Tips for Winter Fuel Economy

Most drivers are not fans of driving in the winter months since it presents with a number of challenges, one of which is that of fuel efficiency.  During the winter months, when the temperatures drop below freezing levels, it causes winter fuel economy to drop as well.  Vehicles can experience a gas mileage drop of nearly 10-12% when temperatures fall below the 20-degree marker. With that said, the team here at Auto Clinic of Franklin wants to share with our valued clients some important information and tips for reducing fuel inefficiency this winter.


There are a number of contributing factors including:

  • It takes longer for a vehicle’s engine to reach its optimal fuel-efficient temperature in the colder months resulting in increased levels of fuel inefficiency;
  • Gasoline supplied to the pumps in the winter months provides less energy to the vehicle per gallon than it does in the warmer seasons;
  • Typically, cold air causes drag as does other forms of wind resistance which ultimately results in fuel inefficiency;
  • The use of defrosters and heated seats in the winter months draws a good deal of power from the engine which contributes to increased fuel consumption over time; and
  • Tire traction is reduced in the cold weather months because of a decrease in tire pressure, which can easily contribute to an increase in fuel usage and minimize your fuel efficiency.


  • Wintertime Dead Car BatteryMinimize short driving trips – In the winter months, your vehicle’s engine takes a whole lot longer to warm up. With that said, when you drive short distances you contribute to fuel inefficiency because most of the running time is dedicated to warming up the engine.  Try to minimize the number of short trips you make during the cold weather months.
  • Reduce Vehicle Idling time – Idling your vehicle for long periods of time minimizes your fuel economy and really does no good for the vehicle.   Allowing your vehicle to run for a mere 30 seconds is all you need since driving the vehicle is what actually warms up the engine faster.
  • Beware of Your Tire Pressure – Ensuring that your tire pressure is accurate during the cold weather months will help to increase your winter fuel economy.  Be sure to check your tire pressure routinely with a tire gauge to ensure you are taking advantage of maximum traction and have proper tire pressure at all times which will certainly help to increase your fuel efficiency.
  • Give your vehicle some TLC – Another simple tip for reducing fuel inefficiency is to park your vehicle, during the cold weather months, in a warm parking garage or other accommodation. A little bit of this TLC will certainly go a long way during the winter season.
  • Pay attention to oil levels – Motor oil plays a significant role in your vehicle’s performance year-round, and especially in the winter months. Be sure you are using appropriate oil in your vehicle for the cold weather seasons so as to increase your engine’s overall fuel efficiency.  If you are uncertain as to which type of oil you should be using in your vehicle, reach out to our highly experienced technicians for assistance.

We hope you have found this information and these simple, but important tips useful.  For more information about winter fuel economy or if you are in need of any type of automotive products or services, we have got you covered.  Reach out to the professionals here at Auto Clinic of Franklin today.  We look forward to serving you and to providing you with the best all round automotive products, services and repairs this side of Franklin!

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