Vehicle fuel economy drops in cold weather

1 year 1 month 2 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 - Three separate MU Zoom sessions were disrupted by individuals who entered the meetings uninvited and used "discriminatory... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 8:59:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
CUBA, Mo. (AP) — An eastern Missouri man was charged with making a terrorist threat after he allegedly coughed toward... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 8:22:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – As the COVID-19 pandemic forces more people to stay indoors, the beautiful weather is still drawing plenty of... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 6:24:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Paying rent has become a challenge for thousands of Missourians who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19.... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:49:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - COVID-19 has already changed many aspects of daily life, from visiting restaurants to attending school. Now, first responders... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:09:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Mike Parson addressed the public at 3 p.m. on Wednesday, saying the state plans to restrict... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 3:45:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in Top Stories
As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community. KOMU 8 News... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:49:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
MONITEAU COUNTY - The Moniteau County Police chased down and arrested two people in a stolen car for multiple charges,... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:30:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
FAYETTE - Central Methodist University took steps to help rural Missouri medical professionals in the midst of COVID-19 by donating... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:04:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — As state and commercial testing is more available for the Missourians, the number of confirmed cases is rising.... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - COMO Youth Soccer, Sporting Columbia and Columbia Select started hosting daily practices using Zoom back when school got... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 1:24:00 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in Top Stories
(CNN) -- Postponing Tokyo 2020 will have provided a sense of relief to many Olympians but the delay in the... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 12:51:47 PM CDT April 01, 2020 in A Brighter Tomorrow
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Public School district announced Wednesday it's putting classes on pause through the end of the week... More >>
13 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 10:11:00 AM CDT April 01, 2020 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - As the weather gets warmer and plants continue to bloom, season allergies will become more of an issue... More >>
17 hours ago Wednesday, April 01 2020 Apr 1, 2020 Wednesday, April 01, 2020 5:51:00 AM CDT April 01, 2020 in News
In this COVID-19 town hall, KOMU 8's Emily Spain talks with Graham McCaulley about how the ongoing pandemic has affected... More >>
23 hours ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:42:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - For Scott Denson, music is his escape from reality. And, during this global pandemic he knew he wasn't... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 9:38:00 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Former Kansas City Council woman Alissia Canady is running as a Democrat for Missouri lieutenant... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:57:41 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled that a 2018 law banning public union workers... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, March 31 2020 Mar 31, 2020 Tuesday, March 31, 2020 7:09:59 PM CDT March 31, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 56°
12am 55°
1am 54°
2am 53°
3am 52°