How to Improve Winter Gas Mileage

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, fuel economy tests have found that gas mileage drops substantially when you take short trips in winter. A colder engine has to work harder to operate and therefore uses more gas. The following tips from Ralph Thayer Automotive in Livonia will help you improve winter gas mileage.

Watch where you park

If possible, park your car in a warm place, such as a garage. This will ensure that the vehicle’s engine is relatively warm when you start up the car, which will lead to less energy demands.

Minimize idling

Though conventional wisdom used to tell you to idle your car to warm it up, the truth is that cars warm up faster when you drive them. If your drive starts with lower speed areas, such as a parking lot or residential street, start the car and drive off after 30 to 60 seconds. This will allow the car to heat up sooner and reduce emissions, improving mileage.

Have your tire pressure checked

Come in to Ralph Thayer if you suspect that your tire pressure is low. When your tires are low in air, this can cause your mileage to be affected. Low tire pressure also leads to less effective handling and can be a safety hazard.

Have your battery serviced

Cold weather is known for putting a lot of pressure on your car’s battery. You’ll experience reduced gas mileage when your car battery must work extra hard. Have Ralph Thayer Automotive test your battery to ensure that it is in shape to get you through winter efficiently and safely.

Keep your car clean

A car or truck bed loaded down with snow or ice is going to run less efficiently, and that will affect your gas mileage. De-ice your vehicle and clean off excess snow prior to heading out.

Combine small trips

The shorter the trip, the less efficient your gas mileage will be. If you can plan ahead and group short trips into one longer one, you will save on fuel.

The winter season can be taxing on your car. Try these tips from Ralph Thayer Automotive in Livonia, and you’re sure to improve winter gas mileage.