Fall and winter driving, believe it or not, is less gas-efficient than spring and winter driving. The colder air is denser, increasing drag on your car, wreaks havoc on your oil viscosity, and generally makes your car work harder than it does when the weather is warm. Your tire pressure also decreases, and the less full your tires are, the more your tires surface touches the pavement, increasing friction and again causing your car to use more energy to move you. So before you go out on your fall foliage tour, here are a few tips from fueleconomy.gov:
- Park your car somewhere sheltered and warmer, such as a garage, to help maintain the temperature of your engine and cabin.
- Combine trips and errands so that you drive more often with a warm engine. A warmer engine runs more efficiently, and the energy it takes for your car to warm up is energy wasted on each trip. That being said –
- Try not to idle your car too long to warm it up. Honda recommends driving off gently after about 30 seconds. Your engine will heat up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner, and decrease your fuel costs.
- Don’t overuse window defrosters or seat warmers.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and check them often.
- Remove accessories that increase wind resistance, like bike and luggage racks, when not in use to streamline your vehicle.
- If you drive an electric vehicle, preheating the cabin while plugged into the charger can extend your vehicle’s range, and using the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater can save energy extending your vehicles range.
Using these tips will save you money on fuel and maintenance on your vehicle in the colder months ahead. Check back frequently for more tips and tricks