When you own a vehicle, it is common to think about what the average fuel economy will be for that automobile. Every car, truck, or motorized vehicle has its own specifications to determine the accurately predicted fuel economy. Did you know that a vehicle’s fuel economy can be affected by many different factors? Some of these factors include driving habits, tire pressure, certain mechanical issues, and even weather conditions.
Now that the cold weather has arrived in South Georgia, you may have noticed your vehicle’s fuel economy has dipped. Due to the lower temperatures, your vehicle may be struggling to perform as efficiently as possible.
Cold weather commonly affects vehicles' fuel economy by causing decreased efficiency in one of these areas:
- Lower tire pressure
- Drained batteries
- Think fluids
Lower Tire Pressure
The first sign that the cold weather may be affecting your vehicle is when you hop in and notice the tire pressure is low. The cold outside air will make the air in the tires compress, causing low tire pressure. When your vehicle’s tire pressure decreases, it is very likely that your vehicle’s fuel efficiency will also decrease.
An easy solution to this problem is to check your tires each time you stop to fill up your gas tank. If you notice they are looking low, it may be a good idea to check the tire pressure. Some vehicles have built-in sensors that will turn on once your tire pressure is low. Keeping your tire pressure at its optimal level will help ensure proper vehicle fuel economy throughout the winter.
Battery performance typically decreases in cooler weather. A vehicle’s battery can drain due to the weather you usually see during the winter months. This means that it makes it more difficult for the alternator to keep the battery charged in cold weather. When the alternator works harder to power your battery, it can have a large impact on your vehicle’s fuel economy.
Ensuring your battery is working properly during the coldest months of the year can help keep your vehicle's fuel economy at optimal levels. Having a professional check the charge of your battery can also help diagnose the reason your vehicle may be having a decrease in fuel efficiency. A simple test at your local auto repair shop can help provide you with peace of mind and better fuel economy all winter long.
During the winter months, your vehicle’s fluids, such as engine oil and transmission fluid, can become thickened due to the colder weather. These fluids are essential to keeping your vehicle’s fuel consumption low. When the temperatures are lower, your vehicle's fluids become thicker. When the fluids are thicker, it will take longer for your vehicle to get those fluids to thin out and reach the temperatures for the highest efficiency. This can negatively affect your fuel economy during the winter months.
A simple way to counteract this occurrence is to plan accordingly when you need to take your vehicle out for a drive. Since it takes longer to reach maximum efficient temperatures, taking longer drives will help your vehicle's fuel economy stay closer to the optimum levels. Short driving trips do not allow for your vehicle to properly thin out the fluids, which will lead to decreased fuel efficiency.
D & R Car Care Can Help Improve Your Vehicle’s Fuel Economy
D & R Car Care has years of experience performing diagnostic tests, maintenance, and repairs on many different vehicular components. If you are experiencing unexplained increased fuel consumption on your domestic or foreign vehicle, schedule a service with our certified technicians.
A vehicle’s fuel economy can be monitored to see if there are changes happening that may require some services to be done. If you notice a consistent decrease in your fuel efficiency, it may be time for a service. We are located next to Georgia Southern University at 811 South Main Street in Statesboro, making it convenient for both students and locals to bring their vehicles in for all their repair and maintenance needs.