As the leaves turn colors and the weather gets colder, you may notice another change occurring: a decrease in your vehicle’s fuel efficiency.
There are a number of reasons your gas bill is going up just as the temperature drops.
--The colder weather means your vehicle requires more time to reach its most fuel-efficient temperature, so short drives consume more gasoline than longer ones.
--Allowing the vehicle to idle so that it is warmed before traveling burns fuel without increasing miles-per-gallon.
--Colder air decreases tire pressure which increases rolling resistance. More resistance leads to the vehicle working harder thus burning more gasoline.
--Heated seats and window defrosters require more power.
Some causes of increased fuel consumption are unavoidable, but there are steps you can take to improve fuel efficiency as the weather turns colder.
--Avoid idling your vehicle. Rather than waiting several minutes for the vehicle to warm up, drive gently after approximately 30 seconds of idling.
--Also consider parking your car in a warmer location like a garage or in direct sunlight.
--Limit the use of seat warmers and heaters. Remember to dress for the weather.
--Remove unnecessary items from the vehicle and roof racks not in use. Anything that makes the car heavier or less aerodynamic can decrease fuel-efficiency.
--Monitor your driving style. Keep speeds below 65 MPH when possible, accelerate gradually, and anticipate stops and slow downs by lifting your foot off the accelerator to minimize the use of your brakes.
--Check your tire pressure. If the tires are low on air, visit one of our shops for a free inflation. If they continue losing air, schedule an appointment to discuss your options with one of our service advisors.
For more information on increasing your fuel efficiency, visit The U.S. Department of Energy