You probably see a lot of information about saving on gas in the spring and summer, but the winter season also has a huge impact on your car’s fuel efficiency. In fact, the extreme cold in Ortonville, MI can be a big problem for your vehicle. Slick roads, snow plows, salt, bad weather—your car can take a big hit this winter if you aren’t careful. Factor in running the heater, cold starting the engine, less tire pressure, colder oil, decreased battery performance, all-wheel drive, and you can quickly see how your miles per gallon might take a hit as well. So here is some great advice to improve fuel efficiency this winter.
- Do Not Idle
Warming up your car in the morning is a common practice for many drivers. While this was a necessity for old carburetors, nowadays most cars don’t require idling to warm up the engine to optimal operating temperatures. Sensors control the fuel injectors to compensate for the cold. Usually 30 seconds is all your car needs. Also, driving will warm the engine much faster. So unless you are in traffic, there is no good reason to idle your car. It wastes gas, causes wear to the engine, and produces more emissions.
- Keep Your Car Clean
Your car already does a lot of heavy lifting over the holidays with all the traveling and shopping. So do what you can to cut down on unnecessary weight that will cause a decline in your fuel efficiency. Clear away the snow from the hood, windshield, and the top of your car. Unload your presents in the attic or basement instead of packing in the trunk. Also, colder air is denser and causes more resistance. So think about removing accessories like roof racks when not in use.
- Park in a Warm Place
Where possible, park your car in a warm, covered area. This will keep the snow off your car and increase the initial temperature of the cabin and the engine. Your car will start and warm faster and you won’t have to worry about scraping off the ice and snow.
- Plan Your Trips
This isn’t just for vacation travels. If you need to get out for errands, make a plan to hit more than one shop. Find an efficient route to take so you spend less time driving with a cold engine.
- Don’t Use Defrost or Seat Warmers in Excess
Only use the defrosters and seat warmers as necessary. Once the window is clear and you are comfortable, you don’t need to keep these systems running. It will drain fuel and energy. So remember to switch them back off a few minutes into your drive.
- Prepare Your Car
We already discussed how winter weather is terrible on cars. The best thing you can do to prepare is get your car in for regular service. Technicians can make sure your engine runs smoothly in the colder months so you not only save on gas, but also feel more secure behind the wheel.
For help getting your car winter ready, call the experts at Holly Tire. We have been helping drivers with auto repairs in Ortonville, MI since 1991. You can reach our repair shop or come by 15140 N. Holly Rd. Holly, MI 48442.