Vehicle fuel economy drops in cold weather

8 months 3 days 16 hours 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 - More than 600 people and 11 sponsors gathered in Cosmo Park for the annual Walk to End Alzheimer's... More >>
1 hour ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:53:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — David Cover, a co-pastor at The Crossing, addressed the controversy over last week's sermon by fellow co-paster... More >>
2 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 4:03:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - A 13-year-old boy was killed in a shooting in the 4400 block of Rice Road Saturday night, Columbia... More >>
5 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 1:15:00 PM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One person was transported to the hospital in relation to a weapons offense Sunday morning, according to... More >>
7 hours ago Sunday, October 20 2019 Oct 20, 2019 Sunday, October 20, 2019 11:27:00 AM CDT October 20, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:34:54 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world... More >>
21 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 9:19:49 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon. Police responded to... More >>
22 hours ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 8:31:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members came together Saturday for a Walk and Roll-A-Thon in recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month. ... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 5:11:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. Organizers said they... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:47:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:41:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Grassroots organizations are working across Missouri to persuade gun-related business owners to join efforts to limit... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 3:37:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 2:15:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 1:19:00 PM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia. About... More >>
1 day ago Saturday, October 19 2019 Oct 19, 2019 Saturday, October 19, 2019 10:05:00 AM CDT October 19, 2019 in News
MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced... More >>
1 day ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 9:10:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
CALIFORNIA - A man heard his sentence on Friday after killing a 20-year-old three years ago for drunk driving. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:31:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold. ... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 6:06:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in Friday Night Fever
COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it... More >>
2 days ago Friday, October 18 2019 Oct 18, 2019 Friday, October 18, 2019 5:52:00 PM CDT October 18, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 61°
7pm 62°
8pm 60°
9pm 60°
10pm 59°