You know a Michigan winter is in full swing when 35 degrees sounds like a heat wave. While it’s important to take safety precautions for your home and business during the single digits, it’s also a great time to focus on improving your fuel economy.
How Does a Michigan Winter Affect Your Fuel Economy?
You can improve your fuel economy by driving Plug-in Electric Vehicles or hybrids, but even they can be affected by cold weather.
Due to cold weather:
- It takes longer for your engine to reach its most fuel-efficient temperature
- Heated seats, window defrosters and heater fans use extra power
- Air is more dense which decreases pressure in your tires and increases rolling resistance and aerodynamic drag
- Battery performance weakens which affects the regenerative breaking system on hybrids
Severe Winter Weather Drops Your MPG
If you have to commute in severe winter weather, your miles-per-gallon can drop significantly because:
- Using four-wheel drive increases fuel use
- Icy, snow-covered roads make it difficult for your tires to effectively grip, which wastes energy
- Speeds below 30 to 40 mph on slick roads further reduces fuel economy
7 Tips to Improve Your Fuel Economy
Enhance your fuel economy this season with these tips and tricks:
- Don’t use seat warmers or defrosters excessively
- Use the oil type recommended by your manufacturer for driving in cold weather
- Combine trips to drive less often with a cold engine
- If you drive a PEV or hybrid, preheat the cabin while plugged into the charger to increase range
- Save energy and increase range for your PEV or hybrid by using the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater
- Minimize idling your car to warm it up and reduce pollution. Vehicle manufacturers usually recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds.
- Park your car in a warm spot like a garage to increase temperature of vehicle
Click for more information on plug-in electric vehicles
How do you improve your fuel economy during the winter months? Comment below.