Winter Fuel Economy 101
In freezing weather conditions, your vehicle’s engine works harder to reach the ideal fuel-efficient temperature and tire pressure decreases. While, Mother Nature controls the weather, you can help manage your fuel consumption with these tactics.
During winter, your vehicle can experience higher electrical loads from the heaters, defrosters, interior lights, USB ports and heated seats. The power that is required for these electrical loads to work can drain the battery and take a toll on the engine. Instead, avoid using all the electrical accessories at the same time and for a shorter amount of time.
Not only is idling poor for air pollution but it can also affect your gas mileage and the car battery. According to Natural Resources Canada (NRC), ten minutes of idling burns 0.25 to 0.50 litres of fuel and emits 600 to 1,200 grams of CO2, depending on the vehicle and conditions. Driving for a few minutes is the most efficient way to warm the engine, drivetrain and the cabin.
Check Tire Pressure
Maintaining the optimum tire pressure can preserve your tires and help save fuel costs. Colder temperatures can quickly change your tires inflation levels, so it’s wise to check the pressure frequently during this time of year. Driving with inflated tires can raise your fuel consumption.
The average wind speed increases in winter causing the aerodynamic resistance and fuel usage to escalate. To help prevent this, you can remove items that can cause higher wind resistance such as a roof rack and keep the windows closed when driving on the highway.
Park in a Warm Space
If possible, try to park your vehicle in a garage or indoor parking lot. This can help reduce the warm up time for your vehicle and help preserve the engine. On top of that, you may not need to turn on any heaters or defrosters, which can improve your fuel consumption.
Reduce the Amount of Short Drives
If you plan to drive a short distance, consider walking or taking public transportation to get to your destination instead. This can help save fuel costs and avoid making your engine warm up several times a day in winter. Constant starting and stopping the engine can also take a toll on your car battery.
Purchase a Block Heater
A block heater warms up your engine ahead of time. Not only does this prevent waiting time, but it can also help save money on fuel and improve your carbon footprint. Most block heaters have a timer feature that can be set up for a certain time to provide you with a peace of mind knowing your vehicle will be heat up in advance.
To help winterize your vehicle, keep it properly maintained and make sure you have the right insurance coverage for your needs. Get a quote for auto insurance online today!