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How to Protect Your Vehicle’s Fuel Economy in Winter

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To combat the stress of cold temperatures, your car has to work harder by demanding more power for its systems, which drains fuel from the tank at a quicker rate. Short of moving to a warmer climate, there are ways to help safeguard your car’s fuel tank this winter.


Learn More: Winter car maintenance


Park your car in a warmer place, such as your garage, to increase the initial temperature of your engine and cabin,” according to FuelEconomy.gov. “Combine trips when possible so that you drive less often with a cold engine.”

Consistent maintenance checks like monitoring air pressure in your tires and regular oil changes—which should be performed year-round as well—can help improve your car’s fuel economy when slogging through frigid temperatures, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

As hard as it is to resist, especially on a cold day, resist blasting the defrosters and seat warmers longer than needed. But, if you’re behind the wheel of a hybrid, go ahead and heat those seats.

“If you drive a plug-in hybrid or electric vehicle, using the seat warmers instead of the cabin heater can save energy and extend range,” reports FuelEconomy.gov, which notes that “preheating the cabin while plugged into the charger can extend your vehicle’s range.”


Learn More: Benefits of four-wheel drive


It’s understandable if you don’t want to start your road journey in a cold car, but taking time to warm up your car is a waste of time and energy.

“Minimize idling your car to warm it up. Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after about 30 seconds. The engine will warm up faster being driven, which will allow the heat to turn on sooner, decrease your fuel costs, and reduce emissions,” according to FuelEconomy.gov.

Be sure to remove things like roof racks, which amplify wind resistance, too—if you’re not using them during winter, it’s best to store them, according to FuelEconomy.gov.

News Source: FuelEconomy.gov