Vehicle fuel economy drops in cold weather

8 months 6 days 19 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
COLE CAMP - Tiffany Woodington is being charged with multiple felony and misdemenor charges all regarding animal abuse. 120... More >>
2 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 8:07:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA—A development plan that includes building a 35-home subdivision on a floodplain has residents near Gillespie Bridge concerned. The... More >>
3 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 7:06:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY- Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt is traveling across the state this week giving safety presentation to senior citizens.... More >>
5 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 4:56:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
CAMDENTON - A proposed soccer complex has more than one goal for the city of Osage Beach, but not everyone... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:56:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
FULTON - A Fulton man was arrested this morning on four separate counts after his moped was stopped for a... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:52:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
MONITEAU - Deputies arrested three men in Fortuna during an attempt to locate one person who had active warrants for... More >>
6 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:36:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
FULTON - The Fulton School District is planning a total makeover for all schools within its system. In a... More >>
7 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 2:17:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A Jefferson City woman has been sentenced in federal court for embezzling more than $65,000 from her... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:49:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes planned to throw in practice Wednesday, raising the possibility the reigning league... More >>
8 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:29:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in Sports
COLUMBIA – When highways narrow at construction zones, interchanges or other bottlenecks, agencies like MoDOT are continuing to encourage drivers... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 1:00:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri cattle farmer charged Wednesday with two counts of first-degree murder shot two brothers from... More >>
9 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 12:26:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Frank and Katie Moore celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary Wednesday. The Boone County couple married in 1944 in... More >>
10 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 12:00:00 PM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Democratic Party will host an event on Wednesday night to look for future candidates. ... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:41:00 AM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - After a local church came under fire for a sermon some felt was transphobic, one local bookstore "talked... More >>
18 hours ago Wednesday, October 23 2019 Oct 23, 2019 Wednesday, October 23, 2019 3:32:00 AM CDT October 23, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Cole County Sheriff's Department said Tuesday it used pepper spray at a Lincoln University Homecoming Concert... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 8:23:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
FRANKLIN COUNTY - Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers found a kangaroo Monday night who escaped from his home. Troop... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:53:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
MILLER COUNTY — Neighbors in Eldon are angry that they're finding styrofoam waste in their yards. Multiple properties... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:34:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
SEDALIA - The Sedalia Police Department reported a 17-year-old missing Monday night. Marie McDonald was last seen on Oct.... More >>
1 day ago Tuesday, October 22 2019 Oct 22, 2019 Tuesday, October 22, 2019 7:27:00 PM CDT October 22, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 59°
11pm 56°
12am 51°
1am 49°
2am 48°