Cold Weather and Fuel Economy

Jan 3, 2018 10:00:00 AM

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Do you find yourself filling up at the pump more often during the winter months? According to, a car’s gas mileage is about 12% lower at 20°F than it would be at 77°F. What can you do to better your fuel economy in cold weather? ForeverCARE is here to help you get started.

Cold weather has a greater effect on your car than you may realize. Mix in icy or snowy roads and you could find yourself paying more at the pump over the next few months. So, what really moves the needle during the cold months? Let’s start with the basics: 

• It will take your engine longer to reach peak temperatures for fuel efficiency during cold weather. This has a greater effect on short trips with a lot of stops and starts.
• Cold air is naturally denser than warm air and contributes to aerodynamic drag, causing dips in fuel efficiency.
• Cold weather affects tire pressure which can increase friction and resistance.
• Most gas stations use a winter blend of gasoline during cold weather. These blends typically have less energy per gallon.

Completely combating the effect of cold weather on your fuel economy is likely a lost cause. However, there are some simple steps that every car owner can take to get more miles out of a tank this winter. Here’s five fast tricks to ensure maximum efficiency for your car:

• Contrary to popular belief, warming up your car could cost you at the pump. Car engines warm up faster while in motion, so ditch the idle time and start your drive within a minute of starting the car.
• Combine shorter trips so you drive less with a cold engine.
• Parking in a garage will help your car keep a warmer core temperature, making it easier to heat up leading to better fuel efficiency.
• Keep your tire pressure at manufacturer recommended levels.
• Accessories like roof racks and flags cause unnecessary drag. Remove these to ensure you’re getting the most out of your fill-ups.

Managing your fuel efficiency in cold temperatures is just one simple step to loving your car longer. While you’re increasing your fuel efficiency this winter, increase your peace of mind by eliminating the hassles of unexpected car repairs with a ForeverCar Vehicle Service Plan.

Only ForeverCar provides a dedicated repair concierge that steps in at the first sign of trouble. If the new set of holiday wheels breaks down, there are no worries. Just peace of mind and coverage better than an extended warranty.

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