to your fuel economy! You can save lots of money in gas costs each year by finding the most efficient vehicle for you. You could save anything from $200 – $1500 by choosing the right vehicle. It will also protect the environment around you! Burning fossil fuels from things like gasoline or diesel takes a toll on our global climate condition. So anything you can do to reduce this effect on the environment is a plus!

-Preserve resources

Unfortunately, oil is a nonrenewable resource, and all fuels we use are from oil. So eventually, we may have to run on something other than oil. Until other resources are available, do your part to conserve this oil with better fuel economy.

Why is fuel economy lower in the wintertime?

Cold weather will affect your vehicle in many ways! The colder it is outside, the more your tire pressure will decrease, which increases rolling resistance. Also, your engine and transmission friction will increase because of cold engine oil and fluids. Your battery performance may also decrease, and your heated seats, defroster, and heater fans will all take up additional power. These are just a few reasons why your fuel economy can lower in the wintertime.

How to improve your fuel economy?

So maybe you’re asking, “How do I improve my fuel economy in this cold weather?” You may not be able to do a ton to minimize the effect of cold weather on your vehicle’s fuel economy, but here are few ways to help your gas mileage:

-Keep your car in a warmer environment (a garage!)

-Limit use of seat warmers and defrosters

-Check your tire pressure consistently

-Remove items from your vehicle that increase wind resistance (roof racks)

-Minimize idling your vehicle to warm it up

-Make your car as light as it can be by cleaning out heavy items

-Try keeping your car at a steady speed

Have winter car repair needs?

Need help with a car repair this winter? Talk to one of our mechanics today! We at Harris Automotive are here for all your car repair needs. Visit our Westerville or Blacklick, Ohio, locations for your car’s regular oil change, tire rotation, brake repair, and more! We will keep your car running well this winter season!

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