Vehicle fuel economy drops in cold weather

1 year 5 months 3 weeks ago Friday, February 15 2019 Feb 15, 2019 Friday, February 15, 2019 1:48:00 PM CST February 15, 2019 in News
By: Tana Kelley, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – The cold weather doesn't just affect road conditions, but fuel economy as well. According to the U.S Department of Energy, driving during cold weather can reduce your fuel economy significantly.

It cites tests that said gas mileage is 12% lower in 20 degrees than 77 degrees for short city trips. For a car that does 20 mpg in the city, that is 2.4 gallons less in the winter. For very short trips - around two miles or less - U.S Department of Energy said it could drop to 22%. That is 4.4 gallons less.

The tests show hybrids are impacted even worse, from 31 to 34 percent lower in the cold-versus-warm temperatures. For a hybrid that normally has around 50 mpg, that can mean 17 gallons less in the winter.

Rita Holbert is from St. Louis, and has an all-electric car that she didn't know goes to gas when it’s cold out.

“The electricity isn't enough to work the heater, so it automatically kicks into gas usage,” Holbert said. “Yeah, I’ll be spending more money.”

When it’s cold, it takes longer for your engine to reach the most fuel-efficient temperature. When you go on shorter trips, as many do, this means your car will be at less-than-optimal temperatures for most of that trip.

Chris Spencer is on a trip to Columbia from Georgia, and although this trip hasn’t affected his mileage, the short distance to work and the stop and go traffic in Atlanta really impacts his fuel mileage.

“Colder weather, a little worse mileage, especially living in Atlanta, stop and go traffic. The slower driving certainly impacts the mileage,” Spencer said. “What can you do really?”

Grant Gould lives in Columbia and said he definitely sees a drop.

“I see like a 1.5 to 2 mile per gallon drop in the winter time," Gould said. 

Darick White lives in northern Missouri and said he sees the drop as well and is worried.

“We are burning more fuel in the winter,” White said. “When they talk about fuel prices and stuff like that, everything going on, it does make you worry.”

He said they try to limit their stops in the wintertime. Since they also own a farm, he said the cold definitely affect their diesel-run tractors.

“It makes it worse because you got the wintertime like this, you have to put heaters on them, you got to warm up the tractor, warm up the trucks,” White said. “We try to use the tractor less.”

The U.S Department of Energy has some tips to help with fuel consumption:

  • Make sure you park your car in a warmer place like a garage
  • Don't use seat warmers or defrosters more than necessary
  • Try and combine shorter trips so that you drive less with a cold engine.

Shawn Reno, Parts and Service Director at Kia in Columbia, said to make sure you get the right gas for your car and to make sure you heat up your car before you leave.

“You want to make sure your car is good and warmed up just for the safety of the car,” Reno said. “If your car has a remote start, you don't want to necessarily leave your car just sitting running for 20 or 30 minutes at a time if it doesn't need to be,” Reno said.

Reno said that would just use up fuel and will affect the overall fuel mileage of your vehicle. Warming up the car is really important but he said those short trips will inevitably take up fuel.

“In the wintertime, I use more fuel then normal, it’s not a lot you can do if you want to take care of your car the best, sometimes you just got to deal with that,” Reno said.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - Although standardized testing will not be a requirement for admission to the UM System this year, some local... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 7:02:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — After a Board of Education meeting earlier this week, Columbia Public Schools will still give families the choice... More >>
14 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 6:45:14 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
MISSOURI — As COVID-19 continues to spread throughout Missouri, state and local officials confirm new case counts daily. This... More >>
16 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 5:30:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Police have arrested 39-year old Justin Spence, of Columbia, in connection with a burglary that occurred early Tuesday... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 2:08:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — The Boone County Commission approved $1.8 million in federal coronavirus relief money (CARES Act) for the health department... More >>
19 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 1:54:00 PM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. You... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:08:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Water supply district number 1 is under a precautionary boil advisory because of low water pressure. There... More >>
22 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 11:04:04 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
Editor's note: This op-ed is a collaboration between the mental health doctors in the United States from the National Network... More >>
23 hours ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 9:39:57 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - After school programs have to make adjustments because of the Columbia school board’s vote to delay the start... More >>
1 day ago Wednesday, August 12 2020 Aug 12, 2020 Wednesday, August 12, 2020 3:31:00 AM CDT August 12, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Monday crash in Jefferson City damaged three parked vehicles and injured the driver. Curtis Murrell... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 8:18:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - KOMU 8 confirmed on the scene of the incident a man was shot on Tuesday at the Columbia... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 7:22:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia mayor Brian Treece called on college students to make smart choices when returning to campus. "I... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:58:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Mizzou superfan Brian Garner has accumulated hundreds of coaches and players' signatures on his prosthetic leg. He hasn't... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:45:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The news conference is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., according to Trump. More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:26:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Public school administrators discussed, Tuesday afternoon, the district's reopening plans, as student prepare for the start of... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 4:16:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — In a new briefing Tuesday afternoon, Columbia police asked the public for information on two separate early-morning incidents.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:53:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - The parking lot at Tolton Catholic High School will fill up two weeks before Columbia Public Schools. ... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- [Breaking news update, published at 4:40 p.m. ET] The Pac-12 Conference CEO Group unanimously voted Tuesday to... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, August 11 2020 Aug 11, 2020 Tuesday, August 11, 2020 3:34:00 PM CDT August 11, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 77°
10am 79°
11am 82°
12pm 84°
1pm 85°